Earlier this month, CNN reported that the world’s wine production would be hitting a 50-year low in 2017. With extreme weather conditions like hail and drought reducing grape yields in Spain, Italy and France (where half the world’s wine comes from) and wildfires in California (the next-highest producer) things were looking bleak for the wine industry. If that strikes fear into your wine-loving heart, there’s actually a Canadian silver-lining. Nova Scotia is a pretty good contender for the next great wine destination.
While global warming is wreaking havoc on vineyards where temperatures are getting hotter, the Annapolis Valley vineyards have flourished with the rise. Temperatures there have become more moderate over the years, meaning that while other vineyards are getting too hot to produce like they used to, Nova Scotian vineyards are heating up to the perfect temperature. And they are ready to take advantage of it.
‘If this trend continues we’ll be sitting in one of the great wine regions,’ Sean Sears of Petite Riviere vineyard told CTV, ‘Every winery is planting more plants. … I have colleagues that are having about 10 hectares a year coming on.’
The amazing weather also means that the grapes they’re producing are better quality than they’ve ever been. According to Sears, the warmth means grapes are ripening to ideal levels and contain higher levels of sucrose than he’s seen in his lifetime. These areas were once too cold to produce anything other than hearty hybrid grapes designed to weather North American climates; now they’re planting chardonnay and riesling grapes native to Europe.
That means more Canadian variety and more ‘wiggle room’ when it comes to harvesting at the right time. Looks like we might be seeing the ‘Canadian wines’ section at the liquor store expanding (and have a new wine tour location).