Thank you to our staff, friends, and many customers for your continued and valued support, our suppliers, partners, and clients, and to everyone who continue to recognize our commitment to producing 100% Nova Scotia wines.
The following video was presented at the ceremony last week as part of our award; thank you again to Taste of Nova Scotia for capturing what we’re all about.
A photo posted by Blomidon Estate Winery (@blomidonestate) on
Vin de Paille, French for ‘straw wine’, is a relatively uncommon style found throughout Europe, and called by several other names, such as Vin Santo in Tuscany. Though there are a variety of names, the concept remains the same: the grapes are dried through varying methods to enhance the flavour and condense the juice in the grapes.
For us, we harvested our 100% estate-grown Chardonnay grapes late in 2012, and then placed them on a bed of straw at the top floor of the barn at our Blomidon vineyard. After they dried a significant amount, we took the grapes, pressed them, and fermented them.
After that, we let the wine sit in neutral oak casks for 2 years before bottling early in 2015. To finish the package, we hand wax and hand label each and every one of the 561 bottles produced of this exceptional wine.
This dessert wine is not to be confused with icewine: though sweeter than your average wine, our Vin de Paille’s sweetness is balanced by flavours of orange, caramel, apricot, and peaches. This wine would be a fantastic pairing for salty cheeses, pork rilletes, or pâté.
National critic Tony Aspler describes the wine as “full-bodied, well balanced with great length”, and awarded it a 90 point rating. Critic Sean Wood of Quench Magazine rates it a 92, citing the “complex bouquet…lemon and orange citrus character countered by great acid balance and mineral grip”.
If you are yet to try our 2012 Vin de Paille, it is available both at the winery shop and our Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market stand!
If you needed an excuse to have a glass of Chardonnay today, this is it!
Today is International Chardonnay Day, and we wanted to write a little post to celebrate the day of one of the world’s most popular varietals, and one of our favourites here at Blomidon Estate.
We were some of the first to plant and grow the varietal back in 1997, and we continue to do so; our unique microclimates at our two vineyards provide excellent conditions to ripen Chardonnay.
We have made an oak-aged Chardonnay for some time; you might remember one of our most popular and well-received, our 2010 Reserve Chardonnay, which benefited from the exceptional heat and weather that particular year. We’ll be seeing a 2013 Reserve joining the ranks this summer.
A few years ago, we introduced our Unoaked Chardonnay as well. We currently have our 2013 available (here), and 2014 was just recently bottled. These show rich fruit flavours of white peach and green apple, and are a great pairing for scallops.
To produce a non-sparkling Chardonnay here, we require a hot, long growing season, so we can’t always use those grapes for still wines. What we have been working on over the past 4 years are several other uses for the Chardonnay grape, all to be released this year!
A photo posted by Blomidon Estate Winery (@blomidonestate) on
We’re happy to introduce our 2012 Vin de Paille (“straw wine”), a late harvest dessert wine, and our two new traditional method sparkling wines; our 2011 Woodside Sparkling, and our 2011 Chardonnay Sparkling (grown at our Woodside Road and Blomidon vineyards, respectively).
CTV Atlantic Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014 7:07PM ADT
Three Nova Scotia wineries received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines during a special ceremony at Government House in Halifax on Wednesday.
“The honour is so significant,” says winery co-owner Lorraine Vassalo. “It’s the top three wines in the province.”
The Avondale Sky Winery in Windsor won an award for its dessert wine, the Martock 2012. Vassalo attributes the win to the skill of their winemaker and an ideal climate.
“We have warm days and very cool evenings. That maintains the acidity in the grapes and that’s what gives it the crispiness,” says Vassalo. “We can balance out with the sugars and have an excellent product.”
Wineries from around the province were invited to enter the competition. Each winery was allowed to submit up to three commercially-available grape wines, as long as they were 100 per cent produced and sourced in Nova Scotia.
Judges spent four hours sampling the wines in a blind tasting, and after lots of sipping, Simon Rafuse’s 2010 Cuvee L’Acadie from the Annapolis Valley’s Blomidon Estate Winery came out on top.
“I think it was a perfect storm of a lot of hard work,” says Rafuse. “A great vintage, and obviously we’re thrilled and honoured to win the award.”
Jurg Stutz of Domaine de Grand Pre also took home an award for his 2013 Riesling.
“This particular award, they gave it away in British Columbia and Ontario as well, so to have it in Nova Scotia is really amazing,” says Stutz.
Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant says this kind of recognition will help expand Nova Scotia’s wine industry.
“The lieutenant-governor in British Columbia was telling me they have over 100 wineries that enter their competition,” says Grant. “So we have a little ways to go, but we certainly have a growing industry.”
Spring is often a time for change, and this season is bringing some very exciting ones to Blomidon!
We’ve started construction on our new tasting room overlooking the Minas Basin and hope to have it open in June. The new area will have a tasting bar overlooking the vineyards and the water, new retail space, and a fantastic deck where you can enjoy a glass of wine.
Check out some of the photos to see the construction in progress, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more updates!
The BMD launch was just over a week ago, and we’ve been getting some great feedback on it so far. Check out our winemaker Simon’s interview with Bill Spurr in the Chronicle Herald here.
BMD was also featured on the Global Morning News on Tuesday, December 3rd. Now, 6:45 am may be a little early to pop a bottle of bubbly (we try to wait until at least 7:00), but that didn’t stop us! For those who weren’t up quite in time, you can watch Simon chat with Crystal Garrett here: BMD on Global Maritime Morning
If you want to try it for yourself, BMD is available at our retail shop, our Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market booth (located at the new front entrance), Bishop’s Cellar, and select NSLC stores (find it here).
On Monday, September 2nd we held the first annual NSLC Employee Appreciation Day at the winery! What a great way to end the busy long weekend. We wanted to take the opportunity (the NSLC stores were closed) to invite out some of the people who do such a great job promoting and selling NS wines and to show them a little bit about how we do things here at Blomidon.
Check out some pictures from the day:
We started the day with a tour of the vineyard with our vineyard manager, Kyle Gallant. He explained and demonstrated how we manage our vineyards to get the ripest and healthiest grapes we can, while at the same time reducing our use of fungicides and completely eliminating the use of herbicides. “A healthy vineyard is a living vineyard,” says Kyle.
Next we headed inside for a portfolio tasting with our winemaker, Simon Rafuse. Simon opened up the whole line of Blomidon Estate wines, and even disgorged a couple of fresh bottles of the award-winning 2011 Cremant to show our guests the difference between sparkling wines with and without the dosage (the sweet wine we add for balance).
Then we headed out onto the crush pad for a BBQ catered by Ryan MacAllister and Shane Mason. There’s nothing better than a smoked sausage and a glass of Baco!
Once everyone was full, Laura Roy, our resident songstress, played a few tunes on the crush pad. However, the weather, which had cooperated until then, took a turn for the worse, and it was time to pack it in for the day.
We’d sincerely like to thank everyone who came out, and we hope you had an educational and fun day here at Blomidon!
We’ve been busy at the winery, not only selling Baco like it’s going out of style, but also re-doing and renewing our retail shop space!
Nothing freshens up a room like a new coat of paint, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. We’ve also added some new steel shelving units, and my favourite addition… the chalkboard wall! We tried to go with a more modern look, with large displays of piled wine cases and metal bins full of sparkling. It all looks much nicer, and we have a lot more wine on display in the shop.
We’ve also got some cool new t-shirt designs by Lost Cod Clothing from Halifax. Check out our Facebook profile picture to see our models showing them off ;) If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to try Sugah! dark chocolate & Nova Scotia sea salt… honestly, it takes all of my will power not to eat one everyday.
We’re really excited about what’s been going on at Blomidon… And now that we’ve got some sunshine this summer is looking perfect!
May 23rd, 2013 marks the fourth annual celebration of Chardonnay – the day set aside specifically for toasting one of Blomidon’s favourite wines and the world’s most planted grape! International Chardonnay Day was first developed as a way to kick-off the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration that takes place each July in Niagara, Ontario. Once viewed as the “anything but” wine, due to Canada’s cool climate and lengthy growing season, Canadian wineries are now demonstrating just how great their Chardonnays can be. Cool-climate Chardonnays are often more refined and elegant, and provide a refreshing alternative to their warmer-climate cousins.
On Twitter? There is a global virtual tasting party going on all day long, involving wineries, sommeliers, and people from all across the world, and all you need to do to get involved is check out the hashtag #Chardday! Join the conversation about one of Canada’s favourite cool-climate grape varieties by posting photos, videos and stories of your favourite Chardonnays! Not a tweeter? Not to worry, there are celebrations being held all day long on Pinterest and Facebook too.
Looking for a Chardonnay to celebrate #Chardday? Try Blomidon’s own 2010 Chardonnay, one of the first Chardonnays produced in Nova Scotia to gain nation-wide attention. Or better yet, drop in and see us – we’ll be toasting Chardonnay Day all day long!