Nova Scotian wine is borne of the land, weather, and the Bay of Fundy. Grapes thrive in the Minas Basin, Blomidon Peninsula, and Gaspereau Valley (within the larger Annapolis Valley), with Tidal Bay being the first and only appellation. Any serious discussion must concern sparkling wines. Nova Scotia can raise grapes for traditional method sparkling wines that blow everything else away. Vinifera, like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, can linger well into the autumn, and outstanding sparklers are also made with hybrids L’Acadie and Seyval Blanc. —MICHAEL GODEL
Purchased by the Coutinho family in 2019, who’ve expanded the winery’s original 12.5 acres into 25, adding Pinot Noir. The wines are an eclectic mix — Gamay Pét-Nat, Méthode Traditionelle Blanc de Noir and L’Acadie and more.
Sparkling wine pioneers and specialists, founded by Gerry McConnell, who purchased this property in the Gaspereau Valley in 1999. These sparkling wines are now Nova Scotian classics. Look for Nova 7, Méthode Classique Brut and Brut Rosé and Brut Reserve.
With the winery overlooking the western Minas Basin along the shores edging north up the Blomidon Peninsula, conditions here exude a sense of singularity. Co-owner Tim Ramey purchased the property in 2007 and winemaker Simon Rafuse makes solid Chardonnays alongside top-notch sparklers — Crémant NV, Méthode Traditionelle in Cuvée L’Acadie Brut, Brut Réserve and Blanc de Noirs 2016.
Bruce Ewart’s soils— glacial till mixed with clay and loam — are unique to this part of the valley. The progres- sive work of vineyard manager Cait- lin McNamara involves biodynamic practices that contribute to the most mineral expression in the province — L’Acadie sparklers are sticks of Nova Scotia dynamite. Wines to watch: Pétillant Naturel Méthode Ancestrale, Méthode Traditionelle Prestige Brut Estate and Tidal Bay.
Mike and Jocelyn Lightfoot trans- formed an apple orchard into Nova Scotia’s most progressive organic and biodynamic winery. Home vineyard Raven Hill is supported by the valley’s most important block at Avonport. The sparkling wines in- include Blanc de Blancs Extra-Brut and Brut, a Brut Rosé, and an Oak Island Vineyard Sparkling Chenin Blanc.