Our History

The present-day Nova Scotia wine industry is generally considered to have begun with the establishment of Grand Pre Vineyards by Roger Dial and associated investors in the late 1970s. However, the commercial production of wine in Nova Scotia dates back to the establishment of the Andres Winery in Truro in 1965. The Andres facility used imported juice, concentrate and finished wine from company facilities in Ontario to blend and package wine for the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission (NSLC) and other markets in the region, and continues to operate in that mode today, renamed as Andrew Peller Limited.

The original Grand Pre vineyard pioneered commercial wine grape production in Nova Scotia. The winery operation suffered two business failures before being purchased by Hanspeter Stutz in the early 1990s and being extensively rebuilt. Meanwhile the Jost family of Malagash established commercial plantings in the early 1980s and founder Hans Wilhelm Jost began to produce wine for the Nova Scotia market in the mid-1980s. Following his untimely death, the company was taken over by his son Hans Christian Jost in the early 1990s and grew to become the largest farm winery in Nova Scotia. The company, now under new ownership, has traditionally made wines that are both blends of Nova Scotia grapes with imported juice, along with 100% Nova Scotia products.

Through the 1990s the industry grew steadily if not spectacularly, with entrants including Sainte-Famille Winery of Falmouth, fruit wineries Lunenburg County Winery, Williamsdale Winery, and Telderberry Winery (the latter two now defunct), and Habitant Vineyards in Canning, the predecessor of the present-day Blomidon Estate Winery. Growth accelerated in the beginning of the 21st century with the development of Gaspereau Vineyards, Benjamin Bridge Vineyards, and Petite Riviere Vineyards.

In 2003 the Winery Association of Nova Scotia (WANS) was formed, and work began on a strategic vision for the industry along with an initial 3-year marketing plan. WANS members soon agreed on a vision that would see 20 wineries and 1000 acres of vines under cultivation by the year 2020.

Growth has continued with the wineries of Annapolis Highlands Vineyards, Avondale Sky, L’Acadie Vineyards, Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards, Luckett Vineyards, Mercator Vineyards, Planters Ridge, Bear River Vineyards, and Elmwood Vineyard.