N.S. winery seeing early success in dried grape research project
February 10, 2009 By Fruit & Vegetable
N.S. winery seeing early success
in dried grape research project
A three-year research project into drying Nova Scotia grown grapes to enhance the flavour of local wines is meeting with some early success.
A three-year research project into drying Nova Scotia grown grapes to enhance the flavour of local wines is meeting with some early success. Bruce Ewert of L'Acadie Vineyards has teamed up with the National Research Council, Agriculture Canada and the province to explore the Old World wine making technique.
"It's not just simple desiccation; there are unique flavour profile changes,'' Ewert said in a release. In Europe, particularly Italy, grape drying is an old tradition in wine making designed to enhance a wine's flavour, but this is the first time it's been done with Nova Scotia grapes.
With support from the NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program Ewert has created a red wine using locally grown grape varieties including Marechal Foch, Luci Kuhlmann and Leon Millot red grapes. "There's a lot of optimism for the Nova Scotia wine industry. And at this early stage, research is critical to our growth,'' he said.
The research project involves regulating and varying specific drying factors, such as humidity and air speed at the surface of the grapes. Ewert monitors the resulting physiological changes within the grapes, principally sugar levels, as they dry. The research has already paid dividends at the 2008 All Canadian Wine Awards, L'Acadie's inaugural red wine from dried grapes, labeled Alchemy, won gold and Leon Millot Soleil, a sweet red wine made from dried grapes, won silver.
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