Casa Nova Fine Beverages opened this spring in scenic Bear River, Nova Scotia.
Formerly known as Annapolis Highland Winery, the operation is owned by Brendan & Karen Enright and Piers Greenwood. Casa Nova is currently crafting wine, cider and cello with ingredients sourced from some of the oldest orchards in all of Nova Scotia.
This is no empty boast, as the early French settlers in this province, the Acadians, have been planting orchards and growing fruit since, well 1606, not coincidentally the name of the 1606 Good Cheer Cider.
Over the Labour Day Weekend we were lucky enough to find ourselves visiting the Casa Nova property on the way back from a weekend of watching whales cavort in the nearby Bay of Fundy. Casa Nova’s representative, the amiable Bob Bojarski, gave us a tour of the facility and then sat us down on a terrace shaded by Nova Scotia’s oldest tulip tree to try some of the “fruits” of their labour.
Buddy’s Craft Cider is their flagship beverage and is available on site as well as in many Nova Scotia Liquor Commission shops. Made from a blend of rare valley apples with no preservatives or added flavouring agents the first sip was like biting into a crisp, juicy apple. This cider won a bronze medal in the 2018 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, beating many competitors, including those of some of the oldest established cideries in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.
On site you can get it in reasonably priced one- and two-litre containers, perfect for picnics. The 1606 Good Cheer Cider has one additional apple in the blend. Named for the Order of Good Cheer founded by Samuel Champlain and his men in 1606 at nearby Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal), this beverage is steeped in history with a more formal and traditional savour.
We also sampled the Buddy’s blueberry cider, loaded not only with flavour but also with the potent antioxidants found in local blueberries.
Finally we tried the Baron’s Red, a fruity red wine meant, like a Beaujolais, to be enjoyed young and slightly chilled.
Located on the Clementsvale Road in Bear River, Casa Nova should be on your destination list when you travel through Nova Scotia.
If you go…
2635 Clementsvale Rd,
Bear River, Nova Scotia
Article by George Burden and Stella Burden-van der Lugt
Photos by Stella Burden-van der Lugt—All rights reserved.