Bay of Fundy tides called us to Nova Scotia, but we also wished 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 are 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 such a bad wine growing area to be compared with, 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. Not heard about the majority 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 1st city where we stopped for the night. The innkeeper at our B&B endorsed a Domaine de Grand Pre L’Acadie Blanc. We had it with an excellent seafood dinner overlooking the town quay. Great dinner. Great wine!
Almost all of the white wines we tried go well with the wonderful sea food you’ll find… I mean it's 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 got a long convention for growing grapes going back to the1600s.
The wine growing areas are in protected valleys and on sheltered hillsides. They’re 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 Bay of Fundy tides 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 cafe.
We also tasted at Sainte-Famille Wines; a small family run winery with good wines and a nice tiny present shop. There are 2 other wineries in the area.
The LaHave River Valley district is on the Southern Shores with a couple of wineries near Lunenburg. There's also a little district in the Bear Stream Valley on the South West Coast. You may visit the Wines of Nova Scotia web site for more in-depth info.
One or two of these wineries make great Ice Wines. As you can imagine, the climate is good for this type of wine too.
One word of advice for wine lovers… Some of the wineries only make fruit wines like berry wine, so if you are wanting wine from grapes, check first… Particularly if there's a tasting charge. We don't have anything 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 Bay of Fundy trip. We discovered some new favorites to share with our wine loving mates at home. Go taste some for yourself and see what you believe.