Vidal Blanc is Ontario’s most planted white variety mostly due to its thick skin and ability to thrive in cool climates. Vidal is a hybrid grape originally developed in the 1930’s by Jean Louis Vidal for cognac production. It is a crossing of the Vitis Vinifera grape Ugni Blanc and the hybrid varietal Rayon d’Or. Vidal made its way to Canada in the 1940s.
Vidal is a versatile grape and can be very different depending on the growing season and winemaking style. It can produce wines from dry to sweet or in between, it can be oak aged, blended with other varietals or left on the vine for dessert wines such as Late Harvest and Icewine. Due to this versatility in winemaking styles, it is difficult to pinpoint a signature tasting note. However, many typically have bright, pure fruit flavours of grapefruit, pineapple, and pear with some floral attributes. Due to the grape’s naturally high acidity winemakers often leave some residual sugar to help balance the flavours. In Ontario Vidal is commonly used for Icewine production where it is favoured due to its concentrated flavour profile of candied fruits, honey, citrus, lychee, and honeysuckle.
Wines produced from this variety: