Tourism is BIG business in Nova Scotia and a vital part of our economy. In 2018, we recorded the highest tourism revenues in our history, a whopping $2.61 billion. And, according to Tourism Nova Scotia, the growth in revenue is mainly due to visitors from beyond our borders, who contributed 65 percent of overall spending, up 6 percent since 2015. We reached these milestones despite a slight decline in total visitors, which means the average guest is spending more. So, you may be asking yourself what the heck does all this have to do with wine? The answer, in short? Tidal Bay. In Nova Scotia, we’ve melded culinary and wine tourism to create our own niche, one I like to call Tidal Bay tourism.
Tidal Bay, a regional style of wine, was dreamt up in 2009 by Peter Gamble while consulting with Benjamin Bridge. By the end of 2010 regulations and standards to guide vineyard practices and winemaking techniques had been drafted and by 2012 Tidal Bay was officially launched. Before Tidal Bay, Nova Scotia growers and wineries were primarily growing grape varieties that were hard to pronounce and unfamiliar to many. So, how do you create a market for unknown grapes? By creating a regional wine more dependent on our unique coastal wine region than the grapes on the vines. Far from a new concept, some of the world’s most recognizable wines (like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Valpolicella, and Rioja) take their names from their region, not their grapes. The real genius of this “appellation” approach is the resulting wine must meet quality standards that only our coastal terroir can create. Tidal Bay wines are white, light, and slightly aromatic. They’re lively and enjoyable, and their acidity is the perfect complement to seafood. Just like a little splash of lemon adds to your favourite seafood dish, the acidity of a Tidal Bay enhances every sip. And since the fresh seafood of Nova Scotia’s cool and pristine waters already draws a crowd, creating the perfect drink to accompany it was a stroke of brilliance. Attract guests with lobster and tempt them (and their dollars) to stay with a glass of Tidal Bay. A quick visit to novascotia.com makes it clear the impact Tidal Bay is having. Visitors can sign-up for experiences like “The Avondale Sky Wine Lab Adventure” where they descend into the cellar and craft their very own Tidal Bay blend to take home. Or perhaps “A Nova Scotia Ultimate Lobster Feast,” which offers an authentic lobster boil overlooking Cape d’Or and the powerful tides of the Bay of Fundy—toasted with a glass of Tidal Bay. These experiences leverage our natural assets, including Tidal Bay. And that is Tidal Bay tourism.