New Research Winery in Kentville
Late in February, Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, officially opened a research winery at the Kentville Research and Development Centre that will help grape growers and vintners hone their production techniques to take full advantage of the province’s unique soils and growing conditions.
The $1.8 million winery will allow researchers to investigate how locally-grown varieties, growing conditions, and vineyard practices affect the chemistry of the grapes, which in turn influence the finishing characteristics in the wine, including taste and aroma. “Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s great emerging wine regions. This new research winery will use science to help grape growers and vintners explore the full potential of winemaking in the province and further solidify Canada’s reputation for quality wines in the global marketplace,” said Minister MacAulay. “By investing in agriculture here in Nova Scotia and across Canada, the government will continue to grow the economy and create jobs for our middle class.”
The 360-square-metre winery is part of a wine research program that includes eight scientists, a vineyard, and an ongoing research project to map the grape varieties, growing techniques, and conditions of every vineyard in Nova Scotia. Taste sensory panels will be part of the winery, with sommeliers and local winemakers likely to be part of the panels to assess the flavour characteristics of the experimental wine.
Researchers at the new research winery will also study winemaking techniques, working with commercial wineries to evaluate the impact of fermentation and temperatures on the quality of wine. That work will include the identification and use of natural yeasts found in Nova Scotia that could contribute to unique characteristics in the province’s wine profiles.
Nova Scotia’s reputation as a wine-growing region continues to flourish with award-winning labels and expanding production. In 2018, the province’s 23 licensed wineries produced 1.5 million litres of wine valued at over $23 million, employing over 700 people. Approximately 1,200 acres of vineyards were under production in Nova Scotia in 2018.