The red grape variety is an interspecific new variety between Millardet et Grasset 101-14 (Riparia x Rupestris) - open flowered x golden Riesling (1). Synonyms are Foch, Kuhlmann 188-2, Marshal Foch and Marshal Fosh. Genes of Vitis riparia, Vitis rupestris and Vitis vinifera are included. The hybrid was crossed at the beginning of the 20th century at the Oberlin Institute in Colmar-Elsass by Eugène Kuhlmann (1858-1932). The vine is named after the French Marshal Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929), who became known as the spiritual father of the armistice conditions dictated to Germany after the First World War in the forest of Compiègne. The name certainly played a revanchist role in the ban on cultivation in Germany in the mid-1930s. With the same parents, the new varieties Etoile I, Etoile II, Léon Millot, Lucie Kuhlmann, Maréchal Joffre and Pinard were created. Maréchal Foch was a crossbreeding partner for the Millot-Foch variety.
The early ripening vine is resistant to frost to minus 32 °Celsius and fungal diseases. It produces colourful, tannin-rich red wines with herbal aromas and slightly smoky notes. It used to be widespread in France on the Loire, but by 2010 the stock has shrunk drastically to just 13 hectares. In Switzerland it is cultivated on 13 hectares. In Germany, too, it has been permitted again since 2008, but in 2010 no stocks have yet been recorded. The variety, which is suitable for cold climates, was introduced to Canada in the 1940s by the wine-growing pioneer Adhémar de Chaunac (*1896), where it occupies 158 hectares. It is also cultivated in the USA in the states of Illinois (32 ha), Iowa (38 ha), New York (58 ha), Oregon and Wisconsin. In 2010, a total of 356 hectares of vineyards were designated (Kym Anderson).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Grape and leaf: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)
Ferdinand Foch: From Johnston, Charles Haven Ladd, Link