Where does the name Devonian Coast come from?
Along with its ties to the Sparkes’ family history in Devonshire, England, the Devonian Coast name finds its origins in the Devonian era, which greatly influenced the terroir of Nova Scotia. The era was first studied by collecting rock samples in Devonshire. Those same samples can be found in the most easterly parts of Canada, and suggests the regions were once joined. A calm, but abundant, marine life marked the period and makes up the bedrock upon which our vineyards are grown.
How many vineyards acres do you have?
Jost Vineyard (Malagash Peninsula) 60 acres
Gaspereau Vineyard (Gaspereau Valley) 50 acres
Mercator Vineyard (Annapolis Valley) 35 acres
How much wine does Devonian Coast Wineries produce?
We produce more than 1,000,000 litres; over 100,000 cases.
When do you harvest the grapes?
Most of our harvest is in September and October. Icewine is harvested anywhere between November and January when the temperature is consistently cold and the grapes are frozen.
How many different kinds of wine does Devonian Coast Wineries produce?
Devonian produces red, white, rosé, fruit, and specialty wines. The specialty wines include a Premium Tawny, Maple Wine and Icewine. The wines vary from blends to vintage varietals, non-oaked and oaked. Devonian produces wines of varying sweetness levels, satisfying every customer taste.
Where were the first vines purchased? What varieties were they?
The first vines came from Agriculture Canada’s Kentville Research Station in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. The first variety was Marechal Foch.
What is the latitude of Devonian Coast Wineries' Vineyards?
We are 45 degrees of latitudes, which puts us on line with the Bordeaux region of France.
Does Devonian Coast Wineries' Vineyards ship to the US or elsewhere outside Canada?
Yes, we can ship anywhere in the world.
Where are Devonian Coast Wineries' Vineyards Wines distributed?
Our wines are sold directly from our winery store and private wine stores. A limited selection are also available at the NSLC (Nova Scotia), ANBL (New Brunswick), PEILCC (Prince Edward Island), LCBO (Ontario) and in NLC (Newfoundland), Manitoba and Alberta.
Do you ship wine?
We ship wine via Canada Post. If you would like us to ship you an order, we require a list of the wines chosen, a complete mailing address, telephone number, and credit card information. We accept Visa or MasterCard. Shipping & handling of your order is based on size and weight. Most cases (based on a case of 12) usually cost between $35- $60.00 to ship across Canada. Once the order is processed, we will email you a copy of your invoice and Canada Post tracking number. The hard copy of the invoice will be contained within your case. Please contact email@example.com.
How much wine can I take across the border?
If you are travelling across the border, you are permitted to take 1.5 litres of duty-free wine. If you exceed this limit, a small fee will apply.
How old is Jost Vineyards?
Jost Vineyards became licensed in 1983 with the store opening in 1986.
Where is the Jost Family from? Who owns Jost now?
The Jost Family is from Gau Algesheim which is a small village in the Rhine Valley of Germany. Jost is now owned by Carl and Donna Sparkes, who bought the winery in 2012.
What is the square footage of the Jost winery?
32,000+ square feet.
Does Jost Vineyards serve food?
Yes, the Seagrape Cafe at Jost Vineyards is open 11am -5pm, 7 days a week. Offering a small, seasonal deli-bar which features Nova Scotia-produced That Dutchman's Cheese, Foxhill Cheese and meats from the Pork Shop.
What are contract growers? What is the acreage under contract?
In order to have enough grapes for wine production, we purchase grapes from private vineyards. We buy from approximately 15 growers who have a combined acreage of 130 acres.
What is Icewine? Why is it so special?
Icewine was originally developed in Germany in the 18th century. The hand harvesting begins in the chilly pre-dawn hours and then the rush is on. The low temperature, (-8 to -12 degrees C) freezes all but the sweetest drop of juice, usually allowing only about 10% of the normal amount of juice per grape. This drop has been naturally concentrated by the freezing process and must be quickly brought to the press-room. The still-frozen grapes are pressed, releasing only the rare, sweet drops. Fresh juice is high in sugar, flavour and balance-giving acid. After many months of careful vinting the final product emerges, ready for sale, and tasting by a happy wine staff. Icewine, sweet and intensely flavourful is a treat indeed.
How should you store wine? How should you serve it? How long does it last once open?
Wine should be stored on its side (corked bottle) in a cool, draft-free location where the temperature does not fluctuate. To serve a red wine, stand the wine at room temperature for two to four hours to allow any sediment to settle. Most red wines benefit from being opened for an hour or two before serving. For heavier reds the best temperature for serving is 16-18 C, while for lighter reds and rosés it’s 10-16 C. White wines are best served chilled (chill in a refrigerator or chill in an ice water bath for 15 minutes). The best temperature for serving white wines is 8-10 C, while 6-8 C suits sweeter wines and champagnes. Use an efficient corkscrew with a long helix, a good point and rounded edges so the cork is not cut and doesn’t crumble. Make sure glasses are clean and don’t smell of detergent. Wine deteriorates in the presence of oxygen. The length of time it will stay palatable once open varies so many people will either pump in an inert gas or try to remove the oxygen with a vacuum pump. A general rule is that for every glass of wine in a 750ml bottle, the wine will stay fresh for one day (for example, with two glasses remaining in a bottle the wine should be fine for two days). The less wine in a bottle, the less time the wine will remain fresh.
Why use corks? Why use screwcaps?
Cork is the natural bark of a tree and varies greatly in quality. Corks are the traditional method of closing wines (especially the more premium wines) but they do have problems. It is estimated that at least 5% of wines produced become "corked" which renders them unsaleable. To combat this problem, synthetic corks are being used. Screwcaps are becoming increasingly popular because there is no risk of ruining the wine. Initially Jost Vineyards used only corks but due to requests from customers (restaurants) we now use screwcaps on many of our blended wines. Jost Vineyards uses both methods of closures. Our corks are from France and we are very pleased with the quality.
What type of wood are the aging barrels made from? How old are the barrels? How long is wine aged for?
We use Limousin Oak barrels because the wood is tight and the aging is more mellow than with American Oak. We use new and 2-5 year old barrels. Red wines are aged on oak for approximately one year and white wines for six months.
What makes wine age well?
Tannins allow a wine to age at a slower rate. Tannin is a substance that comes from the seeds, stems and skins of grapes (think of strong tea). After a time the tannin settles out of the wine to become a sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Red wines derive their color from the skins of the grape and will be more tannic. As a general rule, ordinary white wines do not improve after 18 months and quality wines do not improve after three years in the bottle; however, this varies greatly between grape varieties and styles. White wines have a very steep aging curve; they get better quickly and may deteriorate more quickly. Good quality, full-bodied tannic red wines sometimes are not ready to drink for eight to 10 years and remain of the same quality for 10 years.