Marechal Foch is a type of red grape that grows the best in the colder regions of the world. Named after a famous French general of WWI, it was born in France and developed during the second half of the 20th century. The variety tends to have high yields. Quite a few wine enthusiasts prefer it to the Burgundy red grape, the world famous Pinot Noir.
This purple skinned French hybrid grape produces sturdy, flavourful and age worthy red wines and can be grown in cooler climates of Europe and the Americas. The grape ripens early and is ready to be picked eighty to ninety days after bud break. It’s also able to withstand freezing temperatures of 0° C for long periods of time, which is quite unique among grapes that usually prefer warm and humid climates.
Because the grapes are picked early, they usually don’t have enough sugar content, which is why the winemakers choose to add sugar before fermentation. This also means that there will be more acidity, and that's another reason for winemakers to add a sugar and water mixture, to bring the acid volume to the preferred 0.6%-0.9%.
Many notable Foch wines are made here in Canada! For instance, the Ontario wineries make it in a dry, oak style. A young Marechal Foch will often display a slightly spicy black cherry aroma, sometimes with a bit of earthiness. While some may not immediately take to these aromas, others prefer the rustic nature and it’s often a pleasant change from the fruitiness and sweetness that a lot of the wines these days focus on.
The fruit component of the wine will come through as bright and well toned red berries, instead of any sort of under ripeness. The mouth feel will be tart and alive.
It’s definitely worth a try, especially if you are pairing it with a meal of rich meats and roasted vegetables.
If you want to give it a shot, but a bottle of Marechal Foch at ZYN in Calgary, Alberta, Canada or shop online at ZYN.ca!