Viognier wines are known for their incredible combination of depth and fragrance and the grape is famous for producing Condrieu in the Rhone Valley. Les Cepages Viognier is made by the cooperative Les Vignerons de Roquemaure, in celebration of their region and its great wines. Roquemarque has been renowned for its winemaking since the 6th century and lies near to Avignon in the heart of the southern Rhone Valley. It’s said that Hannibal himself crossed the Rhone here with his army and elephants on the way to Italy. The town sits around the ruined castle high on its limestone outcrop looking over the river.
The Viognier vineyards lie on pebble strewn red clays over limestone bedrock and are swept by the Mistral; the cold, dry wind that sails in from the north. It is a difficult grape to tend, being a hard task master. Legend has it that its name comes from the ancient Roman pronunciation of the Via Gehennae, meaning ‘The Road to Hell’, as an allusion to the difficulty of growing the grape. Difficult it may be, but the wines it produces are delicious.
Viognier pairs beautifully with spicy Asian cuisine and coconut dishes so it is the perfect match for mild Indian curries such as Korma and Pasanda or Thai Green curry. It’s also good with roast chicken, guinea fowl or pork, seafood (crab in particular) and dishes in creamy sauces. Or simply on its own!