Northumberland Shore

Northumberland Shore

45° 43' N


62° 45' W




about this subregion

Nestled in northern Nova Scotia, the Northumberland Shore wine region is a hidden gem bordered by Cape Breton Island to the east and the Bay of Fundy and the Annapolis Valley to the south. Its unique climate and geography make it a distinctive destination for wine enthusiasts.

The region experiences a warm summer and autumn, basking in a sun-kissed ambiance that benefits the vineyards. However, its winters tend to linger a little longer compared to neighboring regions, causing spring to arrive with a touch of tardiness. Nevertheless, this characteristic delay can lend a certain charm to the region's wines, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and develop complex flavors.

One of the region's intriguing features is its relatively low precipitation compared to other parts of the province. This lower moisture content can be a boon for grape growers, as it reduces the risk of diseases and ensures grapevines thrive in a favorable environment.

When it comes to soil, this wine region offers a diverse tapestry. Low limestone cliffs, clayey slopes, sandy bays, and rocky headlands define the landscape, providing a rich and varied terroir for vine cultivation. These distinct soil profiles contribute to the unique character of the wines produced here, making them a testament to the region's geographical diversity.

In summary, this northern Nova Scotia wine region offers a captivating blend of climate, geography, and soil that come together to create wines with a sense of place and a taste of the maritime terroir. It's a destination where the vineyards mirror the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.



Vineyard Hectares





Discover Terroir

Nestled in the northern reaches of Nova Scotia, the Northumberland Shore beckons with its harmonious blend of rustic countryside charm and coastal tranquility. Wedged snugly between Cape Breton Island to the east and the Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley to the south, this idyllic region is a veritable sanctuary where land and sea intertwine in perfect harmony.

Picture waking up each morning to the gentle embrace of ocean breezes whispering tales of distant shores. Along the coastline, pristine beaches stretch out in serene invitation, while quaint communities nestled nearby exude a welcoming warmth that reflects the region's hospitable spirit. Beyond being a mere atmospheric delight, the maritime influence enveloping the Northumberland Shore plays a pivotal role in shaping its climate, fostering conditions ideal for nurturing vineyards and producing exceptional wines.

Venture further inland, and you'll find yourself amidst a tapestry of rolling fields and verdant landscapes, where meandering rivers and babbling streams imbue the surroundings with vitality and life. As the seasons shift, the region undergoes a magical transformation, painting the landscape with vibrant hues of autumnal splendor and lush summer greens, offering a haven not only for wine enthusiasts but also for those seeking solace in the embrace of nature.

From the rugged allure of Cape Breton Island to the fertile expanses of the Annapolis Valley and the enigmatic allure of the Bay of Fundy, the Northumberland Shore encompasses a diverse array of landscapes that converge to create a symphony of natural beauty. It is within this mosaic of environments that the wines of the Northumberland Shore find their voice, each bottle bearing the unmistakable imprint of Nova Scotia's innate elegance and charm.

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Nova Scotia, the Northumberland Shore wine region boasts a climate that stands as a testament to nature's benevolence towards viticulture. Embracing the label of a mezzo climate, this enchanting region revels in an abundance of sunshine, outshining its counterparts across Atlantic Canada. With more sunny days gracing its skies than any other part of the region, the Northumberland Shore becomes a veritable paradise for grape cultivation, where the sun's nurturing rays work their magic, coaxing the grapes to ripen to perfection.

Adding to the region's climatic charm is its close proximity to the ocean, which bestows upon it the invaluable gift of a coastal effect. Here, the warm waters of the ocean beaches act as gentle guardians, moderating the whims of weather and extending the growing season with their soothing embrace. This unique marriage of abundant sunshine and the gentle caress of oceanic warmth creates an idyllic setting for vineyards, where a myriad of grape varieties flourish under nature's watchful eye.

It's no wonder then that local vineyards, such as the renowned Jost Vineyards, thrive amidst this climatic paradise. Harnessing the bountiful blessings of the sun and sea, these vineyards produce wines that are a true reflection of the region's natural abundance and beauty. The climate not only serves as a cornerstone of the local wine industry's success but also transforms the Northumberland Shore into a sought-after destination for tourists and oenophiles alike, drawn to its scenic splendor and the promise of exceptional wines awaiting their discovery.

Moreover, the unique climatic conditions of the Northumberland Shore contribute to the region's viticultural diversity. The combination of ample sunshine and maritime influence provides the ideal environment for a wide range of grape varieties to thrive. From aromatic whites like Riesling and Seyval Blanc to bold reds such as Lemberger and Marquette, the Northumberland Shore offers an impressive array of wines that cater to diverse palates.

In essence, the Northumberland Shore wine region is a testament to the harmonious interplay between climate, soil, and geography. It's a place where nature's bounty flourishes, yielding wines of exceptional quality and character that reflect the region's unique terroir. Whether you're a wine enthusiast seeking new and exciting varietals or a traveler in search of scenic beauty and gastronomic delights, the Northumberland Shore offers an unforgettable experience that captivates the senses and leaves a lasting impression.

The Northumberland Shore wine region boasts a rich tapestry of soil types, each playing a crucial role in shaping the unique viticultural landscape of the area:

  1. Low Limestone Cliffs: These soils, found in areas nestled along the region's picturesque coastline, imbue the grapes with a distinctive mineral quality that lends a refreshing crispness to the resulting wines. The limestone content in the soil also helps regulate pH levels, ensuring optimal nutrient uptake by the vines and further enhancing grape quality.
  2. Clayey Slopes: Rolling hills and sloping landscapes dotted with clayey soils characterize certain pockets of the Northumberland Shore. Known for their ability to retain moisture and nutrients, these soils provide a fertile foundation for vine growth, fostering vines with robust vigor. Wines crafted from grapes grown in clayey soil often exhibit greater body and complexity, reflecting the richness of their terroir.
  3. Sandy Bays: Along the region's sandy bays, vineyards thrive in soils renowned for their exceptional drainage properties. The sandy composition encourages vines to develop deep root systems, resulting in grapes that boast concentrated flavors and vibrant character. Wines originating from sandy soils are prized for their bright and lively profiles, reflecting the unique coastal influence of the area.
  4. Rocky Headlands: Perched atop rocky outcrops and rugged headlands, vineyards grapple with rocky soils that challenge the resilience of the vines. Despite the adversity, these rocky terrains impart a unique stress on the vines, leading to reduced yields but heightened fruit intensity and quality. Wines derived from grapes grown in rocky soils exhibit a robust structure, distinctive minerality, and unparalleled depth of flavor.

Each soil type present in the Northumberland Shore contributes its own distinct characteristics to the grapes, exerting a profound influence on the aromas, flavors, and overall profile of the wines produced in this captivating maritime region.


The Northumberland Shore wine region, known for its unique terroir and climatic conditions, cultivates several grape varieties that thrive in its distinctive environment. This region's most commonly planted grape varieties include two reds: Pinot Noir and Marechal Foch, and two whites: Seyval Blanc and L'Acadie Blanc. Each of these grapes has specific agricultural and climatic requirements that make them well-suited for growth in this region.

  1. Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is a grape variety that requires meticulous attention in the vineyard. It thrives in cooler climates and is sensitive to a wide range of diseases. In the Northumberland Shore region, this grape benefits from the moderating effect of the nearby waters, which ensure a cooler growing season. Its thin skin makes it susceptible to fungal diseases, hence requiring well-drained soils and careful canopy management to ensure adequate air circulation.
  2. Marechal Foch: Marechal Foch is a hardy variety, well-adapted to cooler climates, making it a good fit for the Northumberland Shore region. It is less sensitive to the cold than many other red grape varieties and can withstand harsh winter conditions. This grape prefers well-drained soils and can tolerate a range of soil types, though it flourishes in sandy loam soils. Its resistance to common grape diseases makes it a relatively easier variety to cultivate.
  3. Seyval Blanc: Seyval Blanc, a white grape, is known for its adaptability to cooler climates, making it suitable for the Northumberland Shore. It buds late, reducing the risk of damage from late spring frosts. This variety requires well-drained soils and benefits from moderate sunshine to achieve optimal ripeness. Seyval Blanc is versatile in terms of soil preference but thrives in loamy or sandy soils. Its disease resistance is notable, particularly against downy mildew.
  4. L'Acadie Blanc: L'Acadie Blanc is particularly well-suited to the climatic conditions of the Northumberland Shore. This grape is known for its hardiness in cold weather and its ability to ripen early. It performs well in the region's cooler climate, where the growing season is relatively short. L'Acadie Blanc prefers well-drained soils, especially those rich in organic matter. It shows good resistance to many vineyard diseases, making it a reliable choice for growers in this region.

Each of these grape varieties contributes to the distinct wine profile of the Northumberland Shore, supported by their individual adaptation to the region's unique agricultural and climatic conditions.

The Northumberland Shore wine region, nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Nova Scotia, is celebrated for its unique and diverse wine offerings. This region, benefiting from its coastal climate and fertile soils, produces wines that are not only distinctive but also reflective of the terroir. Among the most common wines from this region are two reds: Pinot Noir and Marechal Foch, and two whites: Seyval Blanc and L'Acadie Blanc. Each of these wines is known for its unique aromatic and flavor profiles that capture the essence of the Northumberland Shore.

  1. Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir from this region typically presents a complex aromatic profile. It often features a blend of red fruit aromas like cherry and raspberry, complemented by subtle earthy and herbal notes. The flavor profile is equally nuanced, with a focus on red fruit flavors, a light to medium body, and a smooth, elegant finish. The cool climate of the Northumberland Shore imparts a distinct freshness and acidity to this wine, making it versatile and food-friendly.
  2. Marechal Foch: Marechal Foch, a robust red wine, is known for its deep, dark color and rich flavor profile. Aromatically, it tends to offer dark fruit notes such as blackberry and plum, often accompanied by hints of chocolate and coffee. On the palate, Marechal Foch is full-bodied with a firm structure, showcasing flavors of dark fruits and a noticeable earthiness. This wine is well-suited to aging, during which its flavors continue to evolve and deepen.
  3. Seyval Blanc: Seyval Blanc is a white wine that typically exhibits a crisp, refreshing character. Aromatically, it often presents citrus and green apple notes, along with subtle floral undertones. The flavor profile of Seyval Blanc is marked by its bright acidity and light body, featuring citrus and green fruit flavors with a clean, refreshing finish. This wine's lively acidity makes it an excellent companion to seafood and lighter fare.
  4. L'Acadie Blanc: L'Acadie Blanc is another popular white wine from the Northumberland Shore, renowned for its balance and versatility. Aromatically, it offers a mix of citrus, apple, and sometimes tropical fruit notes, with a hint of minerality. On the palate, L'Acadie Blanc is typically medium-bodied, balancing fruit flavors with a crisp acidity and a subtle creamy texture. This wine pairs well with a variety of dishes, reflecting the diverse culinary landscape of Nova Scotia.

These wines, each with their distinct profiles, are a testament to the rich winemaking tradition and the unique climatic conditions of the Northumberland Shore wine region. They offer a glimpse into the diverse and rich palette of flavors that Nova Scotia's wines have to offer.