Proudly NS Dinner

Proudly Nova Scotian: An Evening with the Winemakers

Hosted by Jean-Benoit Deslauriers (Benjamin Bridge), Simon Rafuse (Blomidon Estate Winery) and Gina Haverstock (Gaspereau Vineyards)
Tuesday, September 25 | 6-9PM | Chives Canadian Bistro | $125 (taxes & tip included)
Doors: 5:45PM | Dress: Business Casual

Join three of our province’s renown winemakers for a truly Nova Scotian dining experience. A local-inspired menu created by Chef Craig Flynn will be paired with Nova Scotian wines and showcased alongside stories shared by Jean-Benoit Deslauriers (Benjamin Bridge), Simon Rafuse (Blomidon Estate Winery) and Gina Haverstock (Gaspereau Vineyards).

Preview the dinner menu here.

Guests with dietary restrictions can reach out to and we will do our best to accommodate your request. If you are part of a group that is purchasing your tickets separately, please email to ensure we seat you together. 


JEAN-BENOIT DESLAURIERS | Head Winemaker, Benjamin Bridge

In 2008, Jean-Benoit joined the Benjamin Bridge winemaking team in time to release his first Canadian wine, Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge. Since then, he has crafted all of the winery’s classic method sparkling wines and its still wines, in consultation with Peter Gamble (the winery’s lead consultant) and the late Raphaël Brisbois.

Originally from Québec, Jean-Benoit began his winemaking apprenticeship at VOE (Vinedos Organicos Emiliana), a biodynamic vineyard/winery in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, which was created by one of Chile’s largest producers, Vina Santa Emilina, to produce exceptional wines. Having mostly worked in California, he made wine at Casa Barranca (2004-2008), the first certified organic winery in Santa Barbara County. In California, his winemaking efforts garnered accolades and standout reviews from Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer (90+).

Since 2008, Jean-Benoit’s winemaking has elevated Benjamin Bridge’s wine programs to new heights with consistent 90-95+ scores and unanimous high praise from the nation’s leading wine critics along with growing international recognition.

SIMON RAFUSE | Head Winemaker, Blomidon Estates

Simon Rafuse travelled the world for his wine education and work experience, but was excited at the opportunity to return to his native Nova Scotia. He attended Mount Allison University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science before subsequently earning a Master of Science degree at the University of Kent (United Kingdom) and a Master of Viticulture and Oenology degree at Montpellier SupAgro (France). He also holds the Diplôme National d’Oenologue (France).

Since 2009 he has been the Winemaker at Blomidon Estate Winery, a boutique winery located in Canning, NS, where his wines have won numerous national and international awards and accolades. Simon is also an instructor with the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and a contributor to The Chronicle Herald and publications such as Quench.

GINA HAVERSTOCK | Head Winemaker, Gaspereau Vineyards

Nova Scotia-born Gina Haverstock’s lifelong ambition to become a doctor was side-lined by a summer job at Jost Vineyards. A Bachelor of Science graduate of the University of New Brunswick, in 2000 Gina took a job at Jost and soon discovered that learning about wine captivated her.

Gina returned to Jost in 2001 to learn hands on how wine is made. She went on to take sommelier training and then to the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, receiving a Bachelor of Science with honours in Oenology and Viticulture.

Upon completion of her studies, Gina worked at wineries in Germany, Austria, France, and New Zealand. She returned to Nova Scotia in 2006 to become the winemaker at, what was then, the newly established Gaspereau Vineyards. 

Her wines, especially Riesling and aromatic whites, have received international awards and accolades.

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