National wine awards come to Greenwich

Published on June 17, 2017

Volunteers, who come from across the country, polish glasses and prepare flights of wines for judging a the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada.

©Wendy Elliott

GREENWICH, NS – There are a dazzling array of top quality Canadian wines at this year’s 17th WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada.

Last year there were 1,500 wines in the competition, but there are 200 more this year entered by 242 wineries.
Twenty-two talented wine tasters were in Greenwich from seven Canadian provinces as well as London, England to pick the winners from among 1700 wines and ciders made in Canada.
Seventeen pallets of wine arrived at the Old Orchard Inn and had to be sorted and lined up by a group of dedicated volunteers from across the country, said Anthony Gismondi, who is co-head judge.
“This is the largest wine awards in Canadian history,” he added.
There are six tables of judges tasting and sniffing. This is the first year that cider is being judged in the competition, which continues until June 19.
“There has been great deal of energy emanating from the Nova Scotia wine industry in recent years” says WineAlign VP David Lawrason, who also is co-head of the program. “It is much like the energy within the sparkling wines and Tidal Bay whites that are now defining the region.”
The judges, he said were eager to experience the energy in the area’s wine industry and to sample some Atlantic hospitality.”
“Canadians wines have been making inroads at competitions around the world of late but those accomplishments pale when compare to the head-to-head, peer tastings that are being conducted in Wolfville this week,” said Gismondi.
“Nova Scotia hosted these awards back in 2011, and while that is only a short number of years ago, our industry has developed greatly,” said Gillian Mainguy, executive director of the Winery Association of Nova Scotia.
“We are particularly pleased that the awards fall on the heels of the Atlantic Canada Wine Symposium. Together the events present a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we do best in Nova Scotia,” she added.
The wines were all served blind (producer, origin, and price were not revealed) but identified and organized into flights by grape variety or style. The top medalists were tasted in multiple rounds by several different judges.
The full results will be published on WineAlign, Canada’s largest wine review and editorial website, in July. The location for the nationals alternates between east and west each year, Lawrason said.
He and Gismondi, who reside in Toronto and Vancouver respectively, founded WineAlign and are co-chief judges.

At the ninth annual Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards, Annapolis Valley wineries cleaned up, according to the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers Atlantic Chapter (CAPS-AC).
Seven wineries from Kings and Hants Counties were recognized excellence in wines. Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards captured winery of the year and eight awards.
There is plenty to celebrate here in Nova Scotia wine country lately, said Jocelyn Lightfoot.
“We are filled with gratitude after being named Winery of the Year at the Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards this week. It's an honour to be part of this exciting, growing industry.”
L’Acadie Vineyard, Domain de Grand Pré and Gaspereau Vineyard each won two awards. Sainte Famille Vineyard, Luckett Vineyard and Planters Ridge Winery won one each. The award for traditional method sparkling wine was tied between L’Acadie Vineyards Mousseux and the 2012 Blomidon Estate Late Picked Chardonnay.

Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards


Winery of the Year
Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards
Best of Class Sparkling Wine - 
L’Acadie Vineyards Mousseux & 2012 Blomidon Estate Late Picked Chardonnay (tie)
Best of Class Red Wine - 
2014 Lightfoot & Wolfville Ancienne Pinot Noir
Best of Class White Wine - 2016 Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Terroir Series Scheurebe

Best of Class Dessert Wine
 - Domaine de Grand Pré Pomme D’Or
Best of Class - Traditional Method Sparkling Wine
Tie: L’Acadie Vineyards Mousseux & 2012 Blomidon Estate Late Picked Chardonnay
Best of Class - Non-Traditional Method Sparkling
Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Bubbly Rosé
Best of Class - Tidal Bay - 2016 Gaspereau Tidal Bay
Best of Class - Single Varietal White Wine– Vinifera
2016 Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Terroir Series Scheurebe
Best of Class - Single Varietal White Wine – Hybrid
2015 Gaspereau Vineyards Muscat
Best of Class - White Blend - 2016 Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Flora
Best of Class – Rosé - 2015 Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Pinot Rosé
Best of Class - Single Varietal Red Wine– Hybrid - 2013 Sainte Famille Vineyard View Foch
Best of Class - Single Varietal White Wine– Vinifera - 2014 Lightfoot & Wolfville Ancienne Pinot Noir
Best of Class - Red Blend - Luckett Vineyards Black Cab
Best of Class - Fruit Wine - Planters Ridge Winery Valley Nectar
Best of Class - Dessert Wine - Domaine de Grand Pré Pomme D’Or

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A new map is going to help locals and visitors alike navigate Nova Scotia’s burgeoning wine country.
Entitled Wines of Nova Scotia, the map offers directions and information on wineries around the province.
Published this week by the Winery Association of Nova Scotia, it was created by cartographer Marcel Morin of Grand Pre.
He is confident it is the first map of its kind in the province and in the country. Morin worked on the program for roughly eight years.
In addition to wineries, the map is being distributed at visitor centres, hotels, and other tourist accommodations.
Morin said the map features a cover photo, taken by Jamie Robertson of Grand Pre using a drone.
Not every winery in Nova Scotia is on the map, because this edition features winery association members only.