Marechal Foch

Marechal Foch is a vigorous, early-ripening variety, with good winter hardiness. It is well suited to cold-climate regions in Canada’s Niagara Peninsula and Nova Scotia. It is also popular in New York’s Finger Lakes, the north Atlantic States, and in viticultural areas of the northern Midwest. Still commercially important, this French-American hybrid developed by Eugene Kuhlmann is reportedly the result of a North American riparia-rupestris and a vinifera (Goldriesling) pairing. This is identical to the parentage of the Leon Millot grape. However, some believe the North American parent is really Oberlin Noir, a Gamay-riparia cross once commercially cultivated in Burgundy. Whatever the true genealogy of the cultivar, Marechal Foch is often considered to possess Burgundian characteristics, having a vibrant, deep purple color, with a light-medium structure and dark berry fruit characteristics. Some tasters find the similarities to Burgundy Pinot Noir become more pronounced with age. Perhaps an argument for why the grape clings to a few acres in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

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