A new research winery opened March 1 at the Kentville Research and Development Centre that will help grape growers and vintners hone their production techniques to take full advantage of the province’s unique soils and growing conditions.
The $1.8 million winery will allow researchers to investigate how locally grown varieties, growing conditions and vineyard practices affect the chemistry of the grapes, which in turn influences the finishing characteristics in the wine, including taste and aroma.
Researchers will also study wine making techniques, working with commercial wineries to evaluate the impact of fermentation and temperatures on the quality of wine. That work will include the identification and use of natural yeasts found in Nova Scotia that could contribute to unique characteristics in the province’s wine profiles.
In 2018, the province’s 23 licensed wineries produced 1.5 million litres of wine valued at over $23 million, employing over 700 people.
The 360-square-metre winery is part of a wine research program that includes eight scientists, a vineyard and an on-going research project to map the grape varieties, growing techniques and conditions of every vineyard in Nova Scotia.
Taste sensory panels will be part of the winery, with sommeliers and local wine makers likely to be part of the panels to assess the flavour characteristics of the experimental wine.
The lab will complement the leading-edge wine research program at AAFC’s Summerland Research and Development Centre in British Columbia.
Approximately 1,200 acres (485 hectares) of vineyards were under production in Nova Scotia in 2018.