Wines made from hybrid grape varieties - PART 1

Portrait of Nick Borland, wine tour guide
Nick Borland
August 2, 2021

I recently had the opportunity to taste 2 different wines, one red and one white, both made from hybrids. I was reminded how "programmed" and even "stereotyped" our tastes become as these wines expressed quite unusual, but very agreable flavours and are in fact extremely good, well-made wines. Including them in a recent blind tasting (evil I know!) they left the group of amateur tasters quite baffled as to their identities and origins, even though they are both grown locally here in northen Burgundy!

The red wine is made from the Baco Noir grape variety which was developped in 1902 as a phylloxera resistant varietal. It has all but dissappeared from the wine growing scene in France however it appears to be growing in popularity in Canada of all places. It is high in acidity and has tanins of moderate intensity. Typical aromas found in the wines made from the Baco Noir are cherries and raspberries with some lovely hints of coffee and leather. The wine we drunk married perfectly with some delicious mature Compté cheese.

The white wine is made from the Vidal blanc, a hybrid which is considered one of the best French-American varietals. Wines produced from this vine are quite fruity with flavours of exotic fruit such as pineapple, stone fruit such as peaches or citrus such as grapefruit. They can also be made in a variety of styles from off-dry German to barrel-fermented wines with body and more structure. Furthermore its high acidity and fruitiness are also particularly suited to sweet dessert wines.

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Portrait of Nick Borland, wine tour guide

About Nick

My professional experience in wine and tourism has been long and varied and has included, amongst others, working as a wine buyer and sommelier for boutique hotels, putting together wine lists for restaurants, a specialised wine tour guide for luxury hotel barges, a « wine hunter » for Scandinavian importers as well as organising and conducting wine-tastings to Wine Societies in the UK, Germany and Holland. I have also completed my WSET Level 3 and and obtained a certificate in Advanced Tasting Techniques from the Wine University in Suze-la-Rousse". I love sharing my knowledge of wine and spirits with people interested in the topics. I have a passion for how wine is made, from the methods used to the history of the grapes. If you would like to learn more about wine, join me in my Facebook group by signing up below to using the form. I talk about wines, answer all the questions you may have about it growing techniques, history, and even organise webinars for the group members where I talk about wine in a bit more detail. Hope to welcome you there soon!
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