Canadian Underwriter

Recent extreme cold snap causes ‘devastating’ damage to Nova Scotia vineyards

February 10, 2023   by The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia vineyard

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The president of the Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia says it will take years for vineyards to recover from the recent extreme cold snap.

Steve Ells says between 95 and 100 per cent of Nova Scotia-grown vinifera variety grapes — used for Chardonnays, Pinot noirs and Rieslings — were lost because of the extreme cold.

Ells says the level of damage is the worst he’s seen in his 12 years in the business.

He says temperatures last weekend that dropped to -25 C came amid an unseasonably mild winter and equated to a “perfect storm” for crop damage.

Grapes are particularly vulnerable this year to extreme cold because the winter has been warmer than usual.

Ells says he and his peers are still assessing the structural damage of the vines, adding that the sector is looking at a “multiyear” recovery for vinifera grapes.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.


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