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Vidal Blanc

The white grape variety (also Vidal, Vidal 256) is an interspecific new variety between St. Émilion (Trebbiano Toscano) x Seibel 4986 (Rayon d'Or). It contains genes from Vitis lincecumii, Vitis rupestris and Vitis vinifera. The hybrid was crossed in France in the 1930s by Jean-Louis Vidal (1880-1976), who created it specifically for the production of cognac. It was a partner of the new varieties Felicia and Villaris. The medium-maturing vine is resistant to frost and downy mildew, but susceptible to powdery mildew, botrytis and anthracnose. It yields acidic, fruity white wines with aromas of grapefruit and currants that are suitable for sparkling wines, sweet wines and distillation. The variety is hardly grown in France anymore, but became successful overseas. It was introduced to Canada in the 1940s by the oenologist Adhémar de Chaunac (*1896). It is used in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec, mainly for ice wines, and occupies 59 hectares. In the USA, it occupies 66 hectares in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York and Virginia. Other populations exist in China (1,500 ha), Sweden, South Africa (10 ha) and Switzerland (1 ha). In 2016, a total of 1,936 hectares of vineyards were designated (Kym Anderson).

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