Outside the province, we made splashes at the Vancouver International Wine Festival and at the massive ProWein trade fair in Germany. Our wines won international awards and made appearances on restaurant wine lists around the world. Essential to the 2017 wine story is this year’s vintage. Grapes benefited from a long, warm fall with relatively little rain.
The results we will discover in 2018, but here are some highlights from this year.
1. L’Acadie Vineyards 2015 Vintage Cuvée ($30)
A top-notch organic traditional method sparkling wine using Nova Scotia’s flagship grape, l’Acadie Blanc. Delicate aromas of apple and grandma’s rising bread, a rich and balanced mouthfeel and an incredibly accessible price for bubbly of this calibre.
2. Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards 2015 Ancienne Chardonnay ($40)
Lightfoot & Wolfville received its biodynamic certification this year. I love the candied lemon-lime aromas and the acidity that fills this serious oak-aged wine with youthful life.
3. Blomidon Estate Winery 2012 Cuvée L’Acadie ($35)
This past June, after a day of tasting and judging more than 100 wines at the National Wine Awards, I was offered my pick of rare and premium wines at an evening celebration. This creamy, refreshing and balanced traditional method bubbly was the only thing I wanted.
4. Domaine de Grand Pré 2016 Vintner’s Reserve Riesling ($20)
If you have yet to taste Nova Scotian Riesling because you remember “Riesling” (which wasn’t even Riesling) from parties back in the ’80s, leave your brain aside and buy this bottle. Crisp, just off-dry and elegantly balanced, this wine’s classic mineral and fruit aromas will rinse your palate and memory clean of Blue Nun residue.
5. Avondale Sky Winery 2015 Léon Millot Rosé ($17)
Nova Scotian wine is great with food, and rosé leads the charge. This one is my favourite: It smells like fresh strawberry and cranberry and its dryness wakes up my taste buds. I also can’t ignore the season: This is the perfect turkey wine.
Honourable mentions: Petite Rivière Vineyards and Benjamin Bridge each released small lot wines that affirm our ability to make very good light red wines from Vitis Vinifera (classic European) grapes. Petite Rivière’s 2013 Gamay ($20) and Benjamin Bridge’s 2016 Pinot Meunier ($48) both sold out long ago, but they were darned good.
Badass bonus: The Supreme Court just heard a case that might finally lift the