Grand Pre Winery, Nova Scotia

24 10 2011

Many people find it difficult to believe that Nova Scotia is a producer of wines, thinking that we are in deep snow all year. But  Nova Scotia is on the same Latitude as  parts of France and Italy and so is perfectly capable of growing grapes.

On Sunday we headed to Wolfville, having been given a wonderful gift of a tour of the Grand Pre Vineyard, a meal at Le Caveau Restaurant and a night’s stay at The Lantern Inn.

We were very fortunate indeed to be able to still see the grapes on the vines, next week-end would probably be too late.

The bunches of grapes were hanging at the bottom of the vines; the foliage around them had been removed to allow the sun to ripen them. The grapes which form in the upper parts of the vine are also cut off to allow the lower grapes to get all the nutrients from the soil.

Netting is hung on each side of the grapes to protect them from the birds.

This is another bird deterrent – tape recordings of hawks and birds of prey.

Our tour guide explained about Ice Wine and how the grapes must be picked from the frozen vines to make this sweet dessert wine. If the grapes are picked before they are frozen then it cannot be called an Ice Wine.

At Grand Pre Vineyard, locals actually volunteer to go out in the dark in December, to pick the grapes!

The wine tasting was a lot of fun, learning how look at the wine, smell it, taste it and listen to it – well, she was only kidding about listening to it. Seemingly some people hear the sea, or the wind in the vines ….!

The Castel is a rich ruby red wine, with aromas of caraway and black pepper.

The tasting concluded with a sample of the Pomme D’Or, the best apple juice I have ever tasted.  At 10%  perhaps a bit more than apple juice.

We had a difficult decision, choosing our favourites, but we have something very special for Christmas Day.

Le Caveau Restaurant is beside the Winery.

In the evening, we walked through the Vineyard from The Old Lantern Inn,

and enjoyed one of the best meals we’ve ever had. (Sorry, the waitress took our photo after the meal).

We headed back through the vines to the lights you see in the distance.

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8 responses

24 10 2011
Cam & Lou x

Glad you had a good time, great photos 🙂

24 10 2011
jackiequeen

Thank you both for a wonderful choice. Another great find!

24 10 2011
Sybil

Jackie, I’m so ignorant about wines that I’ve avoided wine tastings, for fear of embarrassing myself. You made it sound so interesting and so visually appealing … well … I may just head to Grand Pre at this time next year.

25 10 2011
jackiequeen

This was the first wine tasting I have ever been to. We also visited Pete Lucket’s (Pete’s Frootique) new winery, but didn’t do the tasting! There are several wineries over the valley, I hadn’t realised there were so many. You must visit them, I think the rest of Halifax was at Pete’s on Sunday!

24 10 2011
Sybil

I forgot to mention that London is at the same latitude as the southern end of Hudson’s Bay !!!

25 10 2011
jackiequeen

Yes and Edinburgh is the same as Moscow, and often feels like that! You are in the balmy 40 degrees along with Spain.

31 10 2011
Maggie L R

I found your blog through another that I visited, but I am glad I did. I live in Ontario and we are planning to travel east to Nova Scotia next summer. Your blog is full of info I can use when deciding where to visit.
This winery is going on my list. Thank you
I am going to follow your blog.

1 11 2011
jackiequeen

Thanks for reading my Blog. The Annapolis Valley is a must for your trip and there are several wineries for you to visit. Wolfville and Annapolis Royal are great little towns. My next Blogs will still be about the Grand Pre area.

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