International Viognier Day 2022: 19 facts about Viognier

Reading Time: 6 minutes

To celebrate International Viognier Day 2022, a celebration of the white wine varietal, we’ve put together a list of 19 facts about Viognier. We also share a French wine importer’s Viognier recommendation.

International Viognier Day 2022

  1. Origins of the viognier grape
    The grape is very much at home in France but didn’t originate there. In fact, there are a few different theories about its origins. Some think that it originated in Dalmatia, which is known as Croatia today. For others, it has Italian origins.


  1. The Romans theory
    As for how the grape came to be in France, there are are two theories about the grape being brought to France via the Romans. One is that it was Emperor Probus brought it to France in 281AD. The other is that local outlaws known as culs de piaux captured a cargo ship carrying viognier and syrah along the Rhône River on its way to the Beaujolais region.


  1. DNA Research
    The theory that viognier grapes were brought to France, and more specifically to the Rhône by Romans is in question after DNA research suggests that Viognier is related to Mondeuse Blanc and Shiraz and probably came about in the 18th century, well after Roman times. Other research found that viognier is a close relation of Freisa, a grape from the Italian Piedmont region, and was a genetic cousin of Nebbiolo.


  1. The name viognier
    Even the origins of the name are under dispute! Some believe it takes its name from Vienne, near Lyon, a major Roman outpost. Others think it comes from he Roman “via Gehennae”, meaning the “Road of the Valley of Hell”, which is likely a reference to the difficulty of growing viognier.


  1. Also known as
    Viognier is also known as Bergeron, Barbin, Rebolot, Greffou, Picotin Blanc, Vionnier, Petiti Vionnier, Viogne, Galopine, Vugava bijela.


  1. Viognier grapes
    Viognier grapes are yellowy-green and have thick skins. When ripe, the colour turns a deep yellow.

International Viognier Day 2022

  1. Suited to warm climates
    Viognier grows well in warm climates and with long growing seasons but it can also thrive in cooler climates where soils retain heat.


  1. Disease prone
    Viognier is a challenging grape to grow as it is prone to powdery mildew among other vineyard diseases.


  1. Viognier wines generally
    Single varietal wines made from viognier grapes are a clear golden colour. Apple, apricot, citrus, floral and peach flavours are often present in viognier wines. The wines are usually dry but sweet late-harvest dessert wines have been made from Viognier grapes).


  1. Viognier in France
    After largely dying out due to disease down to just 8 hectares, thankfully French viognier plantations have now grown to about 300 hectares.

journée internationale du viognier 2022

  1. Viognier wines in France
    Wine expert Remington Norman says that there are two different strains of Viognier in France: the “Old World” strain, common in Condrieu, as well as a “New World” strain, found in the Languedoc and other areas.


  1. Viognier grapes are the only permitted grape for the French wine Condrieu in the Rhône Valley. In Languedoc, most Viogniers are sold as Vin de Pays..


  1. Viognier in French blends
    In the Rhône, the grape is often blended with Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache blanc, and Rolle. In the Northern Rhône, the grape is sometimes blended with Chardonnay. In the Côte-Rôtie AOC, red wine blends can include up to 20% of Viognier though most winemakers add no more than 5%


  1. Viognier around the world
    Outside of France, Viognier is grown in many places including USA, Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia.


  1. Viognier in South America
    Argentina and Chile have significant plantings of viognier. Some Brazilian and Uruguayan wine producers are also experimenting with viognier.


  1. Viognier in the USA
    California’s Central Coast is the leading producer with over 2,000 acres (809 hectares) of viognier planted. In 2011, Viognier was named Virginia’s signature white grape. It is also grown in Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Missouri and Arizona.


  1. Viognier in Australia
    Yalumba is Australia’s biggest producer of Viognier grapes and wines. It is however also found in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Murray Rive in South Australia. Viognier is also grown in Canberra, South Burnett in Queensland, Geelong, Mornington Peninsula, Nagambie Lakes, Rutherglen, The Pyrenees and Yarra Valley in Victoria. It is also found in Geographe in Western Australia.
Yalumba Y Series Viognier


  1. International Viognier Day
    This is the second edition of International Viognier Day which was first celebrated in 2021. It’s actually Australian winery, Yalumba, who declared the last Friday of April to be International Viognier.


  1. Get social
    Celebrate the varietal and International Viognier Day 2022 by using the #internationalviognierday and #viognierday on your photos on social media. Also tag us @matildamarseillaise so we can see what you’re drinking and how you’re celebrating the day.

Viognier Day




Ashleigh Huggins from Clos Cachet shares her International Viognier Day 2022 recommendation with us.


International Viognier Day 2022Which Viognier wine would you recommend for International Viognier Day and why?

Jean-Marc Lafont – Galopines Viognier 2017 is a very unique wine for the Beaujolais wine region with the winemaker Lafont taking a new approach in order to adapt to the changing environment around him. By planting varietals often found further south they are more used to the warmer climates and can adapt their ripening cycle. This the perfect bottle to celebrate the uniqueness and vibrancy of the Viognier varietal with this wine boasting lovely lemony, pear and jasmine aromas and the flavour finishing with a delicate touch of hazelnut. The palate is pure, mineral and rich, all round finishing on lovely spicy flavours of coriander and nutmeg.


What sort of wine is Viognier for those who are unfamiliar?

The Viognier varietal is a white grape, primarily found in the Rhone Valley, hence why a Beaujolais version is so rare and unique. The grape thrives in a warmer climate and ripens best when it has had a long, warm year to reach its full potential. The Rhone Valley works best for the grapes as the various elevations of parcels allows the perfect temperature to be found. Overall it is a difficult and low yielding grape that is yet to be as big as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, but can present just as delicious wines.


How does French Viognier vary from other Viogniers?

Enjoyed both within blends and as single varietal wines, French winemakers utilise the grape in white blends, with a few Côte-Rôtie combinations of Viognier and Syrah. By planting on steep slopes the grapes gather a vast range of aromatics and floral notes from the passing wind and deep soils. This contrasts to the more full-bodied and simply flavoured grapes of Australian Viognier where it remains primarily a single varietal wine, with some Shiraz blends. It is also a lot more widespread around the country, whereas in France, it is less likely to find Viognier outside of the Rhone Valley region.


What would you pair this wine with?

There are many ways to enjoy this wine but always ideal as an aperitif, or with elements such as foie gras, veal sweetbreads, asparagus, lobster or scallops.

Happy International Viognier Day 2022! Which Viognier will you drink to celebrate?


If you like French wine, check out the following articles:


Happy Pinot Grigio Day – a look at the French wine Pinot Gris

19 facts about Riesling for International Riesling Day 2022

International Chardonnay Day 2021: the grape, the wines and which ones to drink



Cabernet Franc Day 2021: facts and recommendations

Cabernet Sauvignon Day 2021: 15 things you didn’t know about Cabernet Sauvignon

International Grenache Day 2021: Discover 11 things you didn’t know about Grenache to celebrate

World Malbec Day 2022: 19 facts about Malbec

World Marselan Day 2022: 15 facts about Marselan

Tannat Day 2022: 23 facts about Tannat



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La Belle Vie French market: A French market in Southern Sydney this Sunday

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Taren Point Public School is holding La Belle Vie French market this Sunday. The 4rh edition of this French market will see stalls selling food, drink as well as fashion, homewares, art products – perfect to buy your Mother’s Day gifts. 

La Belle Vie French Market


The school has been a member of the Australian Association of French English Bilingual Schools for four years and the market is also in its 4th year. Previous years have seen attendance of 5,000 people at the La Belle Vie French Market.  



Francophone Association of Southern Sydney (FASS), a local not for profit group which promotes French language and culture in the community, assists Taren Point Public School in making La Belle Vie Market happen. It’s involved in supplying volunteers on market day but also in the planning and organisation of the market event from an administration perspective.


This year there are more than 60 stalls offering fabulous French products across food, drink, fashion, homewares, art, as well as a Citroen Club car display and live music throughout the day.


LIVE MUSIC: ‘ACCORDI-ng To US’ will play from 9am to midday and singer, Christelle Nativel will perform from midday to close.




French products for yourself and for others

  • A French Affair  – tea towels and tablecloths
  • Au Revoir Les Filles – Parisian-style jewellery
  • Beju – hand crafted European jewellery
  • Big on Hats – wide-brimmed French hats and the iconic beret
  • Canal Plus – French cable TV
  • Decathlon – French sportswear
  • France at Home – your French supermarket online in Australia
  • French Cargo – diffusers, scents, body lotions, décor items, linens, jewellery, scarves and so much more
  • Fora Studios – unique and sustainable products for the modern garden, home and craft lover
  • Funked Up Eclectic Treasures – french/vintage inspired and funked up treasures
  • Holala Paris – French Homewares, designed in Australia and handmade in France

La Belle Vie French Market

  • Janneys Vinney vintage
  • Jan Roach vintage
  • Kalaf Artwork – epoxy resin serving boards, serving knives, kitchen utensils, coasters and wall art
  • La Brocante’ with Kathy Finch – pre-loved, vintage, retro and collectable pieces
  • Le Van du Livre – French books 
  • May Clementson vintage – French homewares
  • Mo Resin – jewellery with artistic designs embedded with materials such as Dutch Gold and Silver leaf into epoxy resin
  • Mrs Flowers – flowers straight from the Sydney Flower Markets to La Belle Vie French Market
  • Oatley Bay Candles
  • Pottery by Pottier – pottery and artworks
  • 2nd Vie (previously Just Swiss by Chris) – sustainable items hand made using fabric sourced from local business or from charities: car tidies, cutlery holders, lavender bags that can be used and re-used around the house, out and about, in the car, or just for decoration.
  • Secrets of Eden – pretty flower crowns and headbands for the princesses in your life, and unique Macrame creations
  • Toothless  – hand-made tooth fairy pillows
  • Whitelaw & Newton Decoupage Trays


Food & Drink stalls

  • Alexander Roastery – coffee
  • Baguette Brothers
  • Bella Icecream Van & Jumping Castles
  • Byron Bay Olive Co – Marinated olives, sweet garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and tapenade amongst other delicacies
  • Carne/Ash Rotisserie – rotisserie chicken and porchetta, roast potatoes
  • Cheese on Wheels
  • Choux Patisserie – beautiful éclairs
  • Citrus and Sugar – lemonade and delicious juices made from all real fruit, nothing artificial and no preservatives. 
  • Crepe de France
  • Fils de Pomme – French botanical organic cider 
  • Frenchies Bistro and Brewery – French style beers made for Aussies
  • Frencheese – raclette

  • French Oven – fine French pastry made my hand and not by machine
  • Great Southern mead & honey – honey fresh from the hive
  • Jeerys Tacos
  • La Bastide – charcuterie
  • La Bonne Crepe
  • La Bonne Fromagerie – cheeses
  • La Gitana – paella
  • Le BBQ 
  • Le Saucier – home-made pasta, pasta sauces and fine finishing sauces
  • Le Secret Wines – French wines, characteristic of their region and from small family owned vineyards
  • Les Petits Gars
  • Madame Madeleine – Madeleines in original flavours including lemon butter, French Earl Gray, matcha, caramelised honey.
  • Madleine Bakery – freshly baked madeleines 
  • Pistou – traditional French deli foods 
  • Sacre Bleu!  (Caneles and Co)
  • Stephs Gourmet Foods
  • The Original Smoke & Spice Company – herb and spice mixes
  • Tonton Bread – bread and pastries
  • Wendy’s Crafts –  jam, marmalade & relish


Club stalls

  • Citroen Car Club
  • FASS Book stall
  • Meccano Modellers Association
  • Taren Point Public School Enviro stall


Want to participate in a future edition of La Belle Vie French market?

Contact Anyes McLean via email at [email protected]. Stalls must have a French connection, to ensure the authenticity of the market.




WHAT: La Belle Vie French Market

WHEN: Sunday 1 May 9am to 3pm

WHERE: Taren Point Public School, 

HOW MUCH: Entry by coin donation at the gate – all proceeds assist the learning programs at Taren Point Public School


For other events with French links check out our what’s on in April article (the what’s on in May will be online this Sunday).



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