Nova Scotia

Tim Hortons co-founder, Jost team up for new Nova Scotia wine venture

A new vineyard — a collaboration of two heavyweights in Nova Scotia business — will open next week on the Northumberland Strait near Wallace.

In 3 years, Fox Harb'r estate vineyard will produce its first sparkling white wine

Carl Sparkes, the owner of the Jost Winery in Malagash, said having Ron Joyce as a partner is vote of confidence in Nova Scotia wine. (Janet Davison/CBC)

A new vineyard — a collaboration of two heavyweights in Nova Scotia business — will open next week on the Northumberland Strait near Wallace.

It's a team effort between Ron Joyce, the co-founder of Tim Hortons and the owner of the luxury Fox Harb'r Golf Resort and Spa, and Carl Sparkes, the owner of the Jost Winery in Malagash.

"This is a Maritime handshake, is how it started," said Sparkes.

​Sparkes asked Joyce about growing grapes on his land across from the Fox Harb'r resort. He said Joyce was excited by the idea.

In the year since the multimillionaires shook on it, one-third of the 10 hectares have been planted. In three years, Fox Harb'r will produce its first sparkling white wine.

Sparkes, the owner of three wineries and the province's largest grape grower, will bottle it.

"From our point of view, and I think from Fox Harb'r's point of view, this is a wonderful synergistic collaboration," he said.

Sparkes said having Joyce as a partner is a vote of confidence in Nova Scotia wine. He points to a 2012 business study that suggested every acre of grapes planted creates one job.

Kevin Toth, the president of the Fox Harb'r Golf Resort, said having their own vineyard should appeal to the jet set.

"As the first season comes off, we will only have enough for our guests but the intention is to retail the wine to the general public," he said. 

For now, the Fox Harb'r estate vineyard is a work in progress with plenty of growth potential on the North Shore.

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