Lightfoot & Wolfville

Biodynamic wines from classic vinifera in Nova Scotia wine country

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EST. 2009

At Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards we grow handcrafted small lot wines, with individual vineyard block bottlings.

Our focus on classic vinifera includes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and other German-styled whites specifically selected for our microclimates.

We practice biodynamic agriculture – in certified organic vineyards – for the highest quality vines and grapes from our terroir here in the heart of Nova Scotia wine country. We're maximizing the potential in our vines, from the very outset of planting all the way through to bottling.

Bio dynamic cow horns

Biodynamic preparation (500). Cow horns filled with fresh organic manure from lactating cows. Buried on the fall equinox and unearthed in the spring – a concentrated microbial enrichment for the soil.

Basket wine press

A classic old European basket press; the finest machine for making traditionally styled fine wines.

English Baby-Doll sheep

Our flock of Heritage English Babydoll sheep, for weed control and natural fertilizers in our vineyards.

A message from Peter Gamble

One indisputable truth that every generation of winemakers learns and relearns, is that the finest wines come from the finest vineyards, grown and nurtured by farmers and viticulturists respectful of the land’s particular gifts and energies. Great wine is grown. So for the best stewards of those sites, we use the term “winegrowers” — just as we do for great artisan winemakers with deeply intuitive ties to their vines and their best soils.

For over five years now, I have worked with the Lightfoot team — first as new viticulturists, and then as an emergent winery — and I can confidently say that they are winegrowers. And, moreover, they are advancing viticulture in the province: not only are they growing the classic champagne varieties to produce top-flight traditional sparklings, they are poised to forever change the face of classic Burgundian- and Germanic-influenced wines, as well.

As all of this unfolds, this website will allow wine lovers in Canada to keep a close ear to the ground.

Peter Gamble - World Renowned Wine Consultant Peter Gamble Signature Listen

A message from Peter Gamble

World renowned wine consultant

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The Land

45.0833° N, 64.3667° W

Hard soil that suits our work ethic and our grapes perfectly.

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Wolfville Soil

We have 30+ acres of vines on two sites, one on the edge of Wolfville and the other in nearby Avonport. Both vineyards have breathtaking views of Cape Blomidon, and benefit from the Minas Basin's moderating impact on climate.

Another shared aspect of the terroir at both sites is the rare Wolfville Formation Soil that makes up a mere 3 percent of our province's soil spectrum. The upper root horizon consists of glacial till with coarse sandy loam, while the deep root horizon’s clay content provides ideal moisture retention.

We believe being present on our land means recognizing the living memory of its past inhabitants while keeping in tune, daily, with the life of our soil and vines. Our main estate has been in Michael’s family for generations – working the land is in our blood. We’ve also found evidence of earlier history on both our sites, including Acadian and Planter artifacts and even an Acadian-era house foundation where our current winemaking facility stands.

Acadian artifacts

Acadian artifacts and evidence of farming activities used on our land, dating back to the Acadian period.

Hawk

We naturally encourage hawks and eagles to our vineyards to help keep the eco system in balance.

Drumlin overlooking Minus-basin

Our exceptional ocean views and privileged vineyard locations on hills cresting the Minas Basin provide ideal temperature moderation for our classic European grape varieties (vinifera).

The Name

A light touch & enlightened approach.

The Lightfoot name goes back eight generations in Wolfville. Originating in northern England, it referred to the swift-footedness of our forebears who traditionally worked as messengers. At Lightfoot & Wolfville we like to think we bring a light touch and enlightened approach to both the agricultural and artisanal parts of our work – letting the land offer up its innate best, without subjecting it to aggressive inputs; letting our wines benefit from classic winemaking methods, emphasizing gentle gravity production and natural wild-yeast fermentations.

The Brand

  • Scottish Thistle

    From our ancestry

  • Fleur-de-Lis

    Homage to France & Acadia

  • The Bee & Butterfly

    Vibrant organic agriculture

  • Vines & Leaves

    Reflecting our vineyards

  • The Mayflower

    Symbol of Nova Scotia

Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Logo Ampersand The ampersand (&) in our name reflects our belief in the pairing of people and place, and the close collaboration of the two necessary to grow truly fine wines.

The Wine

The most diverse portfolio of European vinifera in Atlantic Canada.

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Block Facts 45.0833° N, 64.3667° W
Vineyard Wolfville
Variety Chardonnay (Vinifera)
Established 2009
Block Size 2 hectares
Vines used 3 distinctive Dijon clones
Root Stock 2 custom grafted
Trellising V.S.P. (Vertical Shoot Positioning)
Pruning Method Cane
Climate Maritime
Growing Degree days 1278 (2013)
Row Orientation North/South
Slope 20%
Soil Wolfville series

Wine Growing

The selection of our varietals at Lightfoot & Wolfville has been made with close attention to each specific vineyard – their soil makeup, direct ocean influence, elevated hillside locations, and our growing understanding, season by season, of what makes them produce the best wines.

Certified organic and grown according to the principles of biodynamic agriculture, our wines include classic Burgundy-inspired Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Rieslings and other German-styled white wines, as well as traditional method prestige cuvée sparkling wines. Ours is the most diverse portfolio of classic European vinifera in Atlantic Canada.

For us, wine growing is also a long-term opportunity to indulge, close-up, our fascination with the wonderful complexity of the natural world. Likewise, our winemaking is about a return from modern, large-scale methods to classic, hands-on viticulture and oenology: 100 percent hand-harvesting, traditional basket press production, indigenous wild yeast fermentations, and fine French oak barriques for aging.

Grape cluster

Sun-kissed Chardonnay ripening on a warm autumn afternoon under the watchful eye of the expert vineyard and winemaking team.

Crushed grapes

After gently separating juice from the grape skins, the remains (called pomace) become part of the compost that nourishes the next year's crop.

Wine barriques

Élevage is the French term for the progression of wines from adolescence to maturity, under attentive winemaking. Wines can spend years aging in fine French barriques in our cellar.

Share our Journey

We look forward to sharing our story with you leading up to our official opening in the spring of 2016.

You can keep up to date with our progress, and learn more about our vineyards and wines by following us @lwwines on Twitter and lwwines on Instagram. You should also subscribe to our newsletter and get an inside look at our vineyards and winemaking. It is our hope that by the time you and your friends uncork your first bottle of Lightfoot & Wolfville in 2016, you'll know a little (or a lot!) about what's gone into making it.

Cheers,
Michael & Jocelyn Lightfoot Michael and Jocelyn Lightfoot signatures