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Baco Noir is a hybrid red wine grape created at the beginning of the 20th century by French hybridizer, Francois Baco. It is a crossing Folle blanche (a white wine grape from France) and an a mystery red wine grape of the Vitis riparia variety found in North America. It is possible that genetic mapping will eventually bring the origins of this mystery variety to light. 

The grape produces rich, highly pigmented red wines with pronounced acidity. Baco Noir based wines are capable of moderate to long term aging and, in many cases, require some time in the cellar, in order to soften the wine's aggressive acidity. Aromas of the wine are pleasantly rustic and smoky.

Ontario’s Henry of Pelham has been particularly successful making and marketing wines with Baco Noir, despite the fact that under VQA law, the grape is relegated to Tier 2 status – meaning wines made from the grape may only list "product of Ontario" on the label rather than any specific appellation. Which begs the question; is terroir character limited to Vitis vinifera?

"Abandoned by the French, you seem to have found a home in some chilly vineyards. Tannic muscle is your strength. A lumberjack of vines, you are woodsy and full framed. Your hardworking nature is praiseworthy and your ability to withstand the cold is a godsend for producers in Canada and in northern U.S. states."

– Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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