The difference between Vinifera and Hybrid? The Vitis vinifera is the European species of grape most commonly used for wine production. French Hybrids were developed in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by crossing hardy North American varieties with European vinifera varieties with the goal being to have pest and disease resistant grapes with the wine quality of vinifera grapes. Vinifera cultivars have been planted in Nova Scotia since the 1980’s, however, extreme winter temperatures have affected the success rates. Certain areas of Nova Scotia are better suited to growing Vinifera grapes. For this reason, the wineries of Nova Scotia have been improving winemaking techniques for the easier to grow hybrid grapes,winning accolades and awards.
Leon Millot : A red wine grape that is hardy, vigourous and disease resitant. Produces wines that have good body and berry flavours
Luci Kuhlman: A sister variety of Leon Millot that produces a slightly bigger crop and is earlier ripening. The wines produced can be bold in colour but with lower tannins.
Marechal Foch: A sister vine to Leon Millot and Luci Kuhlmann, this grape is reliable, hardy and common in Nova Scotia vineyards.
Marechal Joffre: A red wine grape variety that is very early ripening. This variety is very hardy and disease resistant.
Pinot Noir: Still in experimental stages, the grapes are able to ripen and over-winter and two wine vintages have been produced. The red wine is typical of a Pinot Noir, being light and fruity.
Cabernet Franc: This variety, common in Bordeaux, is very late ripening.
Baco Noir: This grape produces excellent wines but the vines are not extremely hardy and ripening can be quite late.
Severnyi: This grape is hardy and early ripening. The wines are balanced but the vines require cross pollination as they are very often single-sexed.
Seyval Blanc: This wine is very productive, producing large clusters. It is hardy and produces lovely wines.
L'Acadie Blanc: The signature white grape of Nova Scotia. Created in Vineland, Ontario, this grape proved not suitable to the Ontario climate but produces excellent wines in Nova Scotia. The grape is hardy, early-ripening and disease resistant.
Cayuga: This white grape was developed in Geneva, New York. It is very disease resistant and produces a fruity wine if the grapes are not harvested over-ripe.
Chardonnay: Newer to Nova Scotia because of winter hardiness concerns, Chardonnay is performing quite well and ripening into nice quality grapes.
New York Muscat: This large, blue skinned grape was bred in Geneva, New York. It is intensely flavoured and extremely popular in Nova Scotia amongst consumers. The grapes are used in dry wines and icewines.
Ortega: Very winter hardy, relatively early ripening and produces a very pretty wine. Also used in Icewine.
Riesling: Hardy but late ripening.
Vidal Blanc: Late-ripening white grape that is used for table wines but most popular for icewines.