N.S. sets up wine development board

Grape growers and wine producers in Nova Scotia have got a new advisory board to bring their ideas and issues to the provincial government.

The province on Tuesday named nine members, including Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell as chairman, to a new Nova Scotia Wine Development Board.

Nova Scotia’s wineries sold almost $16.7 million in wine in 2013, with Nova Scotia grapes yielding farm-gate value of about $2 million, the province said.

A Canadian Vintners Association study released last year suggested the province’s wine industry contributes $196 million per year to the Nova Scotia economy, through sales, wages, tax revenue and wine-related tourism.

The new board, the province said, will “highlight opportunities, identify barriers and provide advice on government legislation, regulation and policy development.”

“I commend the minister for setting up this board at a time when our industry is strategically positioned to move forward,” Benjamin Bridge Winery owner Gerry McConnell, one of the board’s appointed members, said in the province’s release.

Members along with Colwell and McConnell include Bear River grape grower and Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia president Gerry Chute; Avondale Sky Winery owner and Winery Association of Nova Scotia president Stewart Creaser; Luc Erjavec, the Atlantic Canada vice-president with the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association; grape grower Michael Lightfoot; Devonian Coast Wines owner Carl Sparkes; and GGANS past president Jim Warner.

Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. CEO Bret Mitchell will also sit on the board, which the province said will also include representation from the provincial economic and rural development and tourism department, agriculture department and Nova Scotia Tourism Agency.

“The wine industry in Nova Scotia is growing at a fast pace and there is a huge potential for that to increase,” Colwell said in the province’s release. — AGCanada.com Network


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