Nova Scotia’s growing wine industry will benefit from a new research lab at Acadia University in Wolfville thanks to funding from the provincial and federal governments.
Premier Stephen McNeil, president of the Treasury Board of Canada Scott Brison and Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell joined Ray Ivany, president, and vice-chancellor of Acadia University, and Stewart Creaser from the Wine Development Board to announce an investment of $487,960 over two years through the Growing Forward 2 program. Growing Forward 2 is a five-year framework agreement for agriculture, which is cost-shared 60-40 between the federal and provincial governments.
“Nova Scotia’s wine industry has potential for tremendous growth that will lead to more jobs and more exports and our goal is to assist it where we can,” said Premier McNeil. “It’s important to have quality lab services, especially as we look to the future of export.”
“Canada is an emerging player in the global wine market and is already recognized as a world leader in the production of icewines,” said Mr. Brison. “This investment will support the wine industry in Atlantic Canada, leading to future growth.”
The lab will be located in the chemistry building of Elliott Hall and be used for both academic research and industry collaboration. Potential research partners include food scientists, dietitians, biochemists, plant physiologists and producers of food and beverages.
“Having access to lab facilities here in Nova Scotia has been identified as a priority by the Nova Scotia Wine Development Board,” said Mr. Colwell. “They know this will help to build knowledge and expertise right here that can help the industry grow.”
“This new lab will allow us to contribute even more to the award-winning wine and agri-food industries in our region,” said Mr. Ivany. “We are pleased to have this new capacity at Acadia for the benefit of our industry partners and our faculty and students performing research in this field.”
There are 23 wineries and 94 grape producers in Nova Scotia and the industry accounts for $7.3 million in wages annually. Wineries are important to tourism with 100,000 visitors to winery properties in 2014.
Construction on the lab continues. Equipment was installed this month, lab preparation is scheduled for April, with operation by June or July.
Nova Scotia’s wineries produce about one million litres of wine annually and had sales of $15.4 million in 2015.