Why You’ve Got To Try Nova Scotia Icewine


Icewine often flies under the radar of local wine drinkers, but the truth is Nova Scotia produces some of the best anywhere. In fact, we even have a festival to celebrate them. The Nova Scotia Icewine Festival happens February 16-17 and February 23-24 this year with dinners, wine and local food tastings, and more at Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards and a few other wineries.


It’s worth the trip, but in case you’re an icewine newbie, here are a few quick Icewine 101 tidbits:

  • To label a product “icewine”, the grapes must have been harvested from grapes that froze naturally on the vine at a temperature of at least -8ºC.

  • The grapes are usually harvested by hand at night (or just before dawn) in winter. Sounds like fun work, huh?

  • Winemakers face a daunting challenge of protecting the grapes from hungry birds and winter weather.

  • Making icewine isn’t easy. It requires special yeast and at least a month of attention to detail.

  • Our climate is ideal for icewine production. And our icewines are some of the best in the world.

  • Icewine has a much higher sugar content resulting in a sweet and rich treat often paired with dessert or as an after-dinner beverage.


Now, just in case you can’t make it to the Icewine Festival, here are a few great options you can pick up the next time you shop for wine.


Avondale Sky Pinnacle Hill Icewine
Crafted from 100% Vidal grapes, this rich and intense wine has notes of nectarine, apple, cinnamon and nutmeg with a surprisingly refreshing finish. Try it with, or drizzled on, ice cream.


Benjamin Bridge Borealis
Aged for 4 years, Borealis has tremendous texture and concentration, but remains bright and balanced with suggestions of ripe peaches, dried apricots, and citrus rind undertones. Pair with pungent cheeses and desserts like fruit tarts.


Lightfoot & Wolfville Terroir Vidal
This wine is crafted from 100% organic grapes, with caramelized apple, fresh pineapple, and orange blossom notes. The palate is lush and sweet, and balanced by crisp acidity. Can be cellared and enjoyed through 2026.


Luckett Vinyards Isolde Vidal Icewine
Silky smooth and beautifully balance with hints of lychee, melon, mango and peach with a lasting honey finish. Great with cheesecake, chocolate, or all in its own.


Finally, here are two more wines worth mentioning. Even though they are technically not icewines, they are pretty interesting local twists:


Whether you love or hate winter in Nova Scotia, we think you’ll soon agree that icewine is one of the best things that our cold weather gives us.