Tidal Bay: All About Nova Scotia’s Signature White Wine

The Winery Association of Nova Scotia’s website boasts that Nova Scotia has a rich tradition in grape growing, dating all the way back to the 1600’s. The inception of our province’s first appellation, entitled Tidal Bay, in 2012 solidified the fact that NS wines are serious wines and that our region is finally becoming known for a particular style of wine.

Like any other wine region we do produce a variety of styles, but, if one is looking for that signature wine that exemplifies what we do best as a whole; Tidal Bay captures the essence of a refreshing coastal climate white wine.

So, what exactly is Tidal Bay anyway?

Unlike most other wine regions, where the “appellation” is defined by a geographic region, the Tidal Bay appellation applies to Nova Scotia as a whole. A wine bearing “Tidal Bay” on the label must be made from 100% Nova Scotia-grown grapes. The blend of grapes differ from winery to winery but some of the star grapes are L’Acadie Blanc, Vidal, Seyval with lesser amounts of supporting varietals like Ortega, New York Muscat, Riesling and even Chardonnay. Every year, the wines are evaluated by a blind tasting panel to ensure that the wine fits into the “Tidal Bay” style; one that is fresh, crisp, lively, with green fruit and distinct minerality. Each winery has its own take on Tidal Bay all while maintaining a style that is light , clean and slightly aromatic. I look forward to tasting and comparing each winery’s Tidal Bay every summer season; noting the similarities while enjoying each wines uniqueness.

Enjoying Tidal Bay

The wine is not an austere or bone dry style; there is in fact some residual sugar in Tidal Bay that serves to balance the wine’s naturally high acidity. So even with residual sugar, the wine does not taste sweet, but lively and as well balanced. Imagine tasting super sweet strawberries with a squeeze of lemon to brighten up the flavour even more, this is how the sugar and acid in wine interact on your tastebuds.

Tidal Bay can be enjoyed year round as an aperitif or with seafood but it is really the ideal summer sipper; light (with an alcohol level of no more than 11%), crisp, zesty and oh so refreshing!