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New research winery opened in Kentville, Nova Scotia

March 2, 2019  By Fruit and Veg magazine

Lawrence Macaulay, former Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, officially opened a research winery at the Kentville Research and Development Centre in Nova Scotia on Feb. 28. (L to R) Researchers Dr. Deb Moreau and Dr. Harrison Wright, Coastal Region Director General Dr. Benoit Girard, Wines of Nova Scotia Associate Executive Director Alex MacDonald, Minister MacAulay, Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia President Bruce Wright, Kentville Research and Development Centre Associate Director Dr. Mark Hodges, and researchers Dr. Shawna MacKinnon and Dr. Charles Forney. Wayne Riley, AAFC

Nova Scotia’s reputation as a wine-growing region continues to flourish with award-winning labels and expanding production. In 2018, the province’s 23 licensed wineries produced 1.5 million litres of wine valued at over $23 million, employing over 700 people.

This past week, Lawrence MacAulay, former Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, officially opened a research winery at the Kentville Research and Development Centre that will help grape growers and vintners hone their production techniques to take full advantage of the province’s unique soils and growing conditions.

The $1.8 million winery will allow researchers to investigate how locally grown varieties, growing conditions and vineyard practices affect the chemistry of the grapes, which in turn influences the finishing characteristics in the wine, including taste and aroma.

Researchers will also study wine making techniques, working with commercial wineries to evaluate the impact of fermentation and temperatures on the quality of wine. That work will include the identification and use of natural yeasts found in Nova Scotia that could contribute to unique characteristics in the province’s wine profiles.

Pictured above: Dr. Shawna MacKinnon shows Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay a test bottle of wine at the new research winery at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Kentville Research and Development Centre in Nova Scotia.

“Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s great emerging wine regions. This new research winery will use science to help grape growers and vintners explore the full potential of wine making in the province and further solidify Canada’s reputation for quality wines in the global marketplace. By investing in agriculture here in Nova Scotia and across Canada, the Government will continue to grow the economy and create jobs for our middle class,” MacAulay said.

The 360-square-metre winery is part of a wine research program that includes eight scientists, a vineyard and an on-going research project to map the grape varieties, growing techniques and conditions of every vineyard in Nova Scotia.

Taste sensory panels will be part of the winery, with sommeliers and local wine makers likely to be part of the panels to assess the flavour characteristics of the experimental wine. The lab will complement the leading-edge wine research program at AAFC’s Summerland Research and Development Centre in British Columbia.

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