Nova Scotia’s wineries have built a solid reputation through the quality of products that they produce. The Nova Scotia wine industry has become one of the province’s most exciting economic development stories in the last decade. Nova Scotia is the third most recognized wine region in Canada and has been gaining momentum for the past 25 years with 10 wineries and grape growers covering 400 acres across Nova Scotia. The provinces wine industry has set a goal of 1,000 acres of grapevines and 20 wineries by 2020.
The NSLC works diligently to ensure the industry remains a financially thriving part of the local economy. In 2006 the NSLC commissioned an in-depth study of the industry, which revealed the true potential of Nova Scotia as a viable and successful wine region.
In 2007, based on the information collected in the study, the NSLC took the initiative and adopted the “Emerging Wine Regions Policy”, which provides for favorable retail markups for any wine listed by the NSLC that is from an emerging wine region in Nova Scotia. One of the immediate benefits was to help assist the growth of local wineries and the Nova Scotia economy. Wineries can now sell their products at the NSLC with higher profit margins, thus allowing them to re-invest in their businesses, be more competitive at retail, improve product awareness, and help educate consumers through various merchandising initiatives. The NSLC is now acting as the sales and distribution agency for these smaller wineries who could not afford the associated overhead costs. This partnership has helped the Nova Scotia wine industry grow sales through the NSLC by over 16% in fiscal 2009 versus the previous year, stimulating the local economy.
With the true potential of the local wine industry in mind, the NSLC; the Wine Association of Nova Scotia; the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage; and the Department of Agriculture have joined forces to develop a Nova Scotia Wine Strategy. A ‘Nova Scotia Wine Experience’ is being developed, along with numerous other initiatives. This will offer a unique attraction to both tourists and residents by providing an opportunity for food and wine paring, education on the winemaking process and the history of the industry. These partnerships and business initiatives assist in the continued success of the wineries in Nova Scotia.