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NS Icewine Festival wines

The Nova Scotia Icewine Festival is very weather dependant as Nova Scotia is  prone to weekend blizzards.  The following blog was written in 2014, I was highlighting all  the wines being poured at the  Nova Scotia Icewine Festival. Most of these wines are released every year and just keep getting better. This event  is routinely held at  Domaine de Grande Pré with six wineries taking part over two weekends in February. For the most part, these are wines unique to Nova Scotia, made from varietals and hybrid vines. They are ideally suited for the short Nova Scotia growing season and very flavourful. Each winery is featuring a white, a red and a dessert wine.

Luckett vineyard

Luckett Vineyard

White Wines
Domaine de Grand Pre are pouring Vintner’s Reserve Ortega -a must try Nova Scotia white. Although the grapes love the Nova Scotia climate and terroir,  Ortega is prone to disease so has to be grown downwind of other grape varietals and is quite scarce. It is amazing on its  own or blended with Vidal in icewine. Vintner’s Reserve is a robust off dry white table wine. tasting of  pear, dried apricot and honey, layered with delicate floral notes and rose petal.
Luckett Vineyards  are pouring  l’Acadie Blanc. This is a hybrid that is to Nova Scotia what Chardonnay is to Ontario. A versatile white that is  the backbone to most white blends and can be shaped by the winemakers to meet any occasion. This one has been briefly aged in Hungarian oak. Perfect for seafood.
L’Acadie Vineyard  is pouring both a sparkling and a still wine. Vintage Cuvée Is a certified organic sparkling made from l’Acadie grapes which has won silver at the Canadian Wine Awards and the Atlantic Canadian wine awards. The same organic grape is featured in its  Estate l’Acadie table wine with strong minerality and classic citrus aromas.
Sainte Famille are showcasing their Tidal Bay. Sainte Famille is one of the oldest Nova Scotia wineries with mature vines. Tidal Bay is the provincial appellation wine that is a blend of a number of proscribed whites. This one includes L’Acadie, Muscat, and Seyval. The taste is a blend of tropical fruits and apple with a nice acidity and depth on the palate. Ideal with seafood.

Avondale Sky

Avondale Sky

Blomidon Estate  is also pouring Tidal Bay. Each winery’s version of this juried wine is subtly different. A different blend of the same grapes leads to an off dry wine with a taste that is floral, tropical fruit, lychee and grapefruit with a hint of sweetness.
Avondale Sky  is pouring Summerville a l’Acadie wine with hints of grapefruit, apple and lime zest. Avondale Sky is one of the newer wineries that has been getting a lot of attention and is a favorite with wine tour groups.

Red Wines
Reds are a difficult wines to produce in Nova Scotia’s short cool growing season. So hybrids and blends are common. Nova Scotia winemakers are gifted in getting the best out of the varietals available and are always on top of new adaptable hybrids. You will not find reds like these anywhere else in Canada.
Grand Pre is pouring Vintner’s Reserve Millot. A soft layered aged Leon Millot which  has aromas of plum and dried figs and flavours of cherry and dark chocolate.

l'Acadie Vineyard

l’Acadie Vineyard

Luckett Vineyard isK’Acadie pouring Triumphe from Triumphe d’Alsace grapes a medium dry oaked red blend with flavours of black currant and cherry liquorice.

L’Acadie Vineyards is pouring Passito. Made in the Italian style, it is an oaked wine from certified organic Marechal Foch grapes that have been dried before fermentation to intensify the flavours. It displays ripe cherry and chocolate aromas. Silver medalist at the ACWA.
Sainte Famille are pouring a dry unoaked Leon Millot with flavours of ripe black cherry and anise. Recommended with veal, chicken and cheese.
Blomidon Estate are pouring their off dry Sparkling Red BMD with aromas of blueberry, cherry and spicy floral notes.

Avondale Sky selected Miller’s Creek another rendition of Leon Millot with flavours of ripe apple, cherry and cinnamon.

It should be noted that both Blomidon Estate and Sainte Famille are known for killer Baco Noir which are sold out within weeks of being released. I had to browbeat  Ste Famille’s  owner/winemaker Suzanne Corkum to sell me two bottles from her private collection on my last visit.

Dessert Wines
Although this is the Icewine Festival, there are surprisingly few icewines being poured at this event but there is a wide array of dessert wines to please anybody’s palate and many not found elsewhere in Canada.
Grand Pré have two dessert wines on offer. Their Vidal Icewine combines flavours of apricots, lemon, blood orange and marmalade  and their iced fruit wine Pomme d’Or made from old and new apple varieties with flavours of apple, apricot and caramel.
Luckett Vineyards are also highlighting fruit wine with their Cordelia Blackberry Port recommended with chocolate fondue or cheese cake.

Sainte Famille Winery

Sainte Famille Winery

L’Acadie Vineyards   are pouring their organic traditional method Sparkling Rosé made from Marechal Foch grapes with aromas of cherry and cranberry.
Ste Famille are renowned fur their Maple wine made from Wentworth Valley maple  sap which pairs well with apple pie or vanilla ice cream
Blomidon Estates are  showcasing their Vidal  icewine.
Avondale Sky are featuring Martock, their late harvest Vidal with flavours of peach, marzipan, dried apricot and quince.

Please add your tasting notes in the comments for any of your favourites of the showcased wines.

Welcome in 2014 with NS Bubbly
Winemaker vs Brewmaster Dinner
Looking for Answers at Creekside Estate


  1. Didn’t know about Nova Scotia’s great wines! They’ll be on our itinerary when next we visit that lovely province.

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