There is good evidence that wild grapes have thrived in New Brunswick as far back as a thousand years ago. We know that the Vikings had settlements in Newfoundland, but there's strong evidence that they also ventured into New Brunswick. Archaeologists have a theory that the “Vinland” (literally vine-land) referred to in the Viking Sagas - their oral and eventually written history - was actually North Eastern New Brunswick.

The first modern commercial grape wine in New Brunswick was made at Winegarden Estates in Baie Verte, originally a cottage distillery, who released a red wine from New Brunswick grapes in 2001 from the 1999 vintage, with Marechal Foch purchased from La Ferme Maury up along the coast near Bouctouche. Serge Maury, originally from France, has over two thousand grapevines and another thousand elderberry plants by his campground at Vignoble St-Édouard, established in 1996.

New Brunswick has a large selection of award-winning fruit wines (non-grape), as well as a young and growing grape wine industry that will only improve with age. And while the grape wine industry in New Brunswick was founded on French American hybrids like Marechal Foch and Seyval Blanc, the gradual move to Minnesota varieties like Frontenac, Sabrevois, Osceola Muscat and Marquette has proven successful, and it is very likely that future plantings will consist of these hardy varieties that can ripen in our shorter growing season and survive through our tough winters. Make sure to look out for more of these newer grape varieties popping up all around New Brunswick!

Things are really starting to come along on the grape front, with modern style fine wines now available. The future of New Brunswick wine is being built on cool, climate-hardy grape varieties in addition to the well-established apples, blueberries, and other locally grown fruit. Magnetic Hill's recent expansion of wines made from Marquette and Osceola Muscat grapes points to this exciting future.

The eight-hectare estate vineyard at Richibucto River Wine Estate is a great example of the potential in New Brunswick for quality grape wines, as is the showpiece winery at Dunhams Run, with its lovely tasting room, barrel room, and summer-long events. Motts Landing has been a pioneer of quality since its opening, as the first winery in New Brunswick to produce grape-based wines that truly impressed sommeliers and serious wine lovers on the national stage.

New Brunswick Grapes
Wild Blueberries
Sea Buckthorn

There are various growers spread around the province, many without wineries, from the most northern points near Dalhousie all the way south to the Bay of Fundy. The largest density is around the Petitcodiac River area, but the Saint John River Valley is also showing great potential. Add to this the production of wines from blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, apples, peaches, cherries, rhubarb, and sea buckthorn, and it’s clear that all of New Brunswick can be wine country.