Bay of Fundy tides called us to Nova Scotia, but we also wanted to try Nova Scotia Wines. Would it come as a surprise to you that there are six distinct wine growing regions in Nova Scotia?
We’re not talking Italy or California, though its longitude of 44 degrees north is about the same as Bordeaux, France which is also 44 degrees north. Not a bad wine growing area to be compared to, eh?… so why not wines in Nova Scotia?
They produce grapes that grow well in this maritime climate. Marechal Foch, DeChaunac, Baco Noir, Leon Millot, Seyval Blanc and L’Acadie Blanc. Never heard of most of those varietals? Neither had we until we visited and tasted. They also grow nice Muscats, Chardonnays, and Pinot Noirs.
Our first introduction to Nova Scotia wines came in Lunenburg, the first town where we stopped for the night. The innkeeper at our B&B recommended a Domaine de Grand Pre L’Acadie Blanc. We had it with a wonderful seafood dinner overlooking the town wharf. Great dinner. Great wine!
Most of the white wines we tried go well with the wonderful sea food you’ll find. I mean it is a maritime provence, right? That gives it a moderate climate and good seafood. Nova Scotia is in one of the cooler climate ranges for growing wine grapes, but it has a long tradition for growing grapes going back to the 1600s.
The wine growing areas are in protected valleys and on sheltered hillsides. They are suited to growing cool climate grapes thanks to the long fall season and to the temperature moderating maritime influence.
The wine growing district of the Malagash Penninsula is in northeast Nova Scotia where you’ll find Jost Vineyards.
The tides of the Bay of Fundy had us spending a few days in the Annapolis Valley, so we tasted at Domaine de Grand Pre. Grand Pre is the oldest operating vineyard in Nova Scotia. They have a great tasting room and a nice restaurant.
We also tasted at Sainte-Famille Wines; a small family run winery with good wines and a nice little gift shop. There are a couple of other wineries in the area.
The LaHave River Valley district is on the Southern Shores with a couple of wineries near Lunenburg. There is also a small district in the Bear River Valley on the South West Coast. You can visit the Wines of Nova Scotia website for more information.
Several of these wineries make great Ice Wines. As you can imagine, the climate is good for this style of wine too.
One word of warning for wine lovers: Some of the wineries only make fruit wines like berry wine, so if you’re wanting wine from grapes, check first,especially if there is a tasting fee. We have nothing against fruit wines, but you have to know what you’re getting into.
We found tasting Nova Scotia wines was a great addition to the whole trip. We discovered some new favorites to share with our wine loving buddies at home. Go taste some for yourself and see what you think.
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North American Wine Routes: A Travel Guide to Wines and Vines, from Napa to Nova Scotia
Indulge your love of wine and tour the vineyards of North America with this guide to 40 separate wine routes found in four major geographic regions: the Western Region (California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia); the Rocky Mountain Region (Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado); the Central Region (Texas, Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan); and the Eastern Region (North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, Mid-Atlantic and New England states, New York, Ontario, and Nova Scotia). This beautifully photographed compilation will allow you to discover the unique agricultural qualities of each region, learn what kinds of grapes grow there, and understand the intricacies of the local wines. You’ll also find: Detailed maps of each route with icons indicating vineyard accommodations, including picnic facilities, restaurants, hotels, and family friendly spots Vineyard addresses, phone numbers, and websites Lists of additional websites to assist in travel planning Pairing tips and snippets on viniculture What to expect at a tasting, how to buy direct, and an insider’s grasp on wine speak and wine labels An index to help readers find information on the regions, labels, and their favorite types of wine Get set to expand your palate with wines ranging from Quebec’s ice cider to New York State’s new biodynamic wines. Whether you have an extensive knowledge of the wine world or are experiencing it for the first time, you’ll enjoy this robust flavoring of the tours North America has to offer.