Viognier vs Chenin Blanc: The Untold Similarities, Differences & Selection Criteria

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Reusable Modern Picnic Basket Wine Gift Set

Reusable Modern Picnic Basket Wine Gift Set


Domaine des Baumard Clos du Papillon Savennieres 2016

Domaine des Baumard Clos du Papillon Savennieres 2016


Another white wine combo and another comparison! Many find it hard to discover how to separate two different white wines from each other. 

Here, we’ll help you get into the specifics of not only how Viognier and Chenin Blanc are different but also how they are similar to one another!


Is Viognier The Same As Chenin Blanc

Viognier is not the same as Chenin Blanc. This is thanks to not only their differences in notes but also Chenin Blanc’s exceeding array of styles compared to the two of Viognier.


What Is Similar About Viognier And Chenin Blanc

Although the similarities are light, they are present within the wines. These include the white wines originating from France and are known to hold those delicate floral notes that many enjoy. 

Wine being poured into a glass in front of a white background - Viognier vs Chenin Blanc.

What Is The Difference Between Viognier and Chenin Blanc?

The differences between Viognier and Chenin Blanc are seen to be stronger than the similarities the two share. The main difference that sets them apart is their notes and their styles. 


Viognier is known to be made in two styles, sweet or dry. Typically holding tangerine, peach, and mango notes aside from its floral notes.

Chenin Blanc, however, is known to be made into four styles that are unique due to each of them having its own array of notes. Unlike Viognier, Chenin Blanc is famously aged in oak, giving the wine another set of notes!

Chenin Blanc’s primary notes are passion fruit, apple, and pear. When aged in oak, the wine can hold more consuming notes of butterscotch, nutmeg, and apple pie. 


Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Although both contain those floral notes that may trick you into believing the wines may taste sweeter than they actually are, it’s found that the sweeter of the two is indeed the Chenin Blanc. 

This is mainly overall due to another note of honeycomb that Chenin Blanc tends to carry. 


Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

Overall, Viognier tends to have more alcohol content, which might be surprising for those who thought the sweeter wine would have a higher level. Viognier tends to hold an alcohol content of around 13-15% by volume. 

When compared, this tends to slightly exceed when overlapping with Chenin Blanc’s 12-13.5% alcohol content by volume. 

Note that the alcohol content can vary depending on the climate of the region in which that specific wine was procured. In warmer climates, the alcohol content tends to be slightly higher than those produced in cooler regions. 


How Do I Choose Between Viognier and Chenin Blanc?

Chenin Blanc is considered to be a good wine for those newbies in the wine community, mainly because of its style and complex flavor variety. 

If you’re someone who would like to start out by trying different versions of the same wine, Chenin Blanc is highly suggested. It offers an array of notes from buttery to fruity, all the way to floral. 

However, you might prefer the Viognier if you’re not into all those changing flavors and would rather stick to a more simple, less sweet white wine known for its floral notes. 

Overall, the best thing you can do is to simply try them both and decide for yourself which you might prefer.

Final Thoughts On Viognier vs. Chenin Blanc

Although not the same, Viognier and Chenin Blanc both hold those delicate floral notes we’ve all come to love. Don’t assume all their notes are the same, though. 

It’s Chenin Blanc’s style varieties and their seemingly endless array of ever-changing notes. Also, although not considered to be the sweeter of the pair, Viognier is known to carry more alcohol content than the Chenin Blanc. 


Reusable Modern Picnic Basket Wine Gift Set

Reusable Modern Picnic Basket Wine Gift Set


Domaine des Baumard Clos du Papillon Savennieres 2016

Domaine des Baumard Clos du Papillon Savennieres 2016