704 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 80 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2022
Two things by way of preface. First, this is not a marginal winemaking
area. Nova Scotia wineries are winning increasing numbers of awards at
Canadian wine competitions. At the Canadian Wine Awards this year, Nova
Scotia wines, particularly traditionally made sparklings, scored high. Second,
these wines are easily available to order online. We did so while there.
The wine costs between $20 and $25 a case (which is cheap). British Columbia
and Nova Scotia have no interprovincial trade barriers to shipping wines
(unlike most other provinces). You may question why we in British Columbia
would buy Nova Scotia wine. My answer is, first, you can; second, it is a
wine region in our country that we should support; and third, the wines in
many instances are worth trying.
The four main centres for grape production are the Annapolis Valley, the
Gaspereau Valley, the Malagash Peninsula on the north shore, and the
south shore between Digby and Lunenburg. Principally it is the Annapolis
One of the most unique and fascinating features of the winemaking rules
is that Nova Scotia has a true appellation for its signature white wines.
These are the Tidal Bay wines produced by most Nova Scotia wineries.
They have been welcomed by the province’s restaurants, which generally
include at least a couple of these wines on their wine lists, promoting the
wines as a superb accompaniment to Nova Scotia lobster, scallops and other
seafood and fish dishes.
An appellative wine created by an industry group, the Wineries of Nova
Scotia, in 2012, Tidal Bay is arguably the most creative, well-conceived and
successful appellation-type white blend category in Canada. Unlike socalled
“appellations” in British Columbia and Ontario, which are just geographic
indicators, Tidal Bay takes a European approach of determining
what grapes make it into the blend in order to qualify.
There are three categories of Tidal Bay wines, and the rules do sound like
they were invented in one of the more complex European appellations. The
name “Tidal Bay” is strictly regulated. It is reserved for still (non-sparkling)
white wines produced from one hundred per cent Nova Scotia grapes. Tidal
Bay wines are fresh and crisp in acidity, dry to off-dry, moderate in alcohol
(eleven per cent is the maximum permitted) and highly aromatic. They
cannot be oaked. The first category of grapes is neutral or “less aromatic”
and must be a combination of l’Acadie Blanc, Vidal, Seyval and Geisenheim
318 (none of which I expect are varieties you know). They must constitute
at least fifty-one per cent of the blend, and to them can be added from a second
category of permissible grapes considered “aromatic”. These include
Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chasselas, Auxerrois, Ortega