Robert Bell's

Wines of Canada

Since 1992

, Devonian Coast Wineries Ltd

Devonian Coast Wineries Ltd

Nova Scotia is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic provinces. Nova Scotia is Latin for "New Scotland". Most of the population are native English-speakers, and the province's population is 969,383 according to the 2021 Census. Here you will find 28 wineries and 12cideries. There are also two meaderies.

The Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia was established in 1982. Nova Scotia boasts 22 grape growers and 400 acres of grapes The first varieties to show promise in Nova Scotia were French hybrids: Marechal Foch, DeChaunac, Castel 19637, Baco Noir, Leon Millot, and Seyval Blanc. Two Russian hybrids, Mischurnitz and Severnyi, which are Amurensis crosses, were also of interest for early ripening, high sugar content, good production and winter hardiness. One of the world's coldest grape-growing areas, cool-climate whites are a staple here, including a unique varietal known as L'Acadie Blanc

The Nova Scotia wine industry has a climate and soil conditions that flavour unique and distinctive grape varietals, an abundant supply of inexpensive land for potential development, unfettered by urban encroachment and strong transportation links and proximity to the large Eastern USA markets and Europe

The history of winemaking in Nova Scotia can be traced back to the year 1611 when French settler Louis Hébert planted the first vineyard in Bear River. The Nova Scotia Wine Standards (NSWS) were adopted by the Winery Association of Nova Scotia in the summer of 2005. The new standards established content restrictions and labeling standards for wines produced in that province. The NSWS allows a wine to use the provincial designation "Nova Scotia" as a geographical indication, provided it meets all NSWS and contains no less than 85% of the wine's content from grapes grown within the province; the remaining 15% must be grown in Canada.

In 1984 researcher Helen Fisher supplied cuttings of Ollie Brant selection V.53261 to be evaluated by Dr. Don Craig at the Kentville Research Station. This selection was orphaned in Ontario, and after successful evaluation in Nova Scotia became the award winning wine variety named L'Acadie ~ the wine L'Acadie Blanc

Carl and Donna Sparkes founded Devonian Coast Wineries in 2011, then bought three already established and respected wineries, Jost and Gaspereau Vineyards, and Mercator Vineyards. Devonian Coast Wineries unites their love of wine and of Atlantic Canada.

The Sparkes familyís farming roots run deep in Atlantic Canada, going back to 1761 when Carlís ancestors left Devon, England and settled on Newfoundlandís Avalon Peninsula. A farming family, they were also innovators; Carlís grandfather was the founder of what is now the Atlantic Cool Climate Crop Research Centre in St. Johnís, Newfoundland.

Along with its ties to the Sparkes’ family history in Devonshire, England, the Devonian Coast name finds its origins in the Devonian era, which greatly influenced the terroir of Nova Scotia. The era was first studied by collecting rock samples in Devonshire. Those same samples can be found in the most easterly parts of Canada, and suggests the regions were once joined. A calm, but abundant, marine life marked the period and makes up the bedrock upon which our vineyards are grown.

Gaspereau Vineyard,

Gaspereau Vineyard,

Collectively their vineyards hold more than 145 acres of vine plantings.

Jost Vineyard (Malagash Peninsula) 60 acres
Gaspereau Vineyard (Gaspereau Valley) 50 acres
Mercator Vineyard (Annapolis Valley) 35 acres

They produce more than 1,000,000 litres wine each year (over 100,000 cases.) Producing ed, white, rosé, fruit, and specialty wines including a Premium Tawny, Maple Wine and Icewine. The wines vary from blends to vintage varietals, non-oaked and oaked, and still, frizzante and sparkling styles. 

Their wineries are Jost Vine Yards, Gaspereau Vineyard, Mercantor Vineyards, and Grand Bank Wine Cellars. Additional wine brands include Devonian Coast Wines, LÜVO wines and Sekie wine.

Gina Haverstock
Gina Haverstock

Head Winemaker at Devonian Coast Wineries is Gina Haverstock. A true Nova Scotian Gina was born and raised in Port Hawkesbury, she has risen to the very top of her trade.

Nova Scotia

 

©2023 Robert A Bell