Viognier vs Vouvray: What You Need to Know


Viognier vs Vouvray can often get confused because of their similar sounding names.

Viognier is fuller-bodied, lower in acid, and more aromatic than Vouvray. Vouvray is made from Chenin Blanc grapes in the Vouvray appelation of the Loire Valley, France. Viognier tastes like fruit cocktail. Vouvray can come in a range of styles, from dry to sparkling, and expresses soft tree fruit and floral notes.

Depending on where you live in the world, Viognier and Vouvray aren’t mainstream white wine grapes – at least not as common as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio – so, if you’ve made it this far in your wine journey, here’s what you need to know about Viognier vs Vouvray.

Viognier Basics: Fruit Cocktail in Your Wine Glass

viognier vs vouvray - viognier wine profile

Viognier, originating from the Rhône Valley in France, is an aromatic, fruity white wine that has a fuller, luscious body. It has classic notes of stone fruit, like peach and apricot, along with honey, rose, and tangerine.

You’ll find Viognier grown in South Africa, Australia, and California as well.

Helpful Tip: If you’re new to Viognier, here’s a quick Viognier wine guide to help you appreciate its unique characteristics.

Vouvray Basics: Many Styles

viognier vs vouvray comparison - chenin blanc wine profile infographic

Originally from the Pineau region in the Loire Valley, France, Chenin Blanc remains closely connected to its origins where it makes a range of white wines – from dry, to sweet, and even sparkling. The most famous of these regions is Vouvray AOC.

Helpful Tip: Go check out this complete guide to Chenin Blanc.

Vouvray AOC specializes in Chenin Blanc wines. Scroll out on the map below to see where Vouvray AOC is in France.

Fun Wine Fact: If you see Vouvray on a white wine bottle, it’s made from Chenin Blanc.

Wine Comparison: Viognier vs. Vouvray

Characteristics Viognier Vouvray
Hue Pale Lemon to gold Pale lemon to deep gold
Color White White
Aromas Apricot, peach, floral Green apple, pear, honey
Sweetness Dry to off-dry Dry to sweet and sparkling
Acid Low to Medium Medium to High
Alcohol (%) 12-14% 12-14%
Body Full Light to medium
Intensity Moderate to pronounced Moderate
Key Growing Regions Rhône Valley, California Vouvray AOC, Touraine district, Loire Valley, France
Classic Pairings Asian cuisine, rich seafood Poultry, seafood, salads
Price Range $15-$40 $20-$50

Here’s a quick side-by-side that covers the most common styles of Viognier and Vouvray.

Viognier Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Viognier tends to be made in dry styles, but less expensive wines may be off-dry
  • Alcohol: Viognier wines typically have a moderate to high alcohol content, ranging from around 13% to 15% ABV.
  • Body: Viognier is known for its full-bodied, creamy texture on the palate.
  • Acid: While still providing freshness, Viognier tends to have lower acidity compared to Vouvray.
  • Flavor and Aroma Intensity: Viognier boasts intense floral and stone fruit aromas with a rich, honeyed character.
  • Flavors: Expect flavors of apricot, peach, honeysuckle, and sometimes a hint of spice.

Vouvray Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Vouvray wines cover the spectrum from bone-dry to off-dry. Vouvray makes sweet dessert wines and sparkling wines, too.
  • Alcohol: Vouvray wines generally have a moderate alcohol content, ranging from around 12% to 14% ABV.
  • Body: Vouvry typically has a lighter body than Viognier.
  • Acid: Vouvray typically has higher acid Viognier, making it seem fresher and lighter in your mouth.
  • Flavor and Aroma Intensity: Vouvray is less aromatic than Viognier, with notes of green apple, belong, and tropical fruit.
  • Flavors: Expect a honeyed note in your Vouvray, along with that green tree fruit.

Helpful Tip: If you see molleux on your Vouvray, it’s a sweet style.

Are Viognier and Vouvray Similar?

viognier vs vouvray - white wine glass

Yes, Viognier and Vouvray are similar. They are typically made in a fruit-forward style that showcases the grapes’ flavors. These wines aren’t oaked very often.

What Is the Difference Between Viognier and Vouvray?

Viognier tends to be more aromatic than Vouvray, with luscious floral and stone fruit notes. Viognier tends to be lower in acid than most Vouvrays, giving it more body and mouthfeel. It’s not uncommon for Vouvray wines come with a little sweetness to them, making them off-dry. Most Viogniers are made in a fully dry style.

Viognier vs. Vouvray Winemaking

While winemakers may oak Viognier and Vouvray, this is uncommon because both wines are aromatic. Additionally, Vouvray can be made in a range of styles, from dry to luscious sweet dessert wines and sparkling wines. Viognier is rarely made into dessert and sparkling wines.

Fun Wine Fact: Viognier is often co-fermented with Syrah in the Northern Rhône to add aromatic complexity and silkiness to the red wines.

Viognier vs. Vouvray: Food Pairings and Serving Temperature

viognier vs vouvray - salad

Viognier’s full-bodied and aromatic nature makes it an excellent companion for richer dishes, including creamy pasta and oven-roasted poultry. Vouvray, with its lighter style, works well with lighter dishes, from seafood to grilled chicken and salads.

Both Viognier and Vouvray benefit from being served chilled. Place them in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

Helpful Tip: Here’s a list of popular wine styles and their recommended serving temperatures that is easy to use (no thermometers required).

Which Is More Expensive, Viognier vs Vouvray?

wine store shelf - viognier vs chenin blanc

It’s natural to want to compare the price of Viognier vs Vouvray, so here’s what you need to know.

Viognier Cost

Entry-level Viognier wines are often reasonably priced, falling between $12 to $18 per bottle. These selections deliver a decent Viognier experience without straining your budget. Premium Viognier wines can be found in the range of $20 to $40+.These bottles promise a rich and layered fruit and floral profile.

Vouvray AOC Cost

Vouvray AOC wines can only come from that specific region in France, meaning there is less Vouvray wine in the world than there is Viognier. Entry-level Vouvray AOC wines start around $20 USD, and will frequently go for $30-$50 USD.

Helpful Tip: Here’s how wine bottles get priced. More expensive bottles don’t always mean better quality wine. This post is a little nerdy, but definitely gives you an idea of how complicated selling wine can be.

Which Is Better, Viognier or Vouvray?

If you love a full-bodied, aromatic wine with intense floral and stone fruit notes, Viognier is the better choice for you. If you enjoy more neutral white wines, then buy Vouvray.

Final Thoughts – Viognier vs Vouvray

Viognier and Vouvray are lovely, less common white wines that should be in your wine cellar (or shelf). Vouvray comes in more varied styles, so it’s worth trying several bottles to learn how this wine can present itself.

The best way to learn about Viognier and Vouvary is to do a side-by-side tasting. Grab two bottles of similarly priced Viognier and Vouvray, gather some friends, and host your own wine tasting.

Thirsty for More?

I’m a big believer in side-by-side tastings to enhance your wine knowledge. Here’s how to host your own wine tasting for beginners.

Check out this post on Chenin Blanc vs Chardonnay, two more white wines you should be able to tell apart.

You should be able to find delightful wines at every price point. Explore this post on how to discover hidden gems under $50.

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