One rare not-so-sunny day I traveled to the Mondrian Los Angeles in West Hollywood for a wine class and tasting on the Alentejo region of Portugal. My education on Portugal had been, up to this point, mostly spent on the obvious: Ports. However, as a wine writer, it’s always special to not only taste new wines but also have the additional benefit of learning. Here goes…
The session will be presented by Evan Goldstein, MS, one of our industry’s most engaging and informed wine educators, in addition to being a leading expert on Portuguese wines. At the masterclass, Evan will offer a snapshot of the grapes, zones, sub-zones and characteristics that define Alentejo’s wines and collectively establish it as one of the most promising wine regions in southern Europe today.
Takeaways for Wine 101ers
- Three sides of Portugal is bordered by Spain.
- It takes less than 90 minutes to travel by train from Lisbon to Alentejo.
- Alentejo covers one third of Portugal.
- Alentejo is the size of Belgium.
- They’ve been making wine for over 4,000 years; the Roman settlers were the first to plant vineyards.
- They are 9th in the world in vineyard acreage.
- They are 11th in total worldwide production (USA is 4th)
- Portuguese have the largest wine consumption in the world, 54 liters per person per year.
- Nearly 80% of the wines are reds.
- Blending is allowed and they “embrace everybody’s grapes” in Alentejo.
We had 12 wines to taste, starting with a sparkling Rose, two whites and the remainder were all reds. Evan wanted us to taste blind – this was lost on me as no one seemed that familiar with the grapes to begin with, we were there for a lesson, so not sure why the blind format – but it didn’t slow us down. In fact, by “halftime” we had been given less time to evaluate each wine.
Surrounded by fellow media and some members of the trade, we began our task. Number, year, producer and then the name of the wines are below. The many wine grape varietals are in parenthesis.
Rose: 2014 Herdade do Rocim, Espumante Brut Rose (Touriga Nacional)
Color: fresh peach.
Aroma: strawberry, cherry blossom, French toast, yeast.
Flavor: cherry, strawberry, tart, medium acid.
One: 2015 Rui Reguinga, Terrenus Reserva Branco (field blend of mixed whites)
Color: 24 carat gold.
Aroma: honey, kiwi, stone fruit.
Flavor: green apple, grapefruit, orange zest, medium acid.
Two: 2016 Luis Duarte, Rubrica Branco (Antao Val, Verdelho and Viognier)
Color: pale gold.
Aroma: green hay, barnyard, yeast and cheddar cheese.
Flavor: sweetened grapefruit, tinny, good mouth-coating viscosity, short finish.
Three: 2013 Susana Esteban, Procura Tinto (Field blend, Alicante Bouschet)
Aroma: blue to black fruit, Cabernet-like, chocolate.
Flavor: dry, tannic, dried dark fruit.
Four: 2013 Joao Portugal Ramos, Vila Santa Reserva Tinto (Aragonez – aka Tempranillo – as well as Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet)
Color: dark garnet.
Aroma: red fruit, stems, cigar, wet bark, medicinal.
Flavor: red fruit and stems again.
Five: 2011 Mouchao, Tinto (Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira – commonly used in port wine reduction but I didn’t know that until I looked up the grape!)
Color: dark purple.
Aroma: sweet, port-like, blueberry, blackberry jam.
Flavor: drier in mouth than expected, same port-like qualities and cigar.
Six: 2014 Esporao, Reserva Tinto (Aragonez – aka Tempranillo –as well as Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet.)
Color: dark purple.
Aroma: cigar, dark chocolate, espresso, mint.
Flavor: mature fruit, balanced with spice, good dark fruit.
This was the first of my favorites in the tasting.
Seven: 2014 Cartuxa, Tinto (Aragonez – aka Tempranillo – as well as Alicante Bouschet and Trincadeira.)
Aroma: pungent red to blue fruit – a lot, and a nice amount of spice.
Flavor: black fruit, balanced, spice milder.
This was the second of my favorites.
Eight: 2012 Dona Maria, Grande Reserva Tinto (Alicante Bouschet, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Touriga Nacional)
Color: dark purple.
Aroma: tart nose of blueberry, dark cherry and white pepper.
Flavor: red fruit, some spice, tannic.
Nine: 2015 Cooperativa Granja Amaraleja, Moreto Pe-Franco Tinto (100% Moreto – in amphora!)
Color: dark garnet.
Aroma: sweet, stewed fruits, plump raisings, milk chocolate, dark cherry.
Flavor: Nice big, bold and dark fruit, good spice.
My third favorite in the tasting. Been a long time since I had a clay pot, aka amphora, wine.
Ten: 2015 Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Malhadinha Tinto (Alicante Bouschet, Syrah, Tinta Miuda and Touriga Nacional.)
Color: dark garnet.
Aroma: fresh bowl of cut red fruit, juicy darker fruits, mint, earth.
Flavor: deep, layered, balanced fruit, spice and tannins.
Also a favorite for me.
Eleven: 2013 Cortes de Cima, Tinto (Aragonez – aka Tempranillo – as well as Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Petit Verdot.
Color: dark red.
Aroma: red to blue fruit, nicely balanced.
Flavor: heavy red fruit, deep, flavors well integrated.
Facebook: Wines of Alentejo USA
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.
NEW YORK (PRWEB) – Disaronno, the world’s favorite Italian liqueur, is proud to announce the launch of Disaronno Velvet, the iconic brand’s latest innovation to the liquer category. Incredibly smooth, Velvet boasts the floral character of almonds with nuances of chocolate and vanilla. Velvet is the a perfect choice for those who love sophisticated cream liqueurs.
Born in Saronno, Italy in 1525, Disaronno is one of the oldest Italian spirits brands and known for its distinctive bottle design made of a special faceted glass crafted in Murano, topped with the inimitable square cap. Disaronno Velvet features the same design and cap in a sleek white for an ultra-premium look.
“Disaronno continues to represent quality and authenticity in the liqueur category. With the launch of Disaronno Velvet, we are excited to bring innovation to the core of our company,” said Ray Stoughton, Executive Vice President of Disaronno International. “We aim to reinvigorate the category and attract new consumers to the brand.”
Blending the unique flavor of Disaronno and the richness of a velvety cream, Disaronno Velvet is best served over ice, or to add a touch of Italian elegance to your favorite cream cocktails. Available nationwide this April, Disaronno Velvet is glueten free with a standard retail price of $29.99 and 17% ABV.
Disaronno is the world’s favorite Italian liqueur. Featuring an original taste and unmistakable aroma, it stands out on the world stage with distribution in more than 160 countries. The Disaronno bottle has a unique design and a cap, which lends elegance and modernity, embellished with a golden label that enhances its contemporary style. Disaronno is a pleasure to enjoy on the rocks as well as in its various mixed drinks, including the new Disaronno Fizz. Recognizable and versatile, it makes every cocktail one of a kind.
I attended a wine class organized by the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), of which I am a member, to learn more about ‘Cru Bourgeois’ wines mostly from the Medoc and Haut Medoc region of Bordeaux, France.
Wine appellations in Europe have lots of rules and distinctions. The Cru Bourgeois was different from any other I had learned about before, and the prices – $20 to $50 average – made them accessible to anyone with wine interests.
There were just maybe two dozen of us in the class: sommeliers, wine store owners and wine students. I was surprised to learn that I was one of two people that had been to Bordeaux, but not to the Medoc region.
Some of the reasons why the Bordeaux region is important
- All of our winemaking techniques blending, fining, etc. – come from Bordeaux.
- One of the longest aging wines in the world, it’s a fact with a proven track record.
- Lower alcohol levels than other age-worthy wines.
- Bordeaux is divided between the left and right bank of the Gironde river. Left was originally under water before the Dutch drained it, leaving great white gravel pebbles, the “secret to Bordeaux.”
- Due to the weather blending became a necessity.
- Vintage years are important, and pushed by producers, due to unpredictable weather.
- The wines made on the right side of the Gironde river aew Merlot-based. Grows best in colder gravel/soil. Hills and limestone, limestone stays cooler.
- Left of the Gironde is Cabernet Sauvignon-based. White pebbles in vineyard increase ripeness.
Haut Medoc and Medoc
Haut Medoc is where the classic Cabernets come from. If you travel the road between Medoc and Haut Medoc, running south to north, the gravel changes from smaller and fine to bigger gravel and more clay. So wines from Haut Medoc are more tannic, potent, powerful and require more aging. As you continue up the wines get bigger. It is widely considered that wines made from grapes closer to the Gironde River are better.
Crus Bourgeois du Medoc
The term, Crus Bourgeois, first became commercial in 19th century. The classification was made official in 1932 with 444 members. By 2003 there were 247 Chateau in the association.
The Crus Bourgeois are considered good wines that weren’t let into Grand Cru classification. This was a way to get national recognition beyond the Grand Crus.
The Crus Bourgeois is a privately controlled certifying organization. At one point one member of the panel was a vintner, it was eventually deemed unfair, and in 2009 a new tasting was held.
The first official selection of Crus Bourgeois was for the 2008 vintage. Every year, two years after harvest, the wines are tasted to see if they will be included as a Crus Bourgeois. The procedure is done annually, to every vintage, and supervised by an outside party, with an audit and a blind tasting. (Grand Crus don’t do this testing)
They have to have a representative random sample, to get an indication of that year’s quality, so they do an annual blind tasting that starts with 80 samples and goes down to 16. This gives a benchmark score of quality and what they are looking for.
More Facts of the Crus Bourgeois
- Cru Bourgeois can be identified by QR code on a white label affixed to foil.
- 3% of Medoc vineyards, 30 million bottles, make the Crus Bourgeois du Medoc.
- Average price is $25 a bottle and remain stable.
- 2013 and 2015 are the highest scanned bottles sold. California, New York and Texas are the states that visit the crus-bourgeois.com website the most.
- You can visit 90% of the properties for tours and tastings.
- They plan to reintroduce three levels, Crus Bourgeois, Superior Crus Bourgeois and Exceptional Crus Bourgeois categories by 2020.
- They also want the review process to be every five years and not for single years.
Presented by NASA
For centuries, BORDEAUX has commanded an almost mythical status in the world of wine, beguiling kings, emperors and dictators alike. While its survival is dependent on the capricious nature of weather, its prosperity has always been tied to the shifting fortunes of global economies. As powerful nations rise and fall, so does the fate of this place.
One of the unique and historical characteristics of this commanding wine region is the quality ‘classification’ of its left bank (Medoc) wineries. Most of us are well aware of the famous 1855 classification that divided the wineries into a ‘Grand Cru’ scale of 1 to 5 and how unreachable the 5 top Chateaux are in price…but how about the wineries that were NOT classified in 1855 ? The ones that were born after, or perhaps never made the cut back then but today make fabulous wines at accessible prices? Welcome the CRU BOURGEOIS. Created in 1962 but with a far longer history, this association of producers stands to protect, classify and promote all the superb wineries that were not classified in 1855 and were in the hands of merchants and not noble families. They represent some of the best and most competitive wines that Bordeaux has to offer. As a result of their selection criteria and positioning in terms of price, the Crus Bourgeois are ideally suited to today’s markets and the requirements of increasingly demanding consumers.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits
OAKVILLE, Calif., /PRNewswire/ — Miner Family Winery, a family-owned winery known for its flagship Bordeaux-style blend, The Oracle, is thrilled to announce the completion of their new wine tasting spaces. Brought to life with the help of Kristin Martin Design and General Contractor, Andy Isdahl, the new space was designed with intimate tasting experiences in mind to create enjoyable, comfortable and memorable experiences.
Noting on the new interior space, vintner Dave Miner said, “The new design is a true reflection of our personality as a company and a culture. It’s fun, casual and relaxed, but still incredibly classy. It evokes who we are and embraces two of my passions: world-class wine and jazz guitars.”
The second and third floor wine tasting spaces display family, vineyard and property photos as well as encased Benedetto jazz guitars. In addition, the third floor tasting room lounge has been named the Benedetto Lounge in tribute to Benedetto Guitars, of which Dave Miner is part-owner.
Each wine at Miner is crafted in a style to encapsulate the distinctive elements and the indelible fingerprints of their respective vineyards. We have sought and secured a number of California’s finest vineyard sites, but only those allowing complete farming control. It is this level of detail and control that ensures our wines consistency and quality.
Miner Family Winery offers a variety of experiences to suit every visitor. Our Walk-In Bar Tasting ($35 per person) doesn’t require an appointment and features a selection of our current wines. During our Private Tour and Tasting ($60 per person), guests visit our caves and production facility while learning the history of the winery. Guests have a dedicated host during this experience along with a private tasting space. Additional tastings, including our Oracle Blending Seminar and our Sommelier Experience, are available by appointment.
About Miner Family Winery: Miner Family Winery is a dynamic family owned winery tucked into the eastern hills of Oakville within the heart of Napa Valley. Founded in 1998 by Dave & Emily Miner, Miner is defined by a sensational portfolio of wines characterized by and committed to individualistic style and quality. https://minerwines.com/
LOS ANGELES – Lot18 cordially invites you to taste a new wine collection, crafted in honor of Downton Abbey’s eagerly awaited return for the first time on the big screen. Relive the romance, drama and intrigue of the beloved Crawley family and its fiercely loyal staff, as both the upstairs and downstairs members of the iconic residence continue to navigate their personal lives as well as larger events of the early 20th century. As the Dowager Countess would say, “You’ll find there’s never a dull moment in this house” – nor with this wine.
Winemaker Lot18.com has teamed up with NBCUniversal and Focus Features to produce a collection of wine based on the beloved and multiple Emmy® Award-winning series, and newly released feature film, Downton Abbey. The new collection includes a Downton Abbey Sparkling Rose from Val de Loire, France, a 2018 Downton Abbey Bordeaux Blanc from Bordeaux, France and a 2018 Downton Abbey Bordeaux Rouge from Bordeaux, France.
The collectable wines, which are available in limited quantity, go on sale today and can be purchased exclusively in-store at select Cost Plus World Market locations nationwide as well as ordered exclusively online at Lot18.com/DowntonAbbey while supplies last.
Here are the tasting notes for the Downton Abbey wine collection:
Downton Abbey Sparkling Rose, Val de Loire, France
The Wine and Winemaking:
We are the oldest sparkling wine company from the Loire with 200 years of winemaking experience. With one of the most trusted names in France when it comes to producing sparkling wines. The best blending, made with the wine base after the first fermentation, is achieved in our cellars. This blending art is perfectly mastered by our Chief winemaker according to a 2-century tradition and is one of the key factors of success for this wine. The second fermentation is temperature controlled and is made in stainless steel tanks for 4 weeks. This method allows for a wine with fine and delicate bubbles. The grapes were selected from a blend of vineyards in well-known growing regions of France, the Loire and Languedoc to create its unique and fruity style. The wine was elaborated in the Charmat Method and aged to create small, delicate bubbles that delight the palate.
A brilliant bright pink hue, a medium-bodied wine from France’s highly renowned Loire region. Beautifully rounded on the palate, with bright, red fruit aromas blending notes of ripe raspberry and delicate mountain strawberry, florals and refreshing acidity. The finish provides notes of citrus with fine bubbles that are crisp and effervescent. This Rosé is an ideal food match. Enjoy as an apéritif, or pair with flavorful cheeses, fresh seafood or meats, like duck, chicken and pork, with flavorful, fruit-based sauces.
2018 Downton Abbey Bordeaux Blanc, Bordeaux, France
The Wine and Winemaking:
Co-fermented and aged in stainless steel before bottling. With a name derived from the French word sauvage, or wild, Sauvignon Blanc is a grape that can be tracked back at least 500 years. Our Downtown Abbey Bordeaux Blanc touches upon the variety’s origins and essence. Fresh flavors of white grapefruit and lemon are punctuated by lemongrass and mineral nuances on the palate, followed by a crisp, dry finish. The Semillon addition is a classic and contributes lively stone fruit notes and rounds out the palate. Enjoy this classically styled Sauvignon Blanc with fresh fish or dishes that feature goat cheese.
Lively and fresh fruit flavors of white grapefruit and lemon are punctuated by lemongrass and mineral nuances on the palate, followed by a crisp, dry finish.
2018 Downton Abbey Bordeaux Rouge, Bordeaux, France
The Wine and Winemaking:
Vines are 30+ years of age. Co-fermented and aged in stainless steel and 10mo French Oak Barriques. A family castle steeped in history and respect for the land. Château Haute Courtiade’s vineyard is part of a family history since the 17th century. It was created and developed over the centuries with a strong passion: to reveal its soil in a vineyard management respecting the ecosystem. Henri SICARD, 13th generation, exploited the vineyard since 1988. Very active and engaged in the development of environmental farming practices, he is one of the craftsmen of the obtaining of the standard High Environmental Value (HVE) by UNIVITIS.
This opaque wine is elegant and rich, with aromas of red, blackberry and blackcurrant. Remarkable balance and complexity, velvety tannins and a long and tasty finish confirming the anticipated aromas. 10 months of ageing in French oak barrels gives the wine a beautiful concentration, balance and finish.
In the three years we’ve been lucky enough to attend the Universal Whisky Experience, aka the Nth, I’d have to say it just keeps getting better and better. This year we covered less ground (husband and I split the room – at the Wynn in Las Vegas – in two) and still only tasted maybe a quarter of what was being poured. And even though we each had two tickets for Super Pours, the brand ambassadors offered us everything they had – or it at least seemed that way! (If you just want a synopsis you can go here for photos alone.)
This year I spent my first hour giving some attention to a few Bourbon tables; though I usually make a beeline for the oldest single malts in the room, I mixed it up this time. It might be because there was a large table set up with pre-measured pours, pens and tasting notes drawing my attention to the back of the main hall.
The table I’m referring to was set up Maker’s Mark Bourbon. The tasting experience that Maker’s Mark “Diplomat” Phil Olson talked me through was amazing. I learned about the different oak expressions, and the aromas and flavors each had. I noted that I liked the Seared French Cuvee, Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength (46 is the name of the particular wood), Roasted French Mocha and Toasted French Spice – this final one was my favorite. All four used French oak. I also noted that as my palate “warmed” so did my preferences. (Phil had me go back and revisit a couple.) I could’ve spent the entire evening there, and never made it to his finale where you are meant to blend your favorites, then get a few pals to agree with your choice = your own 15k barrel!
Moving on, though it was hard, I was in the mood for Bourbon and quickly found a Las Vegas based distiller, Smoke Wagon Bourbon. I enjoyed all three bottles they poured, and could see why they had won several gold and double gold medals at the San Francisco Wine and Spirits Competition.
Alpine Distilling, located in Park City, Utah, was a surprise for me. The botanicals in their “Summit Gin” slayed me. Now I just have to figure out how to get it from Utah here in So Cal! Also of note for me was their “Spur” Whiskey.
Then I got very much side-tracked by That Boutique-Y Whisky Company. I tasted everything in their line-up. Completely blown away with whiskeys from Japan, So. Africa and England. I think there were a dozen I tried, and a few in the back I got my hands on too. If you ever have an opportunity to taste this whisky brand don’t miss it.
The Scotch Whisky Syndicate 58/6 was a new thrill for me to taste, according to their Facebook page it is “an award-winning 12 Year Old specialist Blended Scotch Whisky, finished in Sherry butts for a distinctly richer fruity character.”
Glenfiddich had 12, 14 and 15 year olds, but I went straight to the 21 year old – as I had visited the distillery in Scotland and had done more than my fair share there. (If you ever get to Scotland don’t skip Glenfiddich – very generous pours. And while you’re at it reserve your kilted driver, aka tour operator, via Rabbie’s.)
I definitely had to stop at the Dewars’s blended Scotch whisky table, as Brand Ambassador Georgie Bell had made me a fan at a past Universal Whisky Experience event where we tasted through all of the single malts that go into Dewar’s. This year I sampled 21, 27 and 32 year olds, all “double double aged for ultimate smoothness.”
Had to taste from Westward American Single Malt Whiskey…when whisky pal and leader of the So Cal Whiskey Club Ries Michael manned the booth.
Finally, I’d like to give a special shout out and thanks to founder Mahesh Patel and organizer Mit Patel, can’t imagine anyone else pulling anything like this off but the Patels and their team.
More Brands Seen at the Show (keep in mind that each of these brands had several pours.)
Glencairn Crystal (Great nosing glass!)
Highland Park and Glenrothes
Gordon and MacPhail
John Dewar Malts
And even though I was lucky enough to be featured in the 2019 Facebook banner ad and don’t expect the honor again, I will be stalking the website and Facebook pages listed below to see if the event photographers caught me “in the act” of having the time of our lives. See you in 2020!
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 15k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.
RUTHERFORD, California – Francis Ford Coppola, proprietor of Inglenook, is pleased to announce that the historic winery will mark its 140th anniversary by significantly expanding its caves. The major expansion will accommodate the addition of 122 stainless steel fermenting tanks, each dedicated to one of Inglenook’s 122 vineyard parcels.
“Since it was founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, Inglenook has been renowned for its creativity, quality, innovation and industry leadership,” said Coppola. “We continue that tradition and dedication with this significant cave expansion, led by our director of winemaking, Philippe Bascaules.” The cave expansion kicks off a year-long celebration of Inglenook’s 140th anniversary.
From Gustave Niebaum to John Daniel, Jr. to Francis Ford Coppola, Inglenook’s three principal stewards have shared a strong sense of vision and an unwavering passion to create a wine estate that hearkens back to the European tradition, producing original, distinctly Napa wines that rival the best in Europe. Working with Coppola, Bascaules’ vision is to ferment each of Inglenook’s 122 vineyard parcels separately, to enhance the wines’ complexity.
“Having more tanks preserves the identity of each parcel, which allows us to be more precise as we’re blending,” said Bascaules. “We can then better explore the capacity of each parcel, which will create more diversity and will lead to more complex, balanced blends.”
Inglenook has a rich history of leadership in the wine industry. Many of founder Gustave Niebaum’s innovations at Inglenook became industry standards: Inglenook instituted the first sterile bottling process in Napa; it was the first to separate field debris from grapes; Inglenook planted Napa’s first Merlot in 1882; and Inglenook built the first gravity-flow winery in 1888, which was considered one of the greatest winery structures in the Western Hemisphere at the time.
The new cave expansion is expected to be completed in time for the 2020 harvest.
Founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum as Napa’s first estate winery, Inglenook boasts an illustrious heritage, a renowned legacy of innovation and an outstanding portfolio of award-winning wines that have defined and established Napa as a world-class wine region. From Gustave Niebaum to John Daniel, Jr. to Francis Ford Coppola, Inglenook’s three principal stewards have shared a strong sense of vision and an unwavering passion to create a wine estate that hearkens back to the European tradition, producing original, distinctly Napa wines that rival the best in Europe. It remains the largest contiguous estate on the famed Rutherford Bench, Napa Valley’s finest area for producing spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon.
The iconic Inglenook chateau was first constructed in 1887, and faithfully restored in 1997. Befitting the grandeur of the Inglenook estate, the chateau welcomes guests for seated tastings and special events. Experiences include tours of the Chateau, the Infinity caves, the vineyards, barrel tastings and culinary offerings under the direction of Winery Chef Alex Lovick who expertly pairs the wines with the seasonal, organic bounty of the expansive estate farm and orchards.
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (PRWEB) – Producing a quarter of Canada’s seafood and boasting a billion-plus dollar fish and seafood export industry annually, Nova Scotia offers a multitude of diverse signature culinary experiences along its 4,500 miles of coastline. And, Nova Scotia is now closer to more U.S. travelers with new non-stop service to the capital city of Halifax from Chicago and Philadelphia beginning in June 2019, adding to the direct flights currently offered out of New York City and Boston. Often a first stop for visitors, Halifax is home to the oldest farmers market in North America and has the notable distinction of having more pubs per capita than any other province in Canada among its many culinary charms.
New opportunities to “sip, savor, and sightsee” in 2019 incorporate experiences for active and adventurous travelers throughout Nova Scotia. Here are a few highlights:
A Distillery Tour on Foot and by Boat
Old Town Lunenburg UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to artisan distilleries with award-winning rum, colorful architecture, and traditional foods. Here, on foot and by boat travelers can explore the waterfront of the historic town with their taste buds. The Lunenburg Distilled: Culinary Adventure takes guests on a walking tour with an eighth generation Lunenburger to Ironworks Distillery, the first artisan distillery in the province. Listeners will gain insight on creating spirits and liqueurs from scratch. Afterwards, a boat tour with Heritage Fishing Tours drops visitors at an exclusive Dory Shop to sample traditional foods from the region. The tour ends with a seafood dinner onboard the Teresea D. Conner, a historic schooner from the Lunenburg waterfront. Price is $395 CAD per person. Dates available: June 19, July 14, August 21, and September 25.
Wine Blending on the Bay
A reflection of the region that’s shaped by the sea, Avondale Sky Winery’s crisp Tidal Bay was the first appellation wine of Nova Scotia. This year, guests can be a winemaker for the day with the Avondale Sky Wine Lab Adventure. A tour of the vineyard reveals rolling hills situated on the St. Croix River as it meets the Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tides in the world. Samplings are done in the tasting room and experimenting begins in the wine lab, where guests ultimately create their own Tidal Bay blend with a signature custom-made label. Award-winning winemaker, Ben Swetnam, will lead a blind tasting competition of the blends to crown the next master winemaker. The chosen wine is served at a gourmet, chef-prepared dinner for the group to enjoy. Price is $295 CAD per person. Dates available: June 22, July 6, July 20, and August 24.
Hike, Eat, Repeat
Active travelers work up their appetite for seafood by hiking, kayaking, and swimming during the Seaside Adventure & Beachside Feast. The day starts with a hike to the Kejimkujik National Park Seaside with Parks Canada interpreters, followed by a two-hour kayak tour through this unique and protected coastal estuary. Participants will fuel up with a lobster roll picnic and cool off by enjoying a swim on the white sand beaches. A final seafood feast will be served at the Quarterdeck Beachside Villas, and a night in a new studio loft at this luxurious beachside resort is included in the experience. The one day and one-night starts at $849 CAD per person or $1,600 CAD per couple. Dates available: July 3, July 22, August 24, August 28, September 7, September 18, and October 5.
Coastal Helicopter Ride and Picnic
For a birds-eye view of the stunning Nova Scotia coastline, travelers can journey by helicopter to a sommelier-led picnic on a private island. The Heli-Picnic Island Escape, a two-hour tour over Halifax to Sambro Island, is an opportunity to view the wildlife and coastline from a new perspective. After landing on a private beach, guests will indulge in Nova Scotia bubbly while exploring the hidden coves. The sommelier in attendance will lead a tasting picnic of local wines, smoked salmon, cheese, and chocolate at a lighthouse. Price is $575 CAD per person. Dates to be announced.
Sunsets and Stargazing
Storytelling, sunsets, seafood, and stargazing make up the Lightkeeper’s SeaFeast. The tour begins on a Cape Islander’s fishing boat that sets sail from the Yarmouth waterfront. The boat comes equipped with oysters, Nova Scotia wine, and stories with Tusket Island Tours. After landing at the Cape Forchu lighthouse, a chef prepares a lobster feast on the beach, and guests watch the sunset over the water while being entertained by Acadian songs. The tour goes on after the sun sets, with a dark-sky expert leading stargazers through a certified Starlight Tourist Destination. This experience is available on Thursday nights throughout July, August, and September. Price to be announced.
For more information about the province, visit Nova Scotia or call 1-800-565-0000.
About Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT):
This project has been made possible through funding provided by the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT). ACAT is a nine member pan-Atlantic initiative comprised of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the four Atlantic Canada Tourism Industry Associations, and the four Provincial Departments responsible for tourism.
For more information on the four provinces, visit these websites or follow on social media:
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island