When I first met Douglas Backus (who grew these grapes), he was so excited we were taking his hybrid grapes seriously. He and I realized we both took the same agriculture courses at the University of Guelph (many, many years apart).
Maréchal Foch is a hybrid vine with European and native North American parents. Its mixed ancestry gives it resistance to the cold and diseases of North America, with a nod to the old world flavours we know and love.
I want to say we got lucky with hybrid grapes, but we really didn't. Douglas saw the beauty in these varieties, long after they fell out of fashion. He refused to pull them out of the ground, even when our government offered him money to do so, knowing how beautiful they could one day become.
Thank you Douglas, for your patience and prescience. And for allowing us to work with the special fruit you’ve poured your life into keeping around.