A Banner Harvest
While 2014 was certainly a challenging year to produce wine grapes in Nova Scotia we were blessed with ideal ripening conditions in October. This enabled us to let the fruit speak through the grace of nature, and ripen to a desired and rarely achieved levels of Brix, pH and Total Acidity.
Harvest was a great success this year, with a slight challenge. During September and October, our harvesting crew picked the grapes by hand, while our new custom sorting table helped us to better select premium fruit before pressing it. The only glitch was the rain, which endured for six consecutive days in late October. Rain can be a big problem, as it can damage clusters and also lead to water absorption in the grapes. But, thankfully, we fared well, and were able to bring in the vintage before the rain. A sincere thank you to everyone of our harvest crew and their families who helped during these busy days.
Exceptional varietals this year
Although we have fewer “growing degree days” in Nova Scotia than in other wine regions, we expect to get fruit with the right amount of acid at harvest for making crisp whites and exceptional sparkling wines. This summer’s hot, dry weather helped us achieve the ideal ripeness and structure with our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for varietal still wines. Added to these Burgundian-styled wines is the fact that we were able to craft a Pinot Meunier varietal this year, something never done in Nova Scotia. Pinot Meunier is most often used as a component in sparkling wine, but this year we made the decision in September to drop half the fruit. This meant the energy of the vine was concentrated into the remaining ripening clusters, creating the sugar/acid balance needed for a varietal still wine. Nature doesn’t give us this opportunity every year.
And let’s not forget the late harvest Chasselas that has produced a very promising sweet dessert wine. In total, we made 15 different wines from 40 different components. Some of these are strictly experimental and not available for public consumption. But don’t worry, we’ll have more than enough to share when we launch in 2016!