Moving to Nova Scotia in December, after staying 10 days in Los Angeles with 18 – 20 oC (64 – 68 oF), was not the warmest thing I’ve made so far in my life. But I did. I was welcomed with a nice snow storm and I had my first shoveling experience, just 2 days after my arrival. Well, I can proudly say that I was well prepared for what was waiting me in Canada, but it was still more than I could imagine as a girl rose by the Aegean Sea.
I’ve started my article with the weather condition for a reason, or maybe for more than one reason. Firstly because as soon as people understand that I am not from Canada, they start to talk about the weather and ask me how I am coping with the snow and cold temperatures. Secondly because most of my friends, surprised, asking me if there is wine production here. My both answers are yes, I am coping quite well with the snow; I even like to watch it from the window and there is wine production here; it is very unique! (And no, it’s not only ice wine!)
Before we start to discover more the wines of Nova Scotia, I just want to share some general information that I have been collecting to learn more about the province. The name of Nova Scotia comes from Latin and it means “New Scotland”(1). It is in the second smallest province of Canada, which is also the second most densely populated province(2). It is a peninsula surrounded by Atlantic Ocean, which moderates the extreme temperatures of both summer and winter(3).
More interesting information came out, since I was curious about the latitude of Nova Scotia. The 45th parallel north passes from Nova Scotia, it 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 in America it passes from Oregon in USA(4).
The commercial wine industry in Nova Scotia started in early 1980s(5), as it is stated in the lovely book called “The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada”, 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 is being 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 as Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and some others. It is also very exciting to taste the sparkling wines of the region, made with traditional method. Needless to say, ice wine is also being produced in the region, with a perfect balance thanks to the cool climate grapes which contain high acidity.
When I’ve arrived to the province, all I wanted to do was to start tasting the wines. But probably passing by from a supermarket to get some groceries was a better idea, to be able to eat. And I could also see the wines there, right? So, I’ve walked up and down couple of times, desperately, searching for the wine aisle, but I couldn’t find it. I was very surprised. I was thinking: ‘Where are the wines? Where are the beers? Where are all the alcohols gone?’ Not because I am a fan of buying wines from supermarket (although it is practical and some supermarkets have really rich wine selections), I just wanted to see the wines. But then, I’ve learned the fact: In Nova Scotia, like all the other 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. Of course it didn’t take me so long until I discovered where to buy my wines. Anyway, I don’t want to go very deep on policies and authorities on wine in Canada for now; we can talk about it later.
New in Nova Scotia, I am very curious about the wines of Nova Scotia! I will keep on digging the snow to find new wines and visit wineries and vineyards of the region. Of course, I will pair the local wine with the precious products of Atlantic Ocean; salmon, lobsters, oysters, scallops… all very tasty. I will be sharing them with you so, that we can be New in Nova Scotia together!
All images © 2017 by Nedret Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.
- Nova Scotia. Thoughtco.com, updated December 16,2011. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- 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.
- “The Climate of Nova Scotia”. The Climates of Canada. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on April 19, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- The 45th Parallel. Mnmuseumofthems.org, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- Peter, M. Pinhey, C. (2016). The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing.
- Nova Scotia Wine Country Winesofnovascotia.com, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2017.