(VEE-ohn-yay) may be the world’s least widely planted premium grape – but currently one of the most prized. In the vineyard, yields and acid levels tend to be low, and susceptibility to disease and rot high. In the winery, it is temperamental. But once in the bottle or the glass, a well-made Viognier comes with a deep, yellow color and an exquisite, exotic bouquet – apricots, pears, tropical fruits. In the Northern Rhone, viognier is the basis of the wines of Condrieu and Chateau-Grillet. In the U.S., it has a short but accelerating history. In 1996, for example, there were 645 acres of viognier vines in California; by 2004, planted acres had grown to over 2000.