Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

45° 12' 60" N

LATITUDE

62° 41' 59" W

LONGITUDE

4

subregions

about this region

Nova Scotia is a peninsula and Canada’s most eastern Maritime province.

The Nova Scotia wine region in Canada may be small, but it's a thriving and exciting industry on the rise. As climate change and rising temperatures make the region's weather more suitable for grape growing, the province's wine industry is growing rapidly, with four distinct sub-regions: Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton, South Shore, and Northumberland Shore.

Despite being a relatively young industry, the Nova Scotia wine industry is already making waves, with wine sales reaching $180.6 million per capita in the 2020-2021 season, ranking sixth among Canadian provinces. As the industry continues to expand, winemakers in Nova Scotia are exploring unique grape varietals, experimenting with new techniques and methods, and winning recognition for their high-quality and delicious wines.

In addition to its economic impact, the Nova Scotia wine industry is also attracting tourists to the region with wine tastings, vineyard tours, and events showcasing the province's beautiful landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. As the province's wine industry continues to thrive, it promises to be an exciting and unique addition to Canada's wine scene.

Associations

486

Vineyard Hectares

18

WINERIES

-

growing degree days

Discover Terroir

Nestled in the eastern part of Canada, Nova Scotia's wine region is a picturesque haven of natural beauty, where vineyards flourish amidst a captivating landscape of undulating hills, breathtaking coastal vistas, and fertile valleys. This idyllic setting owes its distinct character to the region's maritime climate, which plays a vital role in nurturing a diverse array of grape varieties and fostering a thriving vinicultural community.

Within Nova Scotia's wine region, enthusiasts will encounter a rich tapestry of grape varieties that reflect the unique terroir of the area. Notable varietals such as L'Acadie Blanc, Geisenheim 318, Vidal Blanc, Baco Noir, Lucie Kuhlmann, and Marechal Foch thrive in the region's cool climate, benefiting from the moderating influence of the nearby Atlantic Ocean.

The undulating hills and fertile valleys of Nova Scotia create the perfect conditions for grapevines to thrive, allowing each varietal to express its unique characteristics and flavors. From crisp and refreshing white wines to bold and flavorful reds, Nova Scotia offers a diverse range of choices to suit every palate.

For enthusiasts of white wines, Nova Scotia's cool climate is ideal for producing refreshing and aromatic varietals such as L'Acadie Blanc and Vidal Blanc. These wines boast vibrant acidity, delicate floral aromas, and bright fruit flavors, making them perfect companions for seafood dishes or leisurely sipping on a warm summer day.

On the other hand, Nova Scotia's red wines are bold, flavorful, and full-bodied, showcasing the region's commitment to quality and innovation. Varietals like Baco Noir, Lucie Kuhlmann, and Marechal Foch offer rich and complex flavors of dark berries, earth, and spice, with firm tannins and a lingering finish that leave a lasting impression.

The wine culture in Nova Scotia beautifully harmonizes its diverse landscape with a range of grape varieties, resulting in a dynamic and thriving wine scene that garners recognition and acclaim both nationally and globally. From its stunning coastal vineyards to its award-winning wineries, Nova Scotia's wine region invites enthusiasts to explore and experience the rich tapestry of flavors, aromas, and terroir that make it truly unique. As the region continues to evolve and innovate, it solidifies its place as a world-class destination for wine lovers seeking unforgettable experiences and exceptional wines.

The climate of Nova Scotia's wine region is a delicate symphony conducted by the Atlantic Ocean's influence. This maritime climate is marked by its cool and temperate characteristics, creating a unique and intriguing environment for grape cultivation.

The Atlantic Ocean, with its vast expanse of cool waters, acts as a natural air conditioner for the region. It imparts a moderating effect, preventing extreme temperature fluctuations. Summers are mild, with warm days and cool nights, ideal for the slow ripening of grapes. This gradual maturation allows the grapes to develop complexity and retain vibrant acidity.

Winters in Nova Scotia are relatively mild compared to other Canadian wine regions, thanks to the ocean's tempering influence. However, the region experiences occasional cold snaps, which can pose challenges for grape growers. To combat this, many vineyards use innovative techniques like burying vines or installing wind machines to protect the vines from frost.

Precipitation is relatively evenly distributed throughout the growing season, ensuring an adequate water supply for the vines. The proximity to the ocean also means that the vineyards benefit from the moderating influence of the ocean, reducing the risk of late spring frosts and early fall freezes.

This maritime climate, with its gentle dance of temperature and moisture, creates an environment where grapevines can thrive, producing wines that are marked by their crisp acidity, balanced flavors, and a unique character that captures the essence of Nova Scotia's coastal beauty. It's a climate that challenges and inspires winemakers, resulting in wines that reflect the maritime soul of this enchanting wine region.

In the picturesque Nova Scotia wine region, the diversity of soils plays a crucial role in shaping the distinctive character of its wines. Here, we explore the various types of soils that contribute to the region's viticultural tapestry:

  1. Granite Soils: Granite, with its coarse texture and excellent drainage properties, is found in several vineyard sites across Nova Scotia. This well-draining soil is particularly well-suited for grapevines as it encourages deep root growth, leading to vines that are resilient and capable of expressing complex mineral nuances in the resulting wines.
  2. Sandy Loam Soils: Sandy loam soils are prevalent in many parts of the region. These soils offer good drainage while retaining essential moisture and nutrients. They provide a balanced environment for grapevines to flourish, resulting in wines that showcase a harmonious blend of fruitiness and minerality.
  3. Clay Soils: In some vineyard pockets, clay soils prevail. These soils have high water retention capabilities, which can be advantageous during drier periods. Clay soils contribute to wines with notable structure and depth, often enhancing the aging potential of certain grape varieties.
  4. Schist Soils: Schist, a metamorphic rock, is found in select areas of Nova Scotia's wine region. This unique soil type imparts distinct mineral characteristics to the grapes, contributing to wines with a pronounced sense of place and a captivating, mineral-driven quality.
  5. Limestone Soils: Limestone, prized in winemaking for its ability to regulate acidity, is found in isolated patches. Vines planted in limestone-rich soils benefit from the natural buffering effect, resulting in wines that exhibit bright acidity and a crisp, refreshing finish.

Each of these soil types, intertwined with the region's maritime climate, adds layers of complexity to Nova Scotia's wines. Winemakers skillfully navigate this diversity to craft wines that reflect the unique terroir of the region, making Nova Scotia a fascinating and burgeoning destination for wine enthusiasts.

Discover

Nova Scotia's winemaking is distinguished by its unique climate and diverse soil conditions, both of which play a pivotal role in the cultivation of various grape varieties. This region's vineyards are typically characterized by resilient grape varieties that can endure the variable climate and terrain.

  1. L'Acadie Blanc: This grape is hardy, early-ripening, and disease-resistant. It demands careful planning and management due to Nova Scotia's diverse climate, which varies based on latitude, prevailing winds, topography, and proximity to water. The grape benefits from the province's frost-free period and requires good internal drainage in the soil​​​​.
  2. Geisenheim 318: Moderately winter-hardy, this grape is susceptible to leaf burn from copper-containing sprays and diseases like Powdery Mildew. It usually ripens by late September in Nova Scotia. The variety requires a suitable frost-free period and benefits from locations with adequate heat unit accumulation and well-drained soil​​​​.
  3. Vidal Blanc: As a late-ripening varietal with moderate winter hardiness, Vidal Blanc thrives in well-drained soils and benefits from the climatic conditions of Nova Scotia, particularly the length and intensity of the growing season and the amount of rainfall and sunshine​​​​.
  4. Baco Noir: This variety's success hinges on the microclimate and soil conditions of the vineyard. It requires a frost-free growing period and a site with good air drainage and protection from strong winds. The soil should be well-drained and offer sufficient rooting depth​​​​.
  5. Lucie Kuhlmann: It is an early-ripening variety and requires a growing season that is sufficiently long to prevent damage to the fruit and vines. The variety also demands a site with well-drained soil and adequate heat unit accumulation​​​​.
  6. Marechal Foch: This grape variety is hardy and requires a site with a suitable frost-free period, adequate heat unit accumulation, and well-drained soil. The variety's success also depends on the vineyard's location, particularly its exposure to sunlight and protection from extreme winter temperatures​​​​.

In conclusion, the successful cultivation of these grape varieties in Nova Scotia hinges on a confluence of factors including climate, soil conditions, and vineyard site selection. Each variety has its unique requirements, but all benefit from the region's diverse and challenging growing conditions.

Nova Scotia, nestled along Canada's east coast, is swiftly gaining recognition in the Canadian wine industry, propelled by the excellence of its signature wines. Let's explore the distinct profiles of these two exceptional varietals:

  1. Marechal Foch: Marechal Foch wines from Nova Scotia stand as a testament to the province's winemaking prowess, boasting bold and captivating aromas that tantalize the senses. Dark berries, earth, and spice intertwine to create a complex bouquet that hints at the wine's depth and intensity. On the palate, Marechal Foch wines reveal full-bodied flavors of dark fruit, with notes of chocolate, tobacco, and black pepper adding layers of richness and complexity. Firm tannins provide structure and depth, while a lingering finish leaves a lasting impression, inviting contemplation and appreciation.
  2. L'Acadie Blanc: Nova Scotia's L'Acadie Blanc embodies the essence of the province's coastal terroir, offering a refreshing and vibrant expression of the region's winemaking heritage. Citrus aromas mingle with delicate floral hints, evoking images of sun-kissed orchards and blossoming fields. On the palate, L'Acadie Blanc delights with flavors of pear, peach, and melon, showcasing the bright and fruity characteristics of the varietal. Crisp acidity and a refreshing minerality impart freshness and vitality, making it an ideal companion for seafood dishes or a leisurely summer sip on a warm afternoon.

As Nova Scotia continues to carve out its place in the Canadian wine landscape, these signature wines serve as ambassadors for the region's burgeoning vinicultural scene. With their unique profiles and undeniable quality, Marechal Foch and L'Acadie Blanc exemplify the diversity and excellence of Nova Scotia's winemaking heritage. Whether enjoyed on their own or paired with local cuisine, these wines invite enthusiasts to savor the distinct flavors and aromas of Nova Scotia's coastal terroir, promising an unforgettable journey through the province's rich winemaking traditions.

altitude

30 - 150 m

rain

1,100 - 1,500 mm

soil

Nova Scotia has a great diversity of soils, from granite to limestone soils

top varietal

Marechal Foch and L’Acadie Blanc

History of wine

Nova Scotia's wine industry boasts a rich and storied history, steeped in tradition and innovation, with roots dating back to 1611 when the first grape cultivation took place in the region. Despite this early start, it wasn't until much later that Nova Scotia's winemaking potential began to be fully realized.

In 1980, Nova Scotia celebrated a significant milestone with its first commercial harvest and winery, marking the dawn of a new era for the province's vinicultural landscape. Just five years later, a second winery opened its doors, signaling the beginning of a burgeoning industry that would soon capture the attention of wine enthusiasts across the country.

By 1999, Nova Scotia's wine industry was gaining momentum, with three wineries in operation and a growing reputation for producing quality wines. The establishment of the Wines of Nova Scotia Association, formerly known as the Winery Association of Nova Scotia (WANS), in 2002, further solidified the region's commitment to excellence and collaboration within the industry.

In 2004, the Nova Scotia Wine Standards were introduced, setting rigorous guidelines to ensure the quality and integrity of Nova Scotia wines. This initiative underscored the province's dedication to producing wines of distinction and authenticity, laying the groundwork for future growth and success.

By 2008, Nova Scotia's wine industry had experienced remarkable expansion, with 1,000 planted acres and 22 wineries dotting the picturesque landscape. Over the next decade, the industry continued to thrive, with a focus on grape-based wine production and a steady increase in both acreage and wineries.

Fast forward to 2020, and Nova Scotia boasted 19 wineries dedicated to grape-based wine production, highlighting the region's growing prominence within Canada's wine culture. With 1,200 planted acres and a wine production capacity of 1.9 million litres annually, Nova Scotia's wine industry is poised for continued growth and innovation.

Central to Nova Scotia's winemaking success is its unique climate and growing conditions, which provide an ideal environment for cultivating premium grapes. From the cool maritime breezes that sweep across the vineyards to the fertile soils that nurture the vines, every element of Nova Scotia's terroir contributes to the distinctive character and quality of its wines.

As Nova Scotia's wine industry continues to evolve and thrive, it remains a fascinating and integral part of Canada's rich wine culture, captivating enthusiasts with its unique terroir, innovative winemaking techniques, and commitment to excellence. With each bottle produced, Nova Scotia's winemakers invite wine lovers on a sensory journey through the province's vibrant landscapes and rich vinicultural heritage, promising an unforgettable experience with every sip.

Subregions

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