Did you know that the Atlantic province of New Brunswick produces wine? We were happy to investigate this on our recent wine-focused trip. Currently, there are 14 wineries in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
We are excited to share what we found in four of those wineries. What we discovered is that this emergent industry produces cool wines made by warm people. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring these wineries in New Brunswick and we hope you get the opportunity to as well.
Where is New Brunswick?
Located between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, this eastern Canadian province is the only province with English and French as its official languages.
Wineries we enjoyed in New Brunswick, Canada
Winegarden Estate Winery
Winegarden Estate Winery was started in 1983 when Werner Rosswog and his family emigrated from Germany to New Brunswick. It is in the small village of Baie Verte, with a population of 250.
Rosswog dreamed of living off the land. Eventually, he and his family became the catalyst behind a new industry in the province. In 1989, they had to convince the province that providing spirits and wines was possible.
It took many years of negotiations before the legislation changed, and in 1997, they finally received a license to produce wine. In 1999, they made and sold their first grape wines, and Winegarden Estate was born. This led to them being Atlantic Canada’s first privately owned winery and distillery.
Their expertise combined the old-world German tradition of excellence and a new-world vision, resulting in award-winning wines.
At first, they focused on fruit wines while trying to find grapes that could grow and produce quality wine in colder climates. It took many experimental years to conclude that Marechal Foch and L’Acadie Blanc were well-suited for the region. In 2016, they produced enough wine to sell in supermarkets.
Today, they produce 70 wines, liqueurs, and spirits from onsite vineyards and local fruits.
Elke Rosswog, daughter of the founder, now runs Winegarden Estate, while her brother, Steffen, is the Master winemaker. They are continuing the pioneering work started by their father.
L’Acadie Blanc wine at Winegarden Estate Winery
This refreshing wine has aromas of green apple, pear, and pineapple. Light acidity and minerality remind you of a chardonnay. You can easily enjoy the wine’s lovely crisp and dry finish on its own or paired with creamy seafood or cheese.
Magnetic Hill Winery
Perched on Magnetic Hill, the winery has a magnificent view of Moncton and the surrounding area. Initially, u-pick berry farmers Jeff and Janet Everett were known for their produce. In 1997, they decided to take advantage of the new wine-producing laws of the province and diversify. By the early 2000s, they needed to expand to their current location. They are now in a renovated farm homestead, which is as old as Canada!
Starting in 2008, their son Zach Everett, now the owner and winemaker of Magnetic Hill Winery, spent many years experimenting with different grapes and hybrids.
The purpose was to find rugged varietals to survive the cold maritime winter, thrive in the local terroir, and produce good wines. Marquette and Osceola, amongst others, fit the bill. In 2017, this winery in New Brunswick had its first significant regional appropriate harvest.
The Everetts took full advantage of a new provincial law allowing them to sell their wine to supermarkets. The success allowed them to expand from a 1,000-square-foot production facility to over 10,000-square-feet in three years! When they started their winery endeavor, they only made three different types of wines. Their wine production has increased to over 40, including a fortified Maple wine.
Their wines and labels contain many references to their location and their journey. The Loadstone series of wines refers to a magnetized stone used in early navigation. At the same time, it refers to Magnetic Hill and is poetically used to find their way in winemaking.
At the bottom of their serving glasses is a compass rose. However, halfway between the “W” of the west and the “N” of the north, you will see an “i.” This spells out “WINES,” which refers to Magnetic Hill Winery and its product.
Terroir Generator, 2021 Marquette
Winner of the best Appassimento style wine in Canada, this full-body red wine will leave you reaching for more. Fresh leather and lightly smoky on the nose, this well-balanced wine has notes of vanilla, red fruits, and plums. The wine was aged for a year with lightly toasted new oak.
You can enjoy the Marquette 2021 on its own, or it pairs well with pork, venison, or lamb.
More Wineries in New Brunswick We Enjoyed
Richibucto River Wine Estate
Sometimes, the story behind the wine is as interesting as the wine itself. Owner Alan Hudson used to work in forestry. He bought the property in 1980 and used it as a Christmas tree farm. A humble debut for the largest winery today with a vineyard on the property in New Brunswick!
The family planted grapes in 2005, with the first Richibucto River Wine Estate wines appearing in 2008. In 2009, an especially harsh winter destroyed most of their crop. They had to replant and delay the opening of their store. In 2010, they finally opened to the public, selling their first wines. At the time, they only produced two red wines, two whites, and a rosé.
In 2011, the winery won four medals at the Canadian Wine Awards. It was quite a feat after planting only six years earlier and losing most of their grapes during a particularly harsh winter.
In 2015, just five years after opening their store, they presented 16 wines at the Canadian Wine Awards and harvested a bountiful 19 medals; five were gold!
In 2017, Alan’s son, Derek, took over as the winemaker. Just like his father, the quality of the wines is exceptional. When Alan is not farming, he tinkers with building small airplanes. He has already made two and is working on a third aircraft. They used to have a small landing strip on their land, which they have since planted with grapes. Alan plans to build another landing strip for his new project.
This Spanish-style red wine blends Marechal Foch, Sabrevois, and Radisson grapes. It has a beautiful bouquet of leather, an old library, and a deep, rich red color. This dry, medium tannin wine with dark fruits and spices makes it ideally suited for steak or Italian pasta.
Richibucto Award-winning wines are pictured above.
Domaine Latitude 46 Estate Winery
Dr. William Fitch and his wife Linda always wanted to own and operate a small winery. In 2012, they saw the listing for a property that used to be a winery and bought it. Unfortunately, the previous owner sold all the winemaking equipment, and the vineyard was overgrown. They had to remove the old growth and replant their crop. It took a few years before they could harvest their first grapes. They opened their store in 2018.
Domain Latitude 46 Estate Winery gets its name based on its location on Latitude 46 North. But it also comes from Dr. Fitch, who is an avid sailor. You will find that theme amongst some of the wine labels, such as “Seabreeze” (a Riesling-style white wine), “Regatta” (a fruit-forward red), and “Red Sails.”
The winemaker, Stephane St-Pierre, is a wizard at producing wine of certain “styles.” “Seabreeze” is a “Riesling style” white wine that Stephane managed to make with the refreshing citrus and minerality of a Riesling, using grapes that grow in New Brunswick’s colder climate, such as Frontenac Blanc and Acadie Blanc. There is not a single Riesling grape in the blend!
Tintamarre is an Acadian celebration on August 15th, hence the price of $15 (at the time of writing). Just like the celebration, this light red wine embodies the festivity. The bright ruby color, bread and fruity on the nose, as well as red fruits, soft tannin, and medium acidity on the palate, and the surprising natural effervescence of the wine make it a fun drink to celebrate the Tintamarre or any special occasion. The wine will pair well with roast chicken.
Wineries in New Brunswick
So, now that you know that the small Canadian Atlantic province of New Brunswick has wineries that are producing delicious wines, make sure you stop at one of the many up-and-coming wineries the next time you are in New Brunswick. You will be happy you took the time to look for this old product with a new flare.
Might we suggest purchasing some of these wines during your trip and then hosting a wine-tasting get-together to introduce these fantastic Canadian wines to your friends? It’s a fun way to share new wines with friends.
We were guests of Tourism New Brunswick, but as always, our views and opinions are our own.