Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia wine industry benefiting from hot and dry summer

While Nova Scotia's hot and dry summer has been bad news for most of Nova Scotia's farmers, the province's wine industry is largely raising a toast to it.

'We're just crossing our fingers for this to last,' says the viticulturist at Blomidon Winery

The hot weather should result in red wines with more body and white wines with more pronounced tropical flavours, says Harold Gaudy, the viticulturist at Blomidon Winery. (Getty Images/Cultura RM)

While Nova Scotia's hot and dry summer has been bad news for most of Nova Scotia's farmers, the province's wine industry is largely raising a toast to it.

The hot temperatures and lack of rain are resulting in smaller grapes, meaning they're packing more flavour and should result in some tasty vintages.

"We're just crossing our fingers for this to last," said Harold Gaudy, the viticulturist at Blomidon Winery in Habitant.

For red wine lovers, the increased sun exposure lowers grape acidity, resulting in wines that are less bitter, have more body and are "a little jammier," said Gaudy.

He says the red wines will resemble reds from wine regions with warmer climates, like Ontario.

For white wines, Gaudy expects tropical flavours to be more prominent.

The lack of rain is also keeping grapes cleaner, resulting in less fungi.

'A double-edged sword'

Scott Savoy, the head viticulturist at Benjamin Bridge in Gaspereau Valley, says the hot temperatures are a mixed blessing.

"For us, it's kind of a double-edged sword," he said.

The vineyard's younger vines didn't grow as much as expected because of the dryness. Because their root systems aren't as developed, they struggled to get the moisture they needed.

Savoy says the older vines have well-established root systems and were able to dig deeper through the soil to get moisture.

"It's very unusual to have, say 15 to 17 days above 30 C in Nova Scotia. That's very uncommon and we're there," he said.

Because the grapes are smaller, it means more grapes will be needed to create each bottle of wine.

"It is potentially less revenue, but wine is all about quality," said Gaudy.

He expects this year's wines to sell out quicker than they normally do.

Despite the optimism, there are no guarantees with wine.

"Unless the grapes are in the tank, we don't know anything. We never know," said Gaudy.

now