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  • Marla

3 Nova Scotia Winery Experiences That Make a Great Day Trip

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Nova Scotia Wineries that make a Great Day Trip

Nova Scotia’s wine country is not as well-known as some of the more established Canadian wine regions, but as we’ve noted it’s definitely worth visiting. This cool climate region produces wine with a unique crisp, coastal style – dry and acidic, with a slight salinity.

The wine region is comprised of seven areas. The wineries themselves are typically small, family-owned boutiques. The largest wine region in Nova Scotia is the Annapolis Valley, adjacent to the renowned Bay of Fundy.

Many people spend several days or more visiting Nova Scotia and the rest of Atlantic Canada for its history, beauty, and outdoor activities. If you’re interested, you can visit several wineries even if you only have one day in Nova Scotia. My mother and I took a day trip from the port of Halifax. We highly recommend it.

You do need access to transportation. There are several wine tour operators in the province. We were very pleased with our small group tour headed by our guide Alan, with Sip and Taste/Grape Escape Tours. The small size of the tour enabled us to enjoy intimate wine tastings at the wineries we visited. Our little minivan also seemed better situated for traveling the narrow, meandering roads and handling the small winery parking lots.

Here are three Nova Scotia winery experiences that make a great day trip. All of them were in the Annapolis Valley. Each winery we went to is representative of the region, yet distinctive in its own way, so it’s a great combination of wineries to visit. Two of the tastings included samples of Tidal Bay, Nova Scotia’s signature wine produced by a number of the wineries, so we were able to conduct our own mini-comparison of this iconic blend.

Domaine de Grande Pré

Nova Scotia Wineries that make a Great Day Trip

Our first stop was the small, family-owned and run Domaine de Grande Pré, the oldest farm winery site in Atlantic Canada. The Canadian-created L’Acadie Blanc grape, a hybrid called by some Nova Scotia’s equivalent to Chardonnay, was named at this vineyard. The name is a nod to the Acadians, French people who were the first European settlers in Nova Scotia and expelled by the British in the 1700s (many made their way to Louisiana and eventually became known as “Cajuns”).

The vineyards overlook a landscape designated as a UNESCO heritage site. The winery, the largest of the three we visited, also has a restaurant and a small inn.

After an explanation of the winery and the wines, we enjoyed a wine tasting under a tent nestled in the vineyards, accompanied by a variety of snacks. We sampled:

Tidal Bay, its version a crisp blend of five varietals 😊++

Castel, a very dark red 😊

Apple Cider Wine, which we paired with cheese 😊++

Gaspereau Vineyards

The second winery we visited was Gaspereau Vineyards, in the Gaspereau Valley, which is cradled within the larger Annapolis Valley. Gaspareau is another boutique winery, and was previously a cattle farm and apple orchard.

The winery takes its romantic backstory to heart. Its logo features two intertwined trees, symbolizing the lore of two lovers years ago who supposedly met on the hill behind what is now the tasting room. More cynically, one of its red wines is named Lucie Kulhmann, purportedly after the mistress of one of the old owners. Interesting history!

Nova Scotia Wineries that make a Great Day Trip

We enjoyed our tasting outside of the winery’s rustic red cabin tasting room in view of the hill and those intertwined trees. We sampled:

Tidal Bay, its version very light and fruity 😊

Riesling, in a more German style 😊+

Rosé 😊+

Gaspereau, a red blend 😊

Mom and I also indulged and sampled the winery’s maple wine in a chocolate cup. A great combo! 😊😊

Nova Scotia Wineries that make a Great Day Trip

L’Acadie Vineyards

Nova Scotia Wineries that make a Great Day Trip
Mom at L'Acadie Vineyards

Our third visit was to nearby tiny L’Acadie Vineyards. The winery is the first of Nova Scotia’s two certified organic wineries. Another family-owned and operated winery, It’s the province’s premier producer of sparkling wine, although it produces still wine, as well. Everything is done on the premises.

Again we were able to enjoy the wine tasting outside. We sampled:

L’Acadie Blanc 😊

Rosé, 50% L’Acadie Blanc and 50% Marechal Foch, giving it a much darker color 😊

Sparkling wine, using the steel tank Charmat method, like Prosecco 😊+

Sparkling wine, using the traditional Champagne production method 😊++

We hope this information on three Nova Scotia winery experiences that make a great day trip helps you plan your itinerary to the region. I can’t wait to return to Nova Scotia and check out some of the other wineries!

If you have additional recommendations, please let us know. We’re at Sociable! (the Nova Scotia version of “cheers”!)

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