Year in review 2023
Year in Review - 2023 curveballs
Mother Nature threw many curve balls at us this year. We are thankful on many fronts and perhaps most promising are the early indicators of resilience from farming our Gaspereau vineyard organically.
The polar vortex in February reduced our viable buds and we adjusted our pruning and other cultural practices. L'Acadie Blanc and Leon Millot had reasonable yields but not so with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Hopefully new trunks that we carefully nurtured this year will give us good growth next year in these vinifera blocks. There was some vine loss with these more cold sensitive varieties but not nearly as much as we anticipated and perhaps attributed to deep reaching roots in our gravelly soil coupled with living organic soils rewarding us with a measure of early resilience in these young blocks.
Read our blog about climate change resilience from living soils
Then the rains came. The resulting high mildew pressures were very risky all summer and our organic viticulture was put to the test! Happy to say that we avoided significant diseases with the great work from our new vineyard supervisor, Chris.
See video of Chris explaining our organic and vegan vineyard practices,
Harvest started September 21 and we couldn't have been happier with finally getting dry, warm, shorts and t-shirt weather. And good timing for flavour development too! Everything was hand picked and whole cluster pressed with a gentle sparkling press program for best quality juice. The only exception to this daily routine was L’Acadie blanc fermented on its skins for our next release of Orange Wine coming from our Gaspereau winery in the spring.
The iconic signature in Nova Scotia didn't waver even with all the curveballs - consistent ripe grapes with great acidity and moderate sugar levels. We see it every year, no compromises, and it is this significant attribute of our cool climate that constantly validates our emerging sparkling wine region. Look for structured, lower alcohol and refreshing sparklings in future releases, and a dry crisp whites in the spring!
We earned many wine awards this year with Prestige Brut Estate and Vintage Cuvee leading our portfolio with golds from Decanter World Wine Awards and National Wine Awards of Canada, respectively. Very thankful for media attention and accolades for the first Decanter gold ever for Nova Scotia, throwing a spotlight on organic vegan wine quality.
Read our blog about Gold at Decanter World Wine Awards and Decanter's article Canada Calling: The wines exciting the experts now
Winter solstice resets our thoughts to reflect and calm as we plan the new season, the new cycle of life, for our 20th year. Very grateful.
~Bruce, owner winemaker