Vidal is an French-American hybrid variety of white wine grape, a cross of Ugni Blanc and Rayon d’Or (Seibel 4986). It is well suited to icewines because it produces high sugar levels in cold climates while maintaining good acid levels.
The variety was developed in the 1930s by French breeder Jean Louis Vidal, hence the name. His primary goal in developing the variety was to produce vines suitable for the production of Cognac in the Charente region of France. Today, however, because of the French prejudice against hybrids, I don’t believe any is grown there today. Due to its winter hardiness, this grape variety is cultivated most extensively in Canada and in the north-eastern United States. It is somewhat resistant to powdery mildew.
Due to its high acidity and fruitiness, it is particularly suited to sweeter, dessert wines. In particular, because of the tough outer skin of the fruit, it is well adapted for the production of icewine, especially in Ontario and New York.
Inniskillin is one the world’s best producers of icewine. They have two wineries, one in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario and one in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. This particular wine is from Niagara. The winery produces several different icewines from different grape varieties. Vidal is one of the easier and most consistent producers.
Like the best icewines, it was harvested at the pinnacle of Canada’s crisp winter, the grapes are naturally frozen on the vine and picked when the temperature drops below -10º . Only a few drops of luscious nectar can be extracted from each bunch. The result is one of the most expensive and sought after wines in the world.
The Inniskillin 2006 Vidal Icewine is a deep golden honey color exhibiting aromas of grapefruit, apricot, persimmon, hay, mesquite honey, and wood smoke. It’s full-bodied but not heavy, with nice crisp acidity and a medium length finish. Very good.
Appellation: VQA Niagara Peninsula
Blend: 100% Vidal
Cases Produced: ???
Bottle Size: 375ml
Suggested Retail Price: $77