Nova Scotia’s unique grape growing terroir sets the scene for those wine styles which naturally evolve from our local conditions.  A cooler climate ensures that grapes retain higher levels of natural acidity (tartaric and malic acid) essential components of flavor, which balance characteristics of ripeness and retain freshness and longevity in wine.

These conditions therefore strongly favor crisp, aromatic white wines. For red wines, Nova Scotia is more suited to the production of supple soft medium bodied reds. Optimum ripeness levels produce wines of restrained, elegant style and moderate alcohol which are appropriate matches for our maritime cuisine traditions.

Another advantage of a more temperate growing climate is that the key ripening period of grapes on the vine is substantially extended.  In hot climates this can be 4-6 weeks, where as in Nova Scotia we have a period which can extend from September to late November. In winemaking terms this is called “hang time“ the interval when grapes remain on the vine gaining concentration and complexity of flavor . This means we can produce complex wines at lower alcohol levels – which reflect a more subtle and food complimentary style of wine. These parameters apply to white and red wines – and relative to the latter, create medium bodied, fruit forward styles of reds where lower tannic structure and freshness of aromas are desirable characteristics.

These growing conditions also perfectly align with the requirements for making fine sparkling wines where low alcohol, high acid and subtle aromatics are the components of quality.

Additionally, our cold climate winters allows the production of a unique and historically highly valued wine called Ice Wine – where winter-harvested grapes become intensely concentrated from the effects of freezing on the vine and produce one of the world’s most iconic sweet wines.