Maritime province, Nova Scotia, Canada conjures up images of picturesque lighthouses, Peggy’s Cove, Bluenose schooners, and quaint ocean towns, but did you know that Nova Scotia has a long heritage of growing grapes? One of the first areas in North America to grow grapes, Nova Scotia’s history with growing grapes for wine production dates back to the early settlers of the 1600s.
Climate and Terroir are a Treasure in Nova Scotia Wine Country
The Nova Scotia terrior is unique. It is located on one of the cooler climate limits for vine growing. The land and soil has been shaped by the ice age of 2 million years ago, and according to the Wines of Nova Scotia website, the moderating effect of the Atlantic Ocean has formed distinctly different vineyards, unlike anything else in the wine growing world. While grapes have been grown in this area for centuries, it has only been in the last 25 years that the modern wineries have blossomed.
Because of its distinctly different terrior, Nova Scotia wineries are able to produce wonderfully unique wines. Warm summers and the influence of the Atlantic Ocean create perfect growing conditions for sparkling wines. White whites produced in the area are known to be bright, crisp, and aromatic, and while Nova Scotia producers are able to grow common varietals such as Chardonnay and Riesling, they have also had excellent success with hybrids such as L’Acadie Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Vidal and New York Muscat. Red varietals such as Lucie Kuhlmann, Baco Noir, Marechal Foch and Leon Millot grow well in Nova Scotia, and produce smokey, earthy wines that are well-rounded, full-bodied with berry fruit flavours. Winter temperatures also make for ideal growing conditions for Nova Scotia produced icewines.
Signature Wine of Canada: Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bay
Established in 2012, Tidal Bay is the first wine appellation of Nova Scotia. Unlike other appellations that refer to or are defined by a a geographic region, Tidal Bay refers to Nova Scotia in its entirety. A signature white wine, Tidal Bay is a distinctive wine which reflects the unique terrior, coastal breezes and cooler climate of Nova Scotia. For wines to be labelled with the Tidal Bay designation, they must be produced from specific wine varieties, be 100% Nova Scotia grown, have less than 11% ABV, and reflect the time-honoured Nova Scotia style: lively fresh green fruit, dynamic acidity and characteristic minerality. While all Tidal Bay designated wines must follow these rules, each is slightly unique in their own representation of the Nova Scotia terrior.
List of Wineries in Nova Scotia, Canada
In Nova Scotia there are over 800 acres of vines across seven different regions, with over 70 grape growers tending to them. The area boasts 11 distinct wineries producing premium wines who are beginning to garner international acclaim for their unmistakably different wines.
Annapolis Highland Vineyards
Blomidon Estate Winery
Domaine de Grand Pré
Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards
Sainte Famille Wines