Personally, I make Vidal the Canadian way and that is on the rocks. Vidal is the most popular ice wine grape used in Canada. It has a nice thick skin making it ideal for ice wine production. Ice wine is incredibly difficult to make. When I say I make ice wine, I mean I make it in small trial batches and don’t sell it commercially. Given how challenging it is to make, it is a wine I am still learning to make in my young winemaking career.
For those that don’t know what ice wine is, normally you harvest grapes in the fall. Here in Canada, that is generally in October. However, with ice wine, you keep the grapes on the vine until they freeze. Certain temperature conditions have to be met which generally comes in December. The grapes are picked frozen and pressed. Given the grapes are frozen, when they are pressed, very little juice is produced. The juice is also highly concentrated. This highly concentrated juice is made into wine thus resulting in the desert style of wine popular around the world.
Of course, Vidal doesn’t have to be picked frozen and can also be made as a standard wine. As for how Vidal tastes when made as a dry wine. A conversation I had with a winemaker pretty much sums it up.
Random Winemaker: “What white grapes do you grow?” (Now that I think about it, every time I have had to make small talk with a winemaker they always open up with that question.) Either way, he asked what I grow.
Me: “Seyval Blanc, L’Acadie Blanc, Vidal”
Random Winemaker: “Vidal, you mean Pinot Grigio?”
When made as a dry wine, Vidal is just that, a light low bodied wine that is easy to drink.