Nova Scotia wine industry to be studied by federal scientists
'I think it's kind of a really important step in the progression of our future'
The federal government is investing $400,000 to support a wine grape research program in Kentville in an effort to help Nova Scotia's award-winning wine industry grow with new information about varieties, growing techniques and processing.
That kind of information will help grape growers and wineries take full advantage of the region's unique microclimates and land.
"I think it's kind of a really important step in the progression of our future," said Mike Mainguy, executive winemaker at Luckett Vineyards.
The government money will see three new federal scientists hired to complement existing research at the Kentville Research and Development Centre as part of a program that will include a vineyard to evaluate grape varieties.
Map every vineyard
The new scientists will work directly with grape growers to map every vineyard in Nova Scotia. Part of that job will be to record the unique characteristics of the province's microclimates.
"We all work pretty tight together so that's the hope, that these guys will come out and really kind of explore what's really making things tick here," said Mainguy.
"You know why things are really a little unique here in our little pocket of the world."
Over the last two decades, several new wineries have popped up in Kings County.
While the region can't be classed in the same category as the Niagara region in Ontario or British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, more government support will help the industry continue its rapid growth.
'Great time' in industry now
"You know we're all really looking forward to it and it's just a really great time here in the industry right now," said Mainguy. "There's a lot happening, the level of work and the knowledge of the land."
The new funds will also help build a small experimental vineyard that will give scientists the opportunity to investigate soil fertility and pest and disease management in the same climate and conditions facing local grape growers.