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Pairing Rhône Valley Viognier Wine from Condrieu

By David Scott Allen

Viognier Wine and Food

When I started writing this food and wine pairing column for the Provence Wine Zine – can you believe it has been four years? – I had never had a French Viognier. I was used to the sweet, strongly spiced American vintages which, I believe, have their place at the table. They are well-liked and, as soon as anyone here says, “Lobster with drawn butter,” someone else in the rooms puts a Viognier on ice. All that is fine.

…Continue reading here for this contributor blog post by Provence WineZine for this Rhône Valley Viognier wine pairing with a salmon Wellington. The Veauvignere (2015) from Domaine de la Roche Paradis located in the Condrieu appellation on the right bank of the Northern Rhône Valley was a good match for the complex, rich flavours of the Salmon Wellington.

Condrieu AOP/AOC

Since 1940, Condrieu wines have fallen under Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (Protégée) designation, but only if they are created with 100% Viognier grapes. These Viognier wines are typically pale in colour with fresh in flavour.

This wine area is small at 192 hectares and annual production of roughly 7,400 bottles. Located 40km south of Lyon, the gastronomic centre of France, wines from Condrieu need to stand-up to gourmet tastes and the famous vintages from the neighbouring Côte Rotie AOC/AOP.

Prolific food writer Maurice Edmond Sailland (pen name: Curnonsky) considered the white wine from Condrieu among the best in France. He was voted “Prince of Gastronomy” by Le Bon Gîte magazine in 1927.


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Susan Newman Manfull

Susan Newman Manfull

It was love at first sight when my family and I arrived in the charming village of Lourmarin for a short vacation, nearly 20 years ago. We returned home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the next thing I knew we were planning a much longer sojourn in that village and making arrangements to enroll our daughter in the local school there. That led to buying a maison de village— actually two, then a courtyard, a parking spot, and a bergerie— in our favorite Provençal village where we (readily) adopted that certain joie de vivre, established dear friendships, and, to this day, endeavor to blend in with the crowd at Café Gaby.

We no longer own property in Lourmarin, but we continue to hang our hats there frequently and gather fodder for our souls and for The Modern Trobaors and Provence WineZine. There is never a shortage.

The Modern Trobaors , conceived in 2008, is about all things Provence: its markets, hilltop villages, lavender, art, literature, culture, history, food, wine, and news. Provence WineZine, launched in August 2014, focuses on wines from the regions of Provence and the Southern Rhône Valley—with a special emphasis on Provence's world-renowned rosés—and the men and women who make them.

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