A Blue-Black Wine Grape
Similar Varieties: DeChaunac, Frontenac, Baco
Usage Notes -- Wine
Marechal Foch - (Kuhlman 188-2)
Origin: French hybrid, M 44-53 x Goldriesling; Kuhlmann, 1920.
Uses: Red and rosé wine.
Very good quality red wines have been made from Foch at wineries in Michigan and elsewhere. This variety is versatile, lending itself to both reds and rosés wines.
Foch is early-ripening and one of the hardiest French hybrids. Widely grown commercially. Birds prefer small, black, early grapes, so Marechal Foch is particularly attractive to them. As its clusters are relatively small, it should not be pruned severely.
Quite resistant to common grape diseases; slight susceptibility to both powdery and downy mildews.
Red winemaking information .....
Harvest Notes --
Click here for a ripening summary and grape prices for the whole vineyard .....
Variety Info -- Marechal Foch (pronounced "mar-esh-shall-fosh"), is an inter-specific red wine grape variety. It was named after the French marshal Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929), who played an important role in the negotiation of the armistice terms during the closing of the First World War.
It was developed in Alsace, France by grape hybridizer Eugene Kuhlmann. Some believe it to be a cross of Goldriesling (itself an intra-specific cross of Riesling and Courtiller Musque) with a Vitis riparia - Vitis rupestris cross. Others contend that its pedigree is uncertain and may contain the grape variety Oberlin 595.
It ripens early, is cold-hardy, is resistant to fungal diseases, but because of its small berry size is prone to bird injury.
The quality of wine produced by Marechal Foch vines is highly dependent upon vine age, and the "foxy" character associated with new-world hybrid varietals is much reduced in examples made with fruit picked from older vines.
Marechal Foch is used to make a variety of styles of wine, ranging from a light red wine similar to Beaujolais, to more extracted wines with intense dark "inky" purple colour and unique varietal character, to sweet, fortified, port-style wines. Wines made from Marechal Foch tend to have strong acidity, aromas of black fruits and, in some cases, toasted wheat, mocha, fresh coffee, bitter chocolate, vanilla bean, and musk. In the darker variants of the wine a strong gamey nose is also often described.
Some tasters find that similarities to Burgundy Pinot Noir become more pronounced with age.
In the international wine world, red hybrids such as Baco Noir and Maréchal Foch have the appeal of a tag-team wrestling bout.
They are the blue-collar grapes, the early-ripening, winter-hardy, heavy-bearing hybrids that lack the finesse, the breed and the delicate dispositions of Old Europe's noble vinifera varieties. (You know these as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot et al.)
Yet the contemporary Canadian wine industry owes Baco and Foch more than a debt of gratitude because they replaced the unlamented Concord and other labrusca varieties that made our wines undrinkable. And today producers such as Henry of Pelham, Malivoire, Quails' Gate and Summerhill have produced cult wines of these trailer park varieties that cost as much as their continental cousins.
Where are the Foch vines located in the vineyard?
- Rows 42 to 46
Each row has about 50 vines.
The Foch growing in our vineyard has performed very well over the years and it is one of our favorite red wine grapes.
Links & Resources
Where can I Purchase Foch Wine?
Frontenac is often used in commercial red blends.
"Simply Red" from St. Julien Winery in Michigan is a typical red blend of this style.
Red blends can be usually purchased in Michigan from local wine shops and grocery stores.