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 Vidal Blanc is a late ripening white grape. It is moderately hardy with large compact clusters. 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, many Mid-Western states and the Niagara Peninsula.

This variety of grape was first developed in France about a century ago by hybridizer Albert Seibel (1844-1936). Its parents are the vinifera Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano) and early French American hybrid Rayon d’Or (Seibel 4986). Vidal is a very commercially-successful hybrid product.

Vidal’s high, natural acidity makes it suitable for a wide range of styles. Wine from Vidal Blanc grapes is finished in several different styles from dry wine aged in or without oak to a slightly sweet and fruity with a 2-3% residual sugar finishes to late harvest ice-wine. Due to its late ripening, it is favored for Ice Wines. Vidal’s acidity makes a natural partner for anything from slight to high residual sugar. The grape produces large clusters of thick-skinned berries, and ultimately, wines with fruity floral characteristics. Fresh, it taste like a sunny summer day, a bit like lemonade with bright citrus flavors accented by herbal overtones.  The deer love it and the leaves are yummy, too.

We have a great crop of Vidal this year and even though the late ripening weather has not been great for vintage numbers, we know you can make a super Vidal. Picked late near the end of the harvest season, Vidal can make a wine that is full of fruit with pear, citrus, pineapple flavors and a fresh flowery and sometimes herb garden aroma. Yeast recommendations are 71B-1122 and Cotes De Blanc for gentle fermentations to preserve the fruit.  Lalvin D-47 is another recommendation.

We do not leave it on for an ice wine.  Ice wine grapes are harvested at 20 degrees F and are pressed at cold temperatures. At best our winemakers can make a false late harvest by increasing the sugar to 30 to 40 brix or by freeze concentrating.

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