A Tide of Medals for NS Wines at #ACWC

On my recent wine tour in Nova Scotia, I tasted  a lot of lovely wines, so this week I wanted to see how they scored at the All Canadian Wine Championships ACWC. Surprisingly for such a small wine region, they did astonishingly well across a range of categories winning twelve medals between six wineries and a cidery.

The ACWC awards were hit by a tidal wave of wines from BC who took all the top awards of the competition and swept several entire categories, so for  Nova Scotia to win medals for 12 of the 33 wines submitted said they could stand up and be counted. Not all Nova Scotia wineries took part in the competition.

If you want to impress your dinner guests, here are some winners to have on hand. None of them will break the bank so splurge on a mixed case. Continue reading


Virtual winery’s debut white

l’Acadie  grapes are a hardy white hybrid ideal for Nova Scotia’s climate. It is the backbone of most of the table wines, blends, and bubbly produced in the province. So incredibly versatile, some winemakers are pushing the limits of what it can do.  My choice for Wine of Week #10  is this oaked l’Acadie  another versatile winter white for March.


L;Acadie Fumé

The wine: l’Acadie Fumé  2010  $.18.99
l’Acadie wine aged in new French and American oak. Described by the winemaker as ‘unlike any l’Acadie Blanc you’ve tried before.”

The winery: The Rafuse Wine Company
A virtual wine company owned by Simon Rafuse. produced on site at  Blomidon Estate Winery facilities and sold at the NSLC and Bishop’s Cellar.

Simon Rafuse Winemaker

Simon Rafuse Winemaker

The Winemaker: Simon Rafuse
Rafuse is the celebrated winemaker at Blomidon Estates winery who wanted to have his own label “Just for fun. It gives me a way to try things out.”

The accolades: Rafuse says there aren’t any yet, but it was getting a lot of buzz among the wine community when I was wine touring in Nova Scotia last spring. Continue reading

Wine of the Week – Week 3 – Benjamin Bridge Borealis Icewine ’09

Throughout 2014,  I am featuring a wine and its story from wineries I have visited.  In week 1, I celebrated New Year with L’Acadie Prestige Brut,  Week 2, dinner parties finished with Karlo Estates’s Van Alstine White (port). This week, as the wind howls and the temperature drops, I think of icewine,  the best thing to come out of a Canadian winter. There are a lot of sensational Canadian icewines but this is my absolute favourite.Borealis 2

The wine:  Benjamin Bridge Borealis Icewine  ’09
The wine is made from predominantly Vidal grapes with just a touch of New York Muscat. Benjamin Bridge only make icewine in years they consider consistent with the highest quality of grapes. Their vintages so far are ’04, ’07, ’09 and ’12. However ’09 is the vintage currently on sale. It has been aged four years before release. $35.98 /200 ml 9.8% alc.  Brix 37 at harvest. Continue reading

Lucket Vineyard

Remembering the Atlantic Wine Symposium 2012

In May 2012,  Nova Scotia invited wine writers, critics, winery owners and industry leaders to the first Atlantic Wine Symposium. Those of us who were not in attendance found ways to experience it through the eyes of others on Twitter. It was a  terrific “fly on the wall experience” by following #ACwine as the participants, organizers and speakers shared some of their impressions in tweets. Of course like overhearing a conversation in a restaurant or a bystander on a cell phone,  you do not get the full story, but from what was tweeted it was  both a great success and an eye-opening experience for those involved.

Clearly wine experts from other parts of Canada were excited about the NS wines even though  they are predominantly hybrids. Sandra Oldfield, owner/winemaker at Tinhorn Creek winery in BC enjoyed the oak aged Lucie Kuhlmann wine at Grand Pré tweeting  “My California friends would call it Merlot”. Sandra was also enthusiastic about the countryside, with “the million dollar views” at Pete Luckett’s winery and tweeted “If you’re looking for a unique, unspoiled & vibrant place to vacation this year…wine country Nova Scotia is it.”    Continue reading

Welcome to The Wine Tourist

Veronica Leonard

Veronica Leonard

I am passionate about wine touring. I love meeting the vintners, the winemakers and the viticulturists who make it all happen. I love the green rows of ripening grapes and the cool tranquility of the barrel cellar where wood and wine languidly embrace. Most of all, I love the wine tasting, selecting wines that appeal to my tastes and bringing them home to cellar and pair with the right time, food and company.

I’m also interested in Canadian craft cider, craft beer and craft distilleries.

I’m not a critic or a wine connoisseur. I’m a tourist, like you, learning as I go. Come tour with me.