Production Innovation 101 Workshop

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Do you have a great new agri-food or seafood product idea burning a hole in your pocket, but you don’t know what to do with it next?   Or maybe you’re still searching to find inspiration and want to learn more about what is possible in the world of value added food products? 

Join Perennia Innovation Centre’s Chief Science Officer Eric Albert and Food Scientist

Emmanuel Anom along with business consultant Gary Morton to learn where to start and what to consider in developing a value-added product.
June 27th in  Bridgewater
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre
135 North Park St, Bridgewater NS  B4V 9B3
lunch provided
Topics to be covered:
  • The hottest topics trending in food around the world
  • A look at the new product development process and the value chain; idea to market launch
  • Mistakes new product developer’s make and how not to make them
  • Case studies of farm businesses developing new products
  • Brainstorming/discussion: what do you need to help move your products, ideas and innovations forward?  What are your biggest challenges and limitations holding you back?

If you would like to attend please RSVP Gail at Perennia at (902) 678-7722, EXT 221 or by June 23rd.  There is no fee but we would like for you to register so we know we have a big enough room and enough food!

Frost protection in the Vineyard

Friday, June 3, 2016

Hi folks,

It's that time of year again, it feels like summer is here but... we've had a few frost warnings in some parts of the province this week.  'They' say that the safe frost free date is after the full moon in June, which isn't until June 20th!  Let's hope we don't see frost that late - but I thought it might be a good time to post a few links about preventing frost injury in the vineyard.  And with high interest in new plantings across the province - it has some great information for new growers on vineyard location to avoid frost pockets as well!

The first article is from Texas extension - click here

The midwest wine press has a great round up of articles on a number of frost preventative strategies and theories- you can check them out here.

Hope your days are warm and your nights are frost free!


Liquid Courage Workshop

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Research & Graduate Studies, Acadia University

Research & Graduate Studies and the Office of Industry & Community Engagement

Are you interested in learning more about how to succeed in the beverage industry?

Liquid Courage:

"Building Confidence in your Beverage Business"

Join us on Thursday, February 18th, 2016
from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
at the K. C. Irving Centre at Acadia University

This one-day workshop will promote research and innovation, while addressing challenges in product development, marketing, and exporting. It will also include keynote speakers, expert panels, and presentations from successful innovators, researchers, and exporters in the beverage industry. 
With a focus on multiple beverage sectors including wine, craft brewing, distilling, cider-making, and non-alcoholic, there is sure to be something for everyone!

Workshop Schedule

8:30 am - 9:00 am                 Coffee, Networking, Welcome Remarks

9:00 am - 12:15 pm               Keynote Speaker - Greg Taylor, Steam Whistle Brewing 
                                                Successful Innovators
                                                Researchers Supporting Innovation (researchers from 
                                                                   Acadia, Dalhousie, AAFC, Perennia, etc.)

12:15 pm - 1:00 pm               Lunch (featuring local food products)

1:00 pm - 4:30 pm                 Keynote Speaker - Dominic Rivard, Muwin Estates 
                                                Moving Beyond the Border - Successful Exporters 
                                                Export Outlook - Opportunities in New Markets 
                                                Panel: Programs/Services

4:30 pm                                  Wrap up 

$20 registration fee
includes lunch, refreshments, and lots of networking time.

To Register - Click Here 

Spring has sprung.......

Monday, April 20, 2015

While it may not look much like spring out there these days (pruning on snowshoes in April anyone?), the days are getting longer and temperatures are getting warmer!  The forecast for this week looks like we may finally get rid of some snow - with that I expect there will be a mad rush to get vines pruned and tied.

If you are not subscribed to the Penn State "Wine and Grapes U" Blog - you should check out the latest post by Michela Centinari on Updates on Freeze Injury in Grapevines.  There's a great link in there for a YouTube video on how you should be modifying your pruning if you do have winter injury in your crop as well as some information on how to protect from Spring frost.

And while it still seems a long way off - Kristin Obeid from OMAFRA has posted a great 'primer' on pre-emergent herbicides and grapes.

I suspect the window for both pruning and getting sprays (dormant sprays and pre-emergent herbicides) applied will be greatly compressed this year and you may need to make some decisions on what your top priorities are for certain blocks or varieties and spend your time where the most difference can be made!

In the bleak midwinter...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hi folks,

I hope everyone is staying warm and planning for brighter days ahead.  It's been an interesting winter to say the least;  +18 on Christmas Day, and rain through much of January only to get thrown into the deep freeze in February!  It really makes you wonder what effect this weather is going to have on the vines.  This might be a good year to do some bud assessments before you start pruning for the season ahead... if you'd like a refresher on doing this, click here for a factsheet put together by the Cornell Fruit Extension Team - there are also some links to video clips on their website.

Freeze injury is one of the greatest threats and potential limiting factors for successfully growing Vinifera grape vines in Nova Scotia.  In Nova Scotia, only a few areas of the province would be considered 'suitable' to grow Vinifera, and even there, practices such as hilling are common place for winter protection. 

In November of 2014, Cape House Vineyards in Mahone Bay initiated a research trial to test a couple of different geotextile fabrics for their ability to protect Sauvignon Blanc vines through the winter.   The two geotextiles were chosen based on work that has been conducted in Ontario in 2013 and they included Texel's Arbo-Therm (white polyester felt with a black waterproof addition), and Soleno Textile's Hibertex (white UV protected polyester fiber).   Fabric was installed on the treated plots during the final week of November.

Data loggers were placed underneath the two different fabrics as well as in 'ambient' conditions to measure any differences in temperature and humidity during the duration of the trial.

The fabric will be removed in March and an assessment on timing of bud break, bud survival and vine performance will be made.  In the final year of the trial (year three), there will also be a yield assessment from all treatments.   Please stay tuned as we continue this experiment through 2015 and determine whether or not covering vines is a viable winter protection strategy!

Lower Vineyard during the growing season.

Lower Vineyard On November 26th, after Arbo-Therm and Hibertex were installed.  

Northern Grapes Webinar Series - Check it out!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hi folks,

I hope harvest is going well and I'm sure it's pretty busy on the crushing room floor these days!  I just wanted to pass along some information for the next series of Northern Grape Webinars that start on November 20th.  If you haven't already checked these out, it's a great way to hear the latest research and information without ever having to leave home (it's the only 'conference' you'll be able to attend in your PJ's).  You can sign up and join each presentation 'live' online or you can check out their website for a list of all the archived presentations they've given over the years.  If you join live, you have an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters and other 'audience' members!

You can check out information on the Northern Grapes Project here. You will find information on their research objectives and their monthly newsletters (there's some timely information on there right now regarding wine deacidification) as well as a link to their archived webinars and a spot to sign up to join in this years webinar series! 

Here's a peek at their upcoming webinar schedule!   Cheers, Rachael 

November 20, 2014

“Trellis Design and Construction and Pruning Fundamentals Prior to Your First Cut”

Steve Lerch, Cornell University and Mike White, Iowa State University


December 16, 2014

“Stuck on you – Sulfur Spray Residues in the Vineyard and Winery”

Chris Gerling and Gavin Sacks, Cornell University


January 13, 2015

“Emerging Cold Hardy Wine Grape Cultivars”           

Tom Plocher, Northern Winework, Inc. and Mark Hart, Mt. Ashwabay Vineyard & Orchard


February 10, 2015

“Comparing and Contrasting Vertical Shoot Positioning and Top Wire Cordon Training Systems”

Tim Martinson, Cornell University; Bob Utter, Flying Otter Vineyard and Winery; and John Thull, University of Minnesota


March 10, 2015

“Tannin Addition and Retention in Red Hybrid Wines”

Anna Katharine Mansfield, Cornell University


April 14, 2015

“Branding Studies for Cold Climate Wines”

Bill Gartner, University of Minnesota

Fertility - Time to Tissue Test

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hi Folks,

First off, thanks to everyone who came out to our first Vineyard Walk of the season at Planters Ridge - and thanks to John and Lisa for having us! 

I hear from a lot of people around this time of year wondering what (if anything) they should be fertilizing with in their vineyards.  While soil tests do a great job of telling us what's in the soil, it doesn't always translate into what the plant is able to take up!  I am a strong promoter of tissue testing with any perennial fruit crop (and really even many longer season annuals).  It's just a really good way of determining what the plant is able to take up from the soil and what you might need to look at supplementing! 

Generally with grapes, tissue testing is done during Bloom or at Veraison!  Since we are quickly approaching Veraison, I thought it might be timely to post some info on taking your tissue tests!

Sample each variety separately and if you have blocks of the same variety in different areas, it might be best to treat them as separate samples also. 

You can find information on what plant part to sample on the NS Analytical Lab Website  and you can click here to download a copy of the sample submission form. 

When you get your results back, it's a good idea to compare them against 'normal' ranges (this one is from the Midwest Grape Guide)

Suggested "Normal" Ranges of Nutrients from Grape Leaf Petioles* Nutrient
Normal Range
Nitrogen (N)
0.9 – 1.3 %
Phosphorus (P)
0.16 – 0.29 %
Potassium (K)
1.5 – 2.5 %
Calcium (Ca)
1.2 – 1.8 %
Magnesium (Mg)
0.26 – 0.45 %
Manganese (Mn)
31 – 150 ppm
Iron (Fe)
31 – 50 ppm
Copper (Cu)
5 – 15 ppm
Boron (B)
25 – 50 ppm
Zinc (Zn)
30 – 50 ppm

If your values are significantly higher or lower than these - please feel free to give me a call to discuss! 

Finally please mark Thursday August 21st on your Calendar for our second vineyard walk of the season.  Details will be announced on location soon!  Stay tuned to the blog and our facebook page for details.