A few weeks ago, we went on a loooooooooong road trip to the Maritimes (like 1600 km long…one way). We were going to a friend’s wedding in Nova Scotia, and I decided to take the whole week off since I had never really spent much time on the East Coast, save a choir trip in Grade 7 (yes, yes, I am a choir nerd) and a couple of trips to Halifax to visit friends in my university days. I was due for some quality mari-time on the East Coast (see what I did there?). When organizing the trip, besides planning to eat a lot of lobster (success!), I obviously planned for a day of wine tasting.
Nova Scotia is perhaps not Canada’s best known wine region. Everyone knows Niagara, or the Okanagan, or Prince Edward County. Heck, even Quebec is starting to make some quality wines. But Nova Scotia is pretty new on the scene, and has only been making wines for about 25 years.* Some would argue that this is pretty young in terms of viticulture, but after tasting some lovely Nova Scotia wines, I would say that the Annapolis Valley is well on its way to making world-class wines.
There are nearly 20 active wineries in Nova Scotia, many of which are located in the Annapolis Valley, near Wolfville.
We by no means hit all of them but there were two that stood out from the rest.
Luckett Vineyard is perched atop a steep hill. Approaching it, we drove by a couple of wine tasters who had decided to forego driving and chosen bicycles instead. Approximately 3 seconds after passing them, the skies opened up and it started to pour, as we headed up an incredibly steep hill towards the vineyard. The vineyard’s location could not be more perfect. As soon as we parked the car it stopped raining and the clouds parted, revealing the beautiful vineyard overlooking the Annapolis Valley.
When you have that gorgeous a spot, it is imperative to have a patio and offer food, which they do, but sadly only for lunch on Tuesdays, so we were unable to partake in their culinary offerings due to our relatively tardy arrival.
Luckett makes some lovely wines too. We brought home a bottle of their Phone Booth Fizz, which was a nice, easy-drinking sparkler, perfect for backyard sipping on a Sunday afternoon. This line of wines is so named for the red phone booth that stands in the middle of the vineyard (you can see it on the lefthand side in the picture above). What’s more – it actually works! You can apparently use it to make a call to anywhere in North America. As we left the winery, the sun shining, the two drenched bikers finally made it, exhausted. And parched, I’m sure. If you are planning on visiting Luckett’s, maybe have a designated driver take you. That hill is not for the faint of heart.
Here’s a fun post I found on Twitter (the young kids these days call them “tweets”) the day the Phone Booth Fizz was released:
This is just a tasty taste of what the Valley has to offer. Stay tuned for more Nova Scotia wining adventures!
*Update: I stand corrected! I have been informed by reliable sources that winemaking has been a thing in Nova Scotia since the French arrived back in 1604! Sadly, the fun came to a standstill with the arrival of the Brits in the mid 1700s. Lucky for us, grapes started making an agricultural comeback in the late 1970s.
And speaking of the fun coming to a standstill, the low point of our wine tasting day was when a kamikaze pigeon flew into our windshield.
So here’s my not-wine-related PSA for today: Nova Scotia pigeons are crazy! Watch out for them.