Is it a legal gimmick, or is it the real deal? This is a good question.
An easy wine to drink, oddly named “viognier” the well known grape variety from the Rhone. Wines in France are not usually named after grape varieties, and for that very reason they have appellation d’origine contrôlée, a protection, otherwise it would be named Condrieu and be A.O.C.The wines made in Condrieu are exclusively white, from the Viognier grape.
It seems these branding schemes are used to penetrate market share, and are cleverly directed at the US market, where importers are endorsing these French varietals, which are really vins de pays, “country wines”.
These endorsements cause confusion and in the end they are leveraged to sell the consumers imitation Condrieu at handsome prices – a French gimmick, not a new trick and it is likely illegal unless it states on the label ‘vin de pays’.
In the end it dilutes Cuilleron’s Condrieu, a wine that has had a good wine reputation in the past.