Vidal Blanc, is a more unusual variety and one most people will not have heard of. It is more commonly just referred to as ‘Vidal’. It is a hybrid grape variety. Ugni Blanc is the Vitis vinifera parent and the other is another hybrid called Seibel 4986.
Vidal is extremely hardy with strong wood meaning it can survive in very cold conditions. It produces a lot of sugar with equally high acidity making it perfect for sweet wine production.
Pineapple, grapefruit and apricot are common fruit flavours in this variety with strong honey notes in ice wine.
Hybrid varieties are rarely grown in Europe because of strict rules therefore, Vidal Blanc is more commonly seen in the USA and Canada. Canada has the largest plantings particularly in the region of Ontario, especially in the more famous Niagara Peninsula. In America, the New York State produces some excellent ice wines.