Before thinking about plantings around the world, let's not ignore other parts of Europe. So far we have found Viogniers in Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland and Austria and we continue to search for others from non-traditional sources.
It is the rapid increase in Viognier plantings in California and Australia that has helped to push the wine onto the world stage. Before 1990 there were hardly any vines in California - today there are around 800 hectares devoted to the vine. The first vines were introduced in the early 1980's at Calera, but since 1990 have been planted widely due to the massive demand from Americans. It has been termed a cult wine in the US and accordingly has attracted relatively high prices (£10-£20 a bottle) well exceeding the quality of some of the wines. The Californians have experimented with combining Viognier with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Colombards - but you won't find much about those wines here as this site is dedicated to the purer Viogniers (although we have allowed some wines to creep in that have a small amount of non-viognier grape!)
California is not the only State showing an interest in Viognier. Washington State now has over 20 hectares planted and there are also plantings in Colorado, Georgia, New York State, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Virginia.
In Australia, it is probably the Yalumba Estate that is spearheading the growth and development of Viognier. There are over 200 hectares grown in South Australia, which is 70% of the total Australian planting. Quality varies from good to poor - a critical factor is still related to calculating the correct time of picking. Alcohol content of Australian wines tends to be high - 13%+.
Other parts of the world demonstrating an interest are Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Japan. .... click here for more