Located an hour outside Halifax along the scenic Minas Basin in Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley is home to Canada’s fastest growing wine country. Nestled between mountains to the north and south, with cool sea breezes rolling in from the ocean, the Annapolis Valley boasts the perfect microclimate for winemaking with rich soil to match.

Not only does the valley’s unique location by the Bay of Fundy offer the perfect growing conditions for grapes like L’Acadie Blanc and Baco Noir, but it also offers the chance to enjoy oceanside wine tours at picturesque, family owned vineyards. Here are some ideas for great Annapolis Valley wine tours from Halifax.

Gaspereau Vineyards Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia

Gaspereau Vineyards

One of the Annapolis Valley wineries leading the vanguard of the area’s vintage revolution, Gaspereau Vineyards have won a number of national awards, including double gold at the 2017 All-Canadian Wine Championships for their signature Tidal Bay white. With a perfect blend of fruity acidity, the Gaspereau 2018 Tidal Bay pairs perfectly with Nova Scotia’s traditional seafood specialties, including oysters, mussels and halibut. 

Nestled on the southern end of the Gaspereau Valley, the winery features 50 acres of sunny vineyard to explore on foot or with rented bikes. The boutique is housed in a restored barn house with a patio that overlooks the vineyards where you can enjoy a tasting, as well as sampling savoury charcuterie. A perfect location to visit on a Nova Scotia wineries tour. 

Avondale Sky Winery Annapolis Valley Wine Tours Nova Scotia

Avondale Sky Winery

Sitting on the coast of the Avondale Peninsula, the Avondale Sky Winery is not only one of the most beautiful vineyards to see on Annapolis Valley wine tours from Halifax, but also one of the most eclectic. In keeping with the original owners’ philosophy of sustainability, they repurposed old buildings for their new winery rather than build new ones…by literally moving old buildings slated for demolition to their property.

One of these buildings was a 180-year-old church that was ferried across the bay on a boat. In fact, you can enjoy a glass of the winery’s signature Geisenheim white Bliss” inside that very church. Dubbed Winery of the Year two years in a row by the Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards, Avondale specializes in a selection of experimental, small lot wines that push the envelope with new combinations of the area’s signature berries for truly singular tasting notes. 

Luckett Vineyards Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia

Luckett Vineyards

One of the top Annapolis Valley wineries, Luckett Vineyards features great wines, beautiful premises and…a British telephone booth? One of the most Instagrammed spots in the whole Annapolis Valley, you can make a call anywhere in North America in a fully functional, bright red phone booth located in the middle of the fields. 

Owned by Nova Scotia entrepreneur and media personality Pete Luckett, the phone booth is characteristic of his eclectic, bombastic style, as are the winery’s bold vintages. Be sure to pick up a bottle or two of Luckett’s special edition Buried Red and Buried White, which were aged for two years in oaken barrels 8ft underground. For a special souvenir, pick up the Phone Box Fizz, a spritzy white that combines Osceloa Muscat and L’Acadie for a fruity summer drink. 

You can also enjoy a meal overlooking the vineyards and the Minas Basin at their onsite restaurant, the Crush Pad Bistro. 

Domaine de Grand Pre Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia

Domaine de Grand Pré

Many of the vineyards featured on Nova Scotia wineries tours have long family legacies behind them, however Domaine de Grand Pré is one of the first wineries to open in the Annapolis Valley, and is considered by many to be one of the best. When the Stutz family emigrated from Switzerland in the 90s, patriarch Hanspeter saw the potential of the area for winemaking back when the idea of Nova Scotia wineries was a joke. Let alone a Nova Scotia wineries tour.

Since opening in 2000, Domaine de Grand Pré has achieved national and international accolades, including the Best Product Award for their Pomme D’Or Ice Cider at the 9th Annual Apfelwine International Festival in Frankfurt, Germany and the Lieutenant Governors Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines for their 2016 Riesling and Muscat Icewine. 

In addition to their selection of world-class wines, their elegant onsite eatery, Le Caveau Restaurant, has won a number of culinary awards, including Restaurant of the Year from the Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige awards. 

Domaine De Grand Pre Annapolis Valley Wine Tours Nova Scotia

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Special thanks to the staff at the Comfort Inn in Truro, NS for their suggestions.

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