Vidal Blanc

Vidal Blanc has proven to be amongst the versatile varietals in North American viticulture. In Canadian vineyards, this hybrid has excelled in the production of Ice Wine, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. This has earned Vidal superior status among all other French-American hybrids. In Canada’s fledgling, quality wine-classification system, the Vintner’s Quality Alliance (VQA), it is the only hybrid entitled to the highest category of quality. This is the Designated Viticultural Area (DVA) status. However, this honor is reserved for its Ice Wine incarnation only. The grape is well suited to cold climates, due to its mid-season ripening and its ability to produce good crops from secondary buds, in the event of late spring frosts. This makes Vidal tough enough to withstand the cold of regions like the Finger Lakes of New York State, many Mid-Western states and the Niagara Peninsula. Vidal is one of the commercially-successful hybrid products of prolific French (Bordeaux) hybridizer Albert Seibel (1844-1936). Its parents are the ubiquitous vinifera Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano), and early French American hybrid Rayon d’Or. Vidal’s high, natural acidity makes it suitable for a wide range of styles, from light and crisp with racy acid, to slightly off-dry, to Ice Wine. In Ice Wines, Vidal’s acidity makes a natural partner for anything from slight to unctuous residual sugar. The grape produces large clusters of thick-skinned berries, and ultimately, wines with fruity floral charcteristics.