The land requirements included a property that faced a southerly direction, was as close to Lunenburg (our primary residence) as possible while still located in the Annapolis Valley (the weather is more favorable) and was located on a hill. These requirements were met with the purchase of the property at 1112 Falmouth Dyke Rd.
The vineyards were planted in 3 stages beginning in 2015 with the first stage of planting taking place at the top of the property. The next planting was in 2016 in the mid portion of the vineyard with the last stage occurring in 2017 in the lowest lying portion of the vineyard. Grapes were first harvested in 2017 from the uppermost vineyard and it was an excellent year with minimal disease and a large crop. A partnership was agreed upon with Lightfoot and Wolfville Winery and Luckett Vineyards and grape varieties to be planted were selected. Due to lack of hardiness of vinifera varieties like Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir the acreage for these varieties was limited.
The blogs from each season can be viewed within this website and describe the effort to get a healthy vineyard established. This was a challenge due to the lack of experienced vineyard personnel to advise and work in the province. Weed control was an ongoing challenge. An organic approach was tried initially but it was not possible to gain control of the weeds so a sustainable approach was adopted where synthetic chemicals were used sparingly.
The devastating frost on June 4, 2018 resulted in the loss of at least 30% of the vineyard. A replanting program has been in progress since that time. Plants continued to die due to damage to the root system for the next 2 years.
The five year plan is more or less on track. 2021 was a terrific year for vineyard farmers with a mild preceding winter, timely rainfall and lots of heat. The only thing needed was close attention to disease control. Sharon is making wine in carboys in the basement and recently graduated from the University of California Davis wine maker’s course. I don’t think we are in the mood to set up a winery. That is a challenge for younger entrepreneurs!