Lesley Trites is a wine writer and blogger in Montreal, Canada. She writes the blog Girl on Wine and is a published poet who enjoys bringing creativity to her wine writing. When not writing, she enjoys travelling to wine regions and has a soft spot for Canada’s east coast, where she grew up. She is proud to call herself a Maritimer and delighted to share a new appellation from her home area with IWINETC.
What makes Nova Scotia and their new appellation important to you?
There is a personal connection for me. When I took a road trip through the Maritimes (as the eastern Canadian provinces are known) last summer, I was reminded that it is a beautiful and unique part of Canada, with a distinct culture and cuisine, and one that I think is under-appreciated as a tourist destination. I was very excited to discover that it also had a thriving, up-and-coming wine region with some friendly and dynamic winemakers.
How does the way that they’ve created this region (with local industry helping to build a brand) differ from how other emerging regions have been created?
I was impressed by their collaborative spirit. Once someone came up with the idea for a style-based appellation, they formed a committee made up of various members of the local industry. Together, they decided on the style and quality requirements for the appellation, and invented the name for their new brand. The guidelines are meant to ensure consistency while still allowing winemakers the chance to be creative in making their own expression of Tidal Bay.
Can you tell us about the characteristics that will drive the essence of their wine?
Nova Scotia has a cool climate, so the grapes naturally have very high acidity. This in turn produces a very crisp and refreshing style of wine, which can also be quite aromatic. Sparkling wine has been especially successful there, because of the high acidity of the grapes. The Tidal Bay wines are still whites that tend to be fresh, aromatic, and fruit-forward with a mineral component. They’re generally relatively low in alcohol.
On your blog there are some great suggestions for food and wine pairings. Can you give us a few ideas for what to pair with Tidal Bay wines?
Seafood! Nova Scotia is known for its seafood, and I would pair Tidal Bay wines with scallops in a citrus-based sauce, mussels cooked in white wine, oysters, or lobster.
You’re a self-proclaimed “aspiring wine geek.” In preparation for your trip to Croatia and the IWINETC, have you geeked-out on any regions or particular Croatian producers who’s wine you want to taste?
I’m really looking forward to learning more about all the indigenous grapes grown in Croatia, and in exploring the Istria and Hvar regions in particular. I recently tried a wine made by Giorgio Clai, a natural winemaker in Istria, and I’d also like to taste the wines made by Roxanich, another Istrian producer.
Girl On Wine writer Lesley Trites will be talking about her native Nova Scotia on Saturday, March 16th from 9:30 to 10:20 in the Emerald Ballroom.