Domaine de Grand Pré “L’Acadie” Blanc, 2007

Just this past weekend, I went camping with a bunch of friends at Lake Francis near Pittsburg, NH. Mind you, this is 20km south of the Canadian border. We’re talking Canadian air on US soil. So close to Canada you could taste the “eh?” with every breath. Moose crossings. Bear sightings. Fishing, hiking, chopping wood. And the best camping I’ve done in a long time. Obviously, we brought several wines on the trip, but the nearness to our northerly national companion made me think it was time for a review of a wine I tried some while ago, my first Canadian white wine ever: the 2007 “L’Acadie” Blanc from the winery Domaine de Grand Pré in Nova Scotia.

Who’s even heard of a Canadian wine that wasn’t ice wine? Nothing wrong with those, but seriously, my knowledge base didn’t even include Canadian wine before I actually went to Canada on a segue from Europe and tried a few at a restaurant on the water. And… they’re pretty good. Not just “wow I didn’t pour it out” good, but “man I should buy a case of this” good.

Domaine de Grand Pré focuses on grapes indigenous or specifically grown for Nova Scotia, distinguishing it from many other wineries in the area who produce their wines using predominantly “global” varietals popular in the Old World and New, like the Noble grapes Chardonnay and Merlot. Instead you find wines like this 2007 “L’Acadie,” consisting entirely of Seyval Blanc. Hardy stuff, the Seyval Blanc grape, well adapted to this cool climate.

The result? It shows a pale straw color in the glass, with a nose dominated by fresh hay and cut grass, thyme, and grapefruit zest. A fun texture in the mouth, round and almost buttery like a Friulano, but not nutty by any means. More citrus fruit and strident acidity lead to a quenching finish. Great summer beverage… eh? This lip-smacking wine, which paired well with baked sole, will cost you $15 Canucks, or about $16 US. Cross the border and raise your glass.

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