Winery Plan

Deazley Beverage Company

Michael Deazley

Continuing our Vineyard Plan Project, we're now planning a winery to turn our grapes into wine. The four items we've been asked to include are:

  1. What grapes do you want to grow and what style of wine(s) do you want to make? Where would you sell them and explain your distribution strategy?
  2. List and explain at least two government organizations that will require you to report regularly. Also, list two permits that you have to get.
  3. What is your winery tourism plan?
  4. List and explain at least two of the most important considerations to establish your winery.
Varieties

The Deazley Beverage Company (DBC) wants to develop a Tidal Bay. They've decided not to risk vinifera in their questionable location, so nine white hybrids were selected. A rough estimate of the volume of each follows:

  1. 1350L L'Acadie Blanc
  2. 1350L Seyval Blanc
  3. 1350L Vidal Blanc
  4. 1350L Geisenheim 318
  5. 1620L Frontenac Gris
  6. 1620L Petit Milo
  7. 1620L Frontenac Blanc
  8. 810L Traminette
  9. 810L New York Muscat

While it would be possible to blend all these in one tank and just hope it's approved as a Tidal Bay, it would be a better idea to do blend trials and set aside whatever is left for other uses, whether single varietals or as a blended base for fruit wines.

The Deazley Beverae Company was originally being developed as a commercial fruit winery named Drunken Dragon Winery. While we're building an imaginary winery, I would include a large greenhouse with temperature controls keepting it between 15C and 25C so I can produce Nova Scotian lemons for a lemon wine -- the better batch used a white grape base. A garlic cooking wine was developed for cooking Ship Harbour mussels, and it would probably benefit from a grape base as well. Rhubarb wine and ciders were also in the plans.

A few rows of a tenth variety, Leon Millot, could be added if it proves to ripen in the cooler summers of the Eastern Shore. While this would be a beautiful wine on its own, I would be tempted to add cherries and/or red currants.

Distribution

The DBC would hope to utilize seven distribution methods. In order of reliance:

  1. On-Site Retail Shop: Visitors would come in, have a tour, taste the whole line, and hopefully leave with more than one bottle.
  2. NSLC: Get DBC wines on NSLC shelves! Even if it is only in their bigger stores.
  3. Private Stores: Get DBC wines on the shelves of specialty stores like Bishop's Cellar.
  4. Farmer's Markets: Have people at at least a few farmer's markets such as the Halifax Seaport Market, giving out samples and convincing people to buy a bottle or two.
  5. Festivals: There are several wine & culinary festivals throughout the year in Nova Scotia; being sure to have a table/booth at as many as possible would be important. Even venturing across the country to the Vancouver Wine Festival would be a possibility.
  6. Export: It wouldn't happen right away, but if the DBC expands to have a high enough production rate, it would be a good idea to work with NSBI to get into other markets.
  7. Online: Having a website is essential, having an online shop is less so. Having an online shop means having to ship.
Reporting
  1. Canada Revenue Agency: Excise Duty must be paid on the volume of wine produced.
  2. NSLC: Any alcoholic beverages produced must be reported to the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.
Permits

Permits, such as the Farm Winery Permit, Registered Rerpresentative, and On-Site Retail Permit are obtained from the NSLC.

Tourism

For tourism, the plan is to make a visit more attractive by building a half-timbered (Tudor style) building offering accommodations, tentatively dubbed the Drunken Dragon Inn. The hope is to use lumber milled from the trees cut in the land-clearning phase of the vineyard.

Having kayaks/canoes/paddleboards available (for rent) to be dragged down the hill (off the property, through a wilderness area) to a nearby lake for a bit of paddling is also a possibility. The property would also have several kilometres of walking/hiking trails and at least one decent look-off.

The idea started as a joke, but to drag the many granite boulders up the hill and dress them to be laid in the construction of a castle (Chateau de Azeley) would be a dream come true.

The Inn could also have a pub/tavern serving local (at least Nova Scotian) food, such as seafood. Live music could be a distinct possibility as well. Joining Taste of Nova Scotia would definitely be beneficial.

Having a listing with Tourism Nova Scotia, especially in their Doers and Dreamers guide, would be important, too.

Considerations

Starting small is important, but how small is too small?

Whether or not to become certified Organic, Vegan, Kosher, Gluten-free, or any of the other options is something that should be given careful consideration, but the DBC has no intention of doing any of it. The safety of employees, visitors, and the environment is far more important than the quality of the wine or whether substances used are synthetic or naturally sourced.

Joining some of the other organizations such as Wines of Nova Scotia and the Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia is something definitely worth considering, and likely to happen.