Although having a bucket list can provide lots of inspiration to live your best life, it can be a bit daunting. In your day to day life, you’re likely not going to spend most days backpacking through Europe, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, or running the Boston Marathon. For this reason, I created my Maritimes Bucket List; a list that I can complete in my own backyard. On the top of this list was to take a wine tour of the Annapolis Valley (the top wine growing region in the area).
I went on a tour with the Magic Winery Bus for my friend’s 21st birthday. The bus leaves from the city of Wolfville, about an hour outside of Halifax. Luckily, my friend is an only child and could convince her parents to be designated drivers. The double decker bus chauffeurs you to five wineries in the area – Lightfoot and Wolfville, Domaine de Grand Pré, Luckett Vineyards, L’Acadie Vineyards, and Gaspereau Vineyards. The bus leaves you for an hour at each winery, and you’ll likely only have time to visit four out of the five wineries.
We decided to skip over the first winery (Gaspereau Vineyards), and continued on to L’Acadie Vineyards, where they specialize in sparkling wine. They gave the tour group a few samples and explained the history of their vineyard (as every winery did). This winery was one of the more basic vineyards, as it didn’t have a restaurant or tasting room.
Luckett Vineyards was next on the tour. This is one of the most built up vineyards, as it has a restaurant, tasting room, and even a cool photo op – a British phone booth in the middle of the vines. With that being said, it’s also one of the busiest vineyards. If you want to have lunch here (it’s a good spot to eat!), I’d recommend booking in advance.
I’d heard a lot about the next winery, but had never been for myself. Domaine de Grand Pré is also an established vineyard, with a restaurant, tasting bar, and a trail to a UNESCO World Heritage Site (The site of the explosion of the Acadians). This vineyard is gorgeous, and hosts plenty of weddings each Summer. This was the winery that I wanted to revisit the most – and I did just that a few weeks ago when I stopped in for lunch at their restaurant Le Caveau. I’d recommend trying their Pomme d’Or ice wine while you’re there!
The last winery was Lightfoot and Wolfville, which was also the newest and closest to town. The building is absolutely stunning with its vaulted ceilings and floor to ceiling windows with views of the vineyard. I’d also recommend checking out the barrel cellar if it’s open. They have a sizeable restaurant with some great views; I’ve never tried out this restaurant, but it’s definitely on my list (the restaurant is only open seasonally).
I loved getting to visit multiple wineries in one day, and not having to worry about driving! We spent about an hour at each vineyard, and sometimes this was too much time and sometimes this wasn’t enough time. It definitely came me a better idea of which vineyards I wanted to explore more.
Are there any other wine regions I should have on my bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!