Winery continues to thrive

Dave Mathieson
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Hundreds flock to Jost Vineyard for annual blueberry fest

Winery continues to thrive

Malagash -

While some industries have been crushed under the weight of the economic downturn, Jost Vineyards are crushing an increased amount of grapes to keep up with consumer demand.

"Our sales are up this year," said Jost Vineyard owner Hans Christian Jost. "It started off slow with the restaurant trade but sales here in Malagash and the liquor stores; those sales are up."
What is the secret to Jost Vineyards continued success?
Jost chuckles a little at the question and says, "Good wine. We produce wine people enjoy."
Their long list of award winning wines confirms the "good wine" theory.
The vineyard celebrated it's grand opening in 1985 and opened it's winery store in 1986.
They received nationwide acclaim in 1999 when it's 1999 Vidal ice wine was named Canada's Wine of the Year among all wines entered at the All-Canadian Wine Championship in Windsor, Ont.
It was the first time that a wine from outside of Ontario or British Columbia had ever won the prestigious award in the competitions 20-year history.
Jost Wines continue to harvest awards year after year at both Canadian and International competitions.
Another reason for their continued growth is that they know their customers.
"Because we are in Nova Scotia we know what many Nova Scotians enjoy," said Jost.
But it's not just wine that separates Jost from the rest of the pack. It's also their distinctive Maritime way of marketing.
"Our advertising generally says, 'come to Jost Vineyards in Malagash,'" said Jost. "That's all we're advertising.
"That's what sets us apart from most wineries in the world. People can come and visit us and see what they like and taste what they like. Then they can go back to their local liquor store and hopefully find it there."
Another unique campaign they began last year and was expanded this year is the making of regional wines.
"This year we released a wine called Sunrise Frontenac Gris," said Jost. "All the grapes are from a vineyard in Port Howe and that wine is only available in the Pugwash Liquor store and the downtown liquor store in Amherst.
"You can't even buy it here in Malagash. You have to go to one of those two liquor stores, which are the two closest to where it was actually grown."
Jost Vineyards produces other regional wines for Berwick, Middleton and areas throughout the Annapolis Valley.
"The response has been very good," said Jost. "People love having wines that have been grown in their neighborhood and giving it to friends."
Jost Vineyards now has close to 55 acres of grapes growing in Malagash and another 35 acres in the Annapolis Valley. They also buy grapes from another 130 acres from across the province of Nova Scotia.
Jost said that although more people in Nova Scotia drink white wine than red wine, more red wine is consumed than white.
"The red wine drinkers drink more wine," he said.
Another factor that helps boost wine sales is warm weather and Malagash had plenty of that last Saturday as hundreds of people flocked to Jost Vineyards for the Blueberry Fest.
"It was a very busy Blueberry Fest," said Jost. "And this Saturday we have the Art and Jazz Festival.
"The music is more jazz and people bring in their art and it may be chosen for one of our labels on one of next years wines," added Jost. "And we also have a painting chosen by the public as the Peoples Choice."
After the Art and Jazz Festival the next big event hosted at Jost Vineyards is the 11th annual Charity Grape Stomp.
"It's our biggest event of the year," said Jost. "It's a lot of fun and a lot of money is raised for worthy charities by squeezing lots of grapes. If people want to sign up and put in a team, they are more than welcome to."
The Grape Stomp is on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Jost Vineyard.

Organizations: Peoples Choice

Geographic location: Malagash, Nova Scotia, Canada Windsor Ontario British Columbia Annapolis Valley Port Howe Amherst

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