Nova Scotia might not be the first wine region that comes to mind, but there are very exciting things happening in the province which are worth knowing. I recently moved into this province, so I’d like to share a couple of highlights I have so far.

Nova Scotia is one of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. Its name comes from Latin and means “New Scotland” (1). It’s in the second smallest province of Canada, which is also the second most densely populated province (2). In this peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean the extreme temperatures of both summer and winter are moderated (3).

One very interesting piece of information is the latitude of Nova Scotia. The 45th parallel north passes from Nova Scotia. This is the same latitude which also passes from some wine growing regions in Europe; Aquitaine (from north of Bordeaux) and Côtes du Rhône in France, Piedmont (from south of Turin) and Veneto (from South of Rovigo) in Italy, and finally from Oregon in USA (4).

The commercial wine industry in Nova Scotia started in the early 1980s (5), although there is a longer history of grape growing dating back to 1600s (6). In Nova Scotia, the main grape varieties produced in the region are hybrids, which are widely known by the local market. Tidal Bay is a type of white wine, which has been produced since 2010 with the idea of creating an appellation that would express the region’s characteristics with 100% white grapes of the region. However, there is also a tendency to start to produce Vitis vinifera, and there are already successful results of this tendency with the grapes such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and some others. Another very successful wine style in the province is the sparkling wines made with traditional method. Ice wine is also being produced in the region, with a perfect balance thanks to the cool climate grapes which contain high acidity. Red, rosé and orange wines are also produced, both with local hybrid and V. vinifera grapes.

Best way to chill your sparkling wine glasses in Nova Scotian winter!

In Nova Scotia, as in the case of the other Canadian provinces, except Alberta, alcohol sales are under the control of provincial liquor monopolies. This means you can buy wine (and alcohol in general) only from the approved liquor stores. For the local wines, you can buy them directly from the wineries, and make wine tastings in place.

Nova Scotia creates curiosity around its wines, as well its cuisine. Delicious local wines grown thanks to favourable conditions created by the Atlantic Ocean pairs very well with its seafood – salmon, lobsters, oysters, scallops… Wine and seafood lovers’ heaven.

This was a brief introduction to Nova Scotia wine region, its different styles of wines, unique grape varieties, wineries, and cuisine. Nova Scotia has a lot to offer, and is excitingly waiting for wine lovers to put it in their wish list of wine regions to be visited.



All images © 2017 by Wines of Nesli. All rights reserved.


  1. Nova Scotia., updated December 16,2011. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  2. Statistics Canada. 2017. Nova Scotia [Province] and Canada [Country](table). Census Profile. 2016 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2016001. Ottawa. Released February 8, 2017.  Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  3. “The Climate of Nova Scotia”. The Climates of Canada. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on April 19, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  4. The 45th Parallel., 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  5. Peter, M. Pinhey, C. (2016). The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing.
  6. Nova Scotia Wine Country, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2017.

Categories: Wine Stories, Wines


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