Yalumba declares April 30 inaugural day to celebrate Viognier

April 29, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

In a world-first, Yalumba has introduced International Viognier Day to the global wine calendar on the last Friday in April in honour of the white wine variety.

Viognier is a luscious and flavourful white wine colloquially described as the ‘red wine drinker’s white’ due to its full-bodied palate. Its intense, long and refreshing palate makes Viognier a great wine style to match with a range of foods.

Viognier originated in the historic appellation of Condrieu in southern France. Defined by its perfumed aromas, Viognier produces some of the greatest white wines in the world.

International Viognier Day is for producers and enthusiasts all over the world, but as one of the most influential producers of Viognier, Yalumba has set the date to shine a spotlight on the variety.

Viognier first caught the eye of the family winemaker in the early 1970s. At the time, plantings were limited to the tiny appellations of Condrieu and Côte Rôtie, France.

In 1980, Yalumba planted 1.2 hectares of Viognier vines in Eden Valley, which represented the first significant plantings of Viognier in Australia. These plantings are now amongst the oldest in Australia.

Viognier’s subsequent success in the cool climate Eden Valley has seen Yalumba’s work with the variety grow from the initial block on the Vaughan Vineyard to 16 different parcels on five vineyards across the region.

“Its friends in the Rhône Valley had been growing well in Eden Valley since the 1840s, so it made sense,” said Yalumba Head of Winemaking Louisa Rose, who first encountered Viognier when she began working at Yalumba in 1992.

“It has been an exciting relationship as we have fallen in, and occasionally albeit temporarily out, of love with the variety,” said Rose.

“We have watched the Yalumba family and friends go through the same journey of discovery as the wines have made their way to hearts and minds all over the world.”

Over almost 30 years at Yalumba, Rose has forged an identity for Australian Viognier and now crafts some of the best examples of the variety, the most distinguished of which being The Virgilius. 

Yalumba’s Virgilius Vineyard in Eden Valley is home to the most clonally diverse planting of Viognier anywhere in Australia.

The Yalumba Nursery has been a vital component of Yalumba’s success with Viognier.

From cultivating the early Montpellier 1968 clones to instigating a clonal development program in consultation with the great Viognier makers from around the globe, the Yalumba Nursery’s involvement has shaped the current collection of Yalumba Viognier wines.

Yalumba now produces four aromatic Viogniers across a number of price points – The Virgilius, Eden Valley, Organic and Y Series.

Yalumba will celebrate on the Friday by hosting Viognier & Dumpling Day on the lawns at the Yalumba Wine Room in Angaston, Barossa, pairing its Viognier wines with dumplings by Sookii La La.

On the same evening, Yalumba is also supporting a ‘happy hour’ at Tasting Australia’s Town Square in Adelaide, offering a complimentary glass of Viognier paired with a small dish prepared by renowned chef and festival director Simon Bryant.

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