Government and the wine industry are creating a new wine development board to capitalize on one of Nova Scotia’s fastest growing industries.
“The wine industry in Nova Scotia is growing at a fast pace and there is a huge potential for that to increase,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell.
“I am committed to working with the wine industry to seize opportunities and cultivate that growth potential.”
The Nova Scotia Wine Development Board will highlight opportunities, identify barriers and provide advice on government legislation, regulation and policy development.
Led by Mr. Colwell, the board will include representatives of Nova Scotia’s farm wineries, grape growers and support services. Members are:
— Stewart Creaser, president, Winery Association of Nova Scotia and owner, Avondale Sky Winery
— Carl Sparkes, owner, Devonian Coast Wines
— Gerry McConnell, owner, Benjamin Bridge Winery
— Gerry Chute, president, Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia and a Bear River grape grower
— Jim Warner, grape grower and past president, Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia
— Michael Lightfoot, grape grower
— Luc Erjavec, vice-president, Atlantic Canada, Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
— Bret Mitchell, president, chief executive officer, Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation
The board will include representatives from the departments of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, and Agriculture, as well as the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency.
“I commend the minister for setting up this board at a time when our industry is strategically positioned to move forward,” said Mr. McConnell. “The board’s activities will be good for the long-term growth of the industry and for economic growth in rural Nova Scotia.”
Last year, there was nearly $16.7 million worth of Nova Scotia wine sold. The farm-gate value of the grapes was more than $2 million.
Establishing the board will support economic growth and rural industries, and enhance tourism.