Maker: Sandhill Crane Vineyards, Jackson, Michigan, USA.
Grape: Vidal Blanc
Place of origin: Michigan (At least 75% Michigan Vidal by law)
Price: $16 (current vintage on website)
Appearance: Pale yellow.
Nose: Peach, mango, papaya, wet limestone.
Palate: Full-bodied. Like pineapple syrup and mango nectar, but not cloying.
Finish: Clean, slightly tangy.
Parting words: Vidal is one of the best-known hybrid grape varieities in this part of the world. It’s most famous for its use in Canadian Ice wine, and is grown as far north as Nova Scotia and Sweden for that purpose. As you might have guessed from that last sentence, Vidal is cold-hardy and was able to produce good wine like this even in a Polar Vortex year like 2014. It’s grown fairly widely in Michigan, often for use in dessert wines, but not always, as in this case.
This Sandhill Crane Vidal is heavy on tropical fruit, but not overly sweet, which makes for nice porch sipping and pairs well with pork and chicken. $16 is a fair price, but much more would be pushing it for a non-AVA hybrid wine, even one of this quality. 2014 Sandhill Crane Vidal Blanc is recommended.