Harvest Series 2021: Week 9
With the shift into November bringing cooler weather, there are still a select few grapes hanging out on the vines waiting to reach optimal conditions. Today we'll explore Vidal Blanc (more commonly referred to as simply Vidal). While Vidal is known for producing classic Icewine's, there is more to the grape than just sugar.
Vidal Blanc is a French-Hybrid (like Baco Noir) that is a cross from Ugni blanc and Rayon d'Or. Vidal is an incredibly winter-hardy grape, which is why it thrives so much in Niagara. Vidal Blanc has naturally higher acidity and great potential for producing wines with higher sugars. Vidal Blanc grapes have a very thick skin, that allows them to be harvested earlier for producing dry table wines, or hang longer to produce wines with higher sugars. These thick skins are the key reason why Vidal Blanc is the main grape variety used for producing Icewine. Vidal Blanc is also one of, if not the largest produced grape variety in Ontario (by the tonne, not by volume).
When Vidal Blanc is treated as a table wine, it can be bone dry, to sweet, but all balanced out by high natural acidity. Vidal wines are pure in fruit character, notable apple, peach, citrus and floral characteristics being found on the nose and the palate. Usually having some body and acidity, Vidal wines are incredibly easy drinking and approachable. With so much Vidal being planted for a large Icewine craze in the '90s, many wineries are creating more and more table wines with the grapes as there is plentiful of them, and the vines are already at ideal maturity. Our 20 Bees Growers White is 100% Vidal Blanc, subtly sweet, with gorgeous characteristics of peach, honey, and citrus.
Vidal Icewine is usually lusciously sweet, medium to full in body, and can carry a wide range of flavours. Vidal Icewine is also sometimes aged in oak for a short amount of time, adding to the complexity and depth of the wine. Vidal Icewine classicly has notes of honey, tropical fruits, caramel, and apricots. Our Lakeview Cellars Vidal Icewine is a multi-award winning Vidal Icewine that is a true gem in our portfolio. Perfectly balanced between sugar and acidity, perfect on its own or mixed in your favourite cocktail, our Vidal Icewine is a true representation of the glorious Canadian winters in which the wines are a result.
There is a whole world of wines out there made from Vidal, from lucious Icewines to fun and exciting table wines, go out and grab a bottle to find your new favourite!