“Getting to Know Our Wines” Series – Australian Shiraz Viognier

“Getting to Know Our Wines” Series – Australian Shiraz Viognier

Visit Us on the Web – Click Here Our “Getting to Know Our Wines” series continues today with another wine new to the Water 2 Wine-DTC collection.  This is another 2011 Limited Edition wine.  This one is on its second release, and like all the other Limited Edition wines this year…it is ALMOST GONE!  So, hurry in to check it out and stock-up.  Remember, this week’s featured wine is available at our winery in Greenwood Village, today ONLY, for a 10% discount.  Today’s Featured Wine is: Australian Shiraz Viognier This Limited Edition wine is not your average blended wine.  A typical blended wine comes to be when two or more batches of wine, each made from a single variety, are blended together following the fermentation and other processing that takes place to create the wines.  Blending is typically done to balance the weakness of one variety with the strength of the other, thus producing a more rounded wine. Shiraz Viognier is gaining popularity in Australia, and although it is named as though it is your typical blended wine, it is a non-traditional “blended” wine and made in a slightly different way.  So, if it is not blended at the end of the winemaking process when both wines are complete, then how is it made?   Shiraz Viognier is produced by a method known as co-fermentation.  With this wine, the Shiraz grapes are mixed with the Viognier grapes at the very start of the winemaking process and before any fermentation takes place or any alcohol is produced.  Using the co-fermentation process preserves the brightness of the red pigments during fermentation which results in the wine still appearing as a red wine despite the white wine being present in the “blend.”   A typical Shiraz Viognier contains between two and seven percent Viognier; our Shiraz Viognier is five percent Viognier.  Shiraz Viognier is not the only wine made by co-fermenting red and white.  As per the French AOC, another very popular red wine, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from a blend of up to thirteen varieties, six of which are white. The origin of the Viognier grape is unknown.  However, Viognier is a white wine grape that is the only permitted grape for the French wine “Condrieu” in the Rhone valley.  Although the origin of the grape is unknown, it is presumed that it is an ancient grape that many have hypothesized originated in Dalmatia and was brought to Rhône by the Romans.  One thing is for certain, during Roman times, Viognier was fairly common.  However, in modern times, it became a rare white grape grown almost exclusively in the northern Rhône regions of France.  The decline of Viognier in France from its historic peak has much to do with the disastrous introduction of phylloxera insects from North America into Europe in the mid-and late-1800s, followed by the abandonment of the vineyards due to the chaos of World War I.  Both California and Australia now have significant amounts of land devoted to the Viognier grape.  Shiraz (or Syrah) is the most popular varietal in Australia.  Many don’t realize, or are reluctant to believe that the two names only refer to one varietal.  The varietal is called Syrah in its country of origin, France, as well as in the rest of Europe, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Uruguay and most of the United States. The name Shiraz became popular for this grape variety in Australia, South Africa and Canada.  The grape is also known by a number of other synonyms used in various parts of the world.  It seems that many of the legends of Syrah's origins come from one of its many synonyms - Shiraz.  There happens to be a city in Iran called Shiraz, where the famous Shirazi wine was produced.  Some legends (and they are believed to be just that – legends) have claimed that the Syrah grape originated in Shiraz, and was brought to the Rhône Valley either by the Phocaeans in 600 BC or by a crusader 1,800 years later.  This would make the Syrah name a local French synonym and implies that Shiraz is the proper name of the variety.  No documentary evidence exists to back up either legend.  The more probable scenario is that the legend connecting Syrah with the city of Shiraz in Iran is of French origin because of a journal entry publish in 1826.  The name Shiraz has been used primarily in Australia in modern times; however, in the last 20 years or so, the two names are being used almost interchangeably around the world. The grapes for this wine come from the Riverland region in Southern Australia.  The Riverland accounts for about one quarter of all of Australia’s wine production and is internationally recognized as the most popular region for wine export overseas. We think you will notice aromas of ripe berry fruit and violets with flavors of orange blossom, toast and smokiness. This wine pairs nicely with game or meat dishes, soft fruits and goat cheeses. Share this Post on Facebook by Clicking Below:http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=http://makingwineindenver.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/preservative-free-wine-getting-to-know-our-wines-Australian-shiraz-viognier“




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