2015 in Review: Reflections on a productive year at Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards.
Now that December is well upon us, we find ourselves pausing to reflect on and celebrate this past year. With a full glass and a smile, we’d love to share some of the experiences that made 2015 a busy, yet gratifying adventure at Lightfoot & Wolfville.
Our most exciting news to date came this summer with the first official Lightfoot & Wolfville wine release. The 2013 Ancienne Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were released at the beginning of August and the 2014 Tidal Bay and L&W Rosé debuted in September. We have been delighted by the overwhelmingly positive response these wines have garnered thus far. After nearly eight years in the making, it is such a pleasure to finally be able to share this work with you all. The small lot of Pinot Noir sold out within a few weeks. To date the chardonnay’s availability is scarce with a few bottles left at #TheShelfHFX @HFXseaportMRKT. However a few cases remain of the rose and tidal bay at Bishop’s Celllar and select NSLC stores. A special thank you to the entire staff at Bishop’s cellar and at Obladee Wine Bar for your support of local wine and for sharing the Lightfoot & Wolfville story so well in our first year.
The L&W team at our first official wine release party, Obladee Wine Bar, August 7th 2015.
The 2015 growing season started with a late spring and finished with a cool, wet fall. Although it was a lesser than average year, with careful viticulture we were able to achieve all our targeted ripeness levels, even in our latest ripening varieties such as Pinot Noir and Riesling. Most importantly, the flavours that resulted from such a slow ripening period are simultaneously fresh and complex, and the resultant ’15 wines are showing great promise in cellar thus far. 2015 furthers our conviction that quality wine can be made consistently from cool-climate vinifera here in Nova Scotia – not just in above-average growing years.
Harvest 2015 Highlights
Harvest season began September 18th with Siegerrebe; an intensely aromatic, plum-colored, German grape, and ended with a late harvest Riesling pick on December 9th.
Exciting new cool-climate varieties harvested for the first time this year: Sauvignon Blanc, Kékfrankos/Lemberger, Scheurebe, Ortega, Siegerrebe, and Chenin Blanc.
60 tonnes total Estate fruit was harvested from 17 commercial varieties.
Grape Growers Summer Tour
August 21st 2015 turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day to host the Grape Growers of Nova Scotia (GGANS) annual summer tour. It was an honor to open our vineyard to nearly one hundred fellow grape growers and share some of our experiences with organic and biodynamic farming.
Taste of Terroir Dinner
On September 20th we co-hosted “A Taste of Terroir: Dinner in a Vineyard” with sommelier Mark DeWolf from With Zest. Luckily, the forecasted rain held off and a spectacular evening unfolded. Following a farm/winery tour, guests were served a 3 course meal by Executive chef Vince Scigliano from Local Source amongst our vines, overlooking the beautiful Minas Basin. Thank you to our guests, Mark and Local Source, for making this such a memorable evening.
Gold Medal Plates
We were thrilled when chef Martin Ruiz Salvador of Fleur de Sel restaurant in Lunenburg, NS, contacted us earlier this year about his idea to create a Burgundian inspired dish incorporating rabbit and snails and wished to pair it with our Chardonnay. We are overjoyed to report that his exquisite pairing won the Gold medal at the Halifax Gold Medal Plates competition on October 29th and will be advancing to the Canadian culinary championship in Kelowna, BC this February. Even more exciting it the fact that this is the first time two Nova Scotian wines will attend the Gold Medal Plates national final. We will proudly represent NS wine alongside our friends at Benjamin Bridge, whose wine Nova 7 was part of the winning Gold Medal pairing at the Toronto leg of the competition.
New Growing Partners
We would like to extend a warm welcome to Nova Scotia wine country to our new growing partners; Jerusha Young, Al Connor, and Tim Speed of Ravenhill Vineyard in Wolfville, John and Krista Harding of Lahave, John Eikelenboom of Port Williams, and Matt Kent of Lower Village Farm. Collectively, these new growers represent 32 more acres of fruit to come online within the next few years.
Upcoming Wine Releases
The next two Lightfoot & Wolfville wine releases are planned for February 2016. The 2014 Pinot rosé (a pleasantly dry rosé of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) will hit shelves just in time for Valentine’s day and the much anticipated 2013 Ancienne Chardonnay Reserve will be released at the Rare & Fine Wine show sponsored by Bishop’s Cellar and Casino Nova Scotia on February 26th 2016. More details about this event can be found here. Limited quantities of the reserve Chardonnay will be available at Bishop’s cellar following the event. Excitedly, the winemaking team is busy working away on our first sparkling release for springtime 2016. More details on this wine to follow soon.
Lightfoot & Wolfville in the Media
A Taste of Terroir: Inspired by Burgundy, Locally Crafted | Mark DeWolf, Bedford-Sackville Observer
Nova Scotia wines enjoy championship season | The Chronicle Herald
Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards’ makes rosé for the picky and the public | Bill Spurr, The Chronicle Herald
Great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Nova Scotia? | Michael Godel
La Trésor Caché de la Nouvelle-Écosse | Karyne Duplessis Piché, La Presse Magazine
Toast to Coast: The Changing Landscape of Canada’s Wine Regions | Andrew Braithwaite, Mercedes-Benz magazine
Innovation Lives Here | Quentin Casey, Atlantic Business Magazine
15 Canadian Wines that Rocked in 2015 | Michael Godel
POUR: European lineage takes root in N.S. | Carman Mills, the Chronicle Herald
- The L&W Vineyard Crew – For your unwavering dedication and hard work. It was a busy year and we could not have pulled it off without such a solid team.
- Bishop’s Cellar
- Benjamin Bridge
- Ian Kaye & Nova Scotia Viticulture Crew
- Mark DeWolf, Vince Scigliano, Mary, and the team at Local Source
- Klaus Sudbrack of Shemogue Custom & Trellis
- Harvest ’15 Crew
- All of our suppliers
From the entire Lightfoot & Wolfville family: we wish you laughter, peace, and love this holiday season and in the new year. May your glass be ever full.