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L'Acadie Vineyards Blog

Welcome to the L'Acadie Vineyards blog and winery news

 

 

Bruce Ewert
 
June 14, 2024 | Bruce Ewert

PIWI Grape Varieties

 

PIWI refers to grape varieties that have a high level of resistance to mildew diseases, notable Powdery Mildew and Downy Mildew. The acronym is from the German term “Pilzwiderstandsfähige Reben”. Why is this term so popular right now? There is a huge interest by wine trade and industry in growing and making wine more sustainably and part of this equation is planting more disease resistant vines. More disease resistance means less sprays, and in a conventional vineyard that means less costs and less pesticide residues in your wine. But how do hybrid grape varieties and organic grape growing fit into this concept?

Hybrids 

 PIWI is a general term that includes hybrids but packaged as a hipper, more marketable term. Hybrids, a breed between European varieties and North American varieties, got a bad rap after they were planted in France as a solution to phylloxera-devasted vineyards in the late 1800’s and in Canada’s early wine days. Today, they are on approved grape variety lists for many European wine regions, British Columbia and Ontario, although somewhat marginalized, and of course celebrated in Nova Scotia and other north-eastern regions. They are gaining back popularity and we have consistently earned international awards for our L'Acadie Blanc sparklings.

Organic grape growing and PIWI

As mentioned, selecting disease resistant grape varieties are part of the sustainability equation in the sense that there are less chemical sprays. But what about an organic vineyard? This is where the dial moves and less resistant varieties can still be grown sustainably. We use the following organic strategies in our less resistant vinifera blocks of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir: pruning for air circulation, horsetail and compost teas, sulfur and copper. There is also a philosophy that the vines can live with mildew diseases as long as we can keep the clusters disease-free, a sort of probiotic strength approach that is achieved by timing of sulfur and copper application around the flowering stage.

Time Posted: Jun 14, 2024 at 9:19 AM Permalink to PIWI Grape Varieties Permalink
Bruce Ewert
 
June 13, 2024 | Bruce Ewert

Planting estate Seyval Blanc

 

As many of you know, we established L'Acadie Vineyards in Gaspereau Valley in 2004 and started planting in 2005 with exclusively L'Acadie Blanc for organic sparkling wine. This decision has stood the test of time with numerous international awards for our Estate Prestige Brut from those first blocks, a classic terroir/style matching success. We later planted Leon Millot for our appassimento red program, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. This year we planted more Seyval Blanc, adding to our interplanted Seyval vines in a L'Acadie Blanc block, to bring citrusy zing notes to our Tidal Bay blend. Read about the Nova Scotia winery appellation Tidal Bay.

Here's a little background on Seyval Blanc,

  • citrus and zingy acidity - used for sparkling in England, also in Finger Lakes region of New York and Oregan.
  • early ripener, good producer and suited to cool climates
  • a hybrid grape, bred in France by plant breeder Bertille Seyval

 

Read more on Wikpedia, Seyval Blanc. And here's a short video watering the new vines.

 

Time Posted: Jun 13, 2024 at 12:30 PM Permalink to Planting estate Seyval Blanc Permalink
Bruce Ewert
 
June 8, 2024 | Bruce Ewert

Vineyard Update June 2024

After several years of extreme weather, 2024 is tracking to be a welcomed “normal” growing season for Nova Scotia’s Gaspereau Valley wine region. Winter temperatures were mild and did not damage buds like the polar vortex of 2023. And spring frosts were a distant memory. We certainly learned from the spring frost of 2018 though and this year left a kicker cane on each vine – an extra cane to delay budbreak and for “insurance”, and we are currently pruning them off now that frost danger is gone.

All this adds up to our estate vineyard looking esthetically pleasing and poised to give us incredible grapes for its 19th year! More wood than ever before had to be pruned off this year from the effects of polar vortex bud killing, so we bought ourselves a more powerful mulching mower to return nutrients back to rows. Chris, our vineyard supervisor, has been mechanically weeding under vines with our Clemens grape hoe and preparing end of rows for planting cilantro to attract insect predators, part of a biodiversity component of our Biocyclic Vegan certification. Horsetail tea will be harvested this week for brewing, one of our organic practices to protect vines from mildew disease.

Take a vineyard tour with vineyard supervisor, Chris. Click here 

 

Horsetail Tea preparation

Lower blocks of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir were hit hard in winter 2023 but luckily many vines grew new trunks from the lower graft union. Not much pruning was required this year, only tying these precious canes to the fruiting wire. The vines with severe winter damage will be replanted this spring and next spring, and delivery of Pinot Noir vines from the nursery should be next week.

~ Bruce

Time Posted: Jun 8, 2024 at 1:17 PM Permalink to Vineyard Update June 2024 Permalink
L'Acadie Vineyards
 
April 7, 2024 | L'Acadie Vineyards

Wine Library Releases

Library Releases

Aged wines from cool climates are ideal for exploring

 

Our wine library is extensive and delicious. We hold back bottles from every vintage and age them in ideal conditions for our own reference and for periodic library releases to wine club members and key wine accounts. Past releases include 10-year aged Estate L’Acadie to show off how these minerality-dominant dry organic wines age and develop, our cool climate consistently granting a seamless longevity statement every vintage, and 10-year aged appassimento reds with tannins and flavours of their youth developing into supple tannins with dried fruit and jammy directions, yes jammy, a descriptor usually reserved for hot climate reds. 2014 Estate L’Acadie and 2012 Passito are currently available at Peacock Wine Bar in Halifax. Traditional method sparklings tend to develop richer characters when aged on cork and we have 2007 Prestige Brut Estate planned for a release. Best way for updates is receiving our newsletter.

This year our Gaspereau winery will be releasing 2008 Alchemy from the library exclusively for wine club members. Alchemy was Nova Scotia's first appassimento Amarone-style red, a worthy style for our cool-climate region, and refers to early scientists, or alchemists, searching to transform ordinary metals into gold. We did 5 years of research with Italian researchers and Kentville Research Centre to hone our grape drying technique and our inaugural release of the 2006 vintage won gold at the All-Canadian Wine Championships, quite fitting. 2008 Alchemy is an exceptional red wine carefully aged on cork for 14 years after 2 years in barrel and boasts complex, developed flavours of black cherry, toasted oak, & licorice.

Sign up for wine clubs here

Time Posted: Apr 7, 2024 at 3:57 PM Permalink to Wine Library Releases Permalink
Bruce Ewert
 
March 3, 2024 | Bruce Ewert

Update from the Vineyard

 

Climate change continues to impact wine regions across Canada, more recently in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley with record January lows of -28C wiping out possibilities of any crop this year. Nova Scotia had a comparatively less severe polar vortex in February 2023 and the main difference in impact is due to BC’s plantings of sensitive vinifera grape varieties compared to our region’s predominantly hybrid varieties. At least we had crop from L’Acadie Blanc and Leon Millot last year, reasonable yields from our certified organic and biocyclic vegan Gaspereau vineyard, but young vinifera Chardonnay and Pinot Noir got hit hard and vineyard practice has to be focused on renewal for future years by carefully training new trunks.

Read CBC article Cold snap causes catastrophic loss for BC's wine industry

 

Chardonnay new shoots in May 2023 after polar vortex: L'Acadie Vineyards

Happy to report that we don’t expect any winter damage this year after a fairly mild January and February. It’s still early to clink glasses together and we’ll wait until threats of late spring frosts are over – a spring frost/freeze in 2018 impacted our inventories of aged sparkling wine. The vines do not need another year of stress and we continue to inspect for signs of damaged trunks from the polar vortex.

Pruning started on Leon Millot and L’Acadie Blanc and we are leaving 3-4 fruiting canes - one as a kicker cane to delay budbreak, to be removed after spring frosts are over. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and our coveted little planting of Sauvignon Blanc will need minimal pruning as we train new shoots/trunks... and possibly get a very small crop this year. Perhaps we’ll toast with a glass of our upcoming new first release of 2021 Sauvignon Blanc traditional method sparkling!

Read a related blog, Climate change and organic farming

 

Time Posted: Mar 3, 2024 at 8:30 AM Permalink to Update from the Vineyard Permalink
Bruce Ewert
 
February 24, 2024 | Bruce Ewert

Climate change resilience and organic farming

We have long been supporters of Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network ACORN, and they have good information on their website - a small excerpt shared below.

Climate change affects vineyards with extreme events such as severe winter damage to vines in British Columbia for the past two years, polar vortex in Nova Scotia last year with similar damage, and droughts in other wine regions of the world. Organic farming  builds resilience AND contributes to a solution, as ACORN describes so well. 

A couple notes about our organic and vegan practices:

  • living soils - symbiotic fungi expand root zone influence by 2-10x for more water and nutrient availability, read more
  • regenerative agriculture - cover crops between vineyard rows create biodiversity and pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it in soil, watch video about our cover crops
  • livestock greenhouse gas generation - we are certified Biocyclic Vegan, no animal products from soil to glass, read more

 

 

Time Posted: Feb 24, 2024 at 5:51 AM Permalink to Climate change resilience and organic farming Permalink
L'Acadie Vineyards
 
February 16, 2024 | L'Acadie Vineyards

Biocyclic Vegan and Organic. Veganic

 

You may know that all of our wines are certified organic, but did you know that we are also certified Biocyclic Vegan?

In 2021, in addition to our long-standing organic certification, we became the first certified Biocyclic Vegan farm in North America. This progressive German-based organization has developed a rigorous & holistic standard to which we hold ourselves to. The Biocyclic Vegan ideology goes beyond most vegan certifications to include biodiversity, soil vitality, regenerative agriculture & social equity. We have been farming and winemaking veganically (vegan + organic) for quite some time and in 2021 found ourselves with a growing desire to seek certification to offer consumer transparency for our eco-conscious & plant-based fans. All the stars aligned when we discovered the Biocyclic Vegan standard!!

We love what they do, we love what we do, and we wouldn’t do it any other way. When you enjoy a glass of wine from L’Acadie Vineyards, you are guaranteed a certified organic & vegan wine, from soil to glass. 🌱🥂 

📸: Alex Douglas

#biocyclicvegan #veganic #vegan #veganwine #organic #organicwine #veganagriculture

Time Posted: Feb 16, 2024 at 12:12 PM Permalink to Biocyclic Vegan and Organic. Veganic Permalink
L'Acadie Vineyards
 
January 27, 2024 | L'Acadie Vineyards

Disgorging Vintage Cuvee

Time Posted: Jan 27, 2024 at 10:19 AM Permalink to Disgorging Vintage Cuvee Permalink
L'Acadie Vineyards
 
January 27, 2024 | L'Acadie Vineyards

Economic impact of farm wineries in Nova Scotia

Cultivating a unique sense of place

L'Acadie Vineyards, as trailblazers in Nova Scotia's sparkling wine scene two decades ago, not only pioneered sparkling wine production and earned international accolades but also played a crucial role in developing our region's identity as a noteworthy wine destination. This success exemplifies the importance of farm wineries in cultivating a unique sense of place, fostering economic growth, and establishing Nova Scotia as a prominent player in the global wine industry. 

Read more about how farm wineries are growing Nova Scotia

 

Time Posted: Jan 27, 2024 at 8:58 AM Permalink to Economic impact of farm wineries in Nova Scotia Permalink
L'Acadie Vineyards
 
January 21, 2024 | L'Acadie Vineyards

Drink Less, Drink Better

 

January is a good month to reset, reflect, plan and develop new healthier habits. Many are aiming to drink less alcohol and being more mindful of choosing wines when we do enjoy a glass. Vegan and organic wines are a delicious positive choice for the environment and your health.

There is plenty of research and information on vegan and organic farming benefits to soil, groundwater, air quality and bigger picture climate change, as well as individual health. In Europe, government funding for agriculture in most countries is tiered based on sustainability, with organic agriculture on the top pedestal. Recent examples include the Spanish region, Penedès, requiring all wineries to be organic, and the Italian government ruling that biodynamic farming, a largely animal-based practice, is not as sustainable as organic.

Read blog Why we are biocyclic vegan

Read more DO Penedès: new rules and aiming for Spanish wine’s top-tier

Read more Biodynamic farming favoured by Sting sees bill blocked in Italy

Most wine regions in Canada have identified economic impact study benefits for choosing local wine. In Nova Scotia, a local bottle contributes $76.73 and an import only $16.57 – very dramatic reasons to buy local. We should extend studies like this to include health benefits of sustainable wine and put monetary value on consuming less pesticide residues in your glass, reversing climate change from less carbon emissions, healthier soils and cleaner water and air. Governments have identified rising health care costs associated with certain lifestyles and, much like European governments supporting organic farming, they offer incentives for healthier choices. A “Health Impact” study for organic vegan wine could help guide their programs.

Organic coupled with local is always better especially when your local wine region is a cool climate producing naturally moderate alcohol wines. Instead of reaching for an organic Malbec from Chile at 15% alcohol, try an organic sparkling wine from Nova Scotia at 11% alcohol. Make your Tuesday night wine or your Friday night wine a celebration of health.

Read about our Vintage Cuvee in Vine Routes article  6 favourite vegan and earth-friendly wines

 

Time Posted: Jan 21, 2024 at 12:01 PM Permalink to Drink Less, Drink Better Permalink
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