Guided group wine tours are a great way to enjoy the best wine experiences that Nova Scotia has to offer without the worry of driving between wineries.
Annapolis Valley is the centre for Nova Scotia group wine tours
When we first arrived in Nova Scotia, we travelled through the beautiful Annapolis Valley learning all about the tasty wines, ciders, and craft beer.
Even though the Annapolis Valley is the centre of Nova Scotia’s wine industry, great vineyards are dotted all around the province from the South Shore all the way up to Cape Breton. Visiting the actual vineyards is always a great experience because you can see and taste the different wines they produce and many times you’ll get a peek at how they’re made.
But wineries aren’t the only place to enjoy fine wines. As you’ll see, there’s also great wine tours at other places too — a fun afternoon or evening tour with Nova Scotia wines can happen anywhere in the province!
In this best-of list, I’m going to share with you the top-rated group wine tours to help you choose the one that works the best for you and offers you a holiday you won’t forget.
Our pick for best Nova Scotia wine tour
Our pick is the Wine and Lunch Escape because it combines a great six-hour scenic group wine tour with visits to three award-winning vineyards and lunch to boot!
Many of the group wine tours start and end in the province’s capitol city, Halifax, which is good for tourists since the only international airport in Nova Scotia is in Halifax. Being able to do the round trip from the city makes it much more convenient whether you are here for a two-week vacation or just for the weekend.
As well as Halifax, some tours start in Annapolis Valley locations and I’ll note those below to help you plan your trip.
One important thing to note: as you can see by the ratings these tours are very popular — some are already booked for dates next summer. So if you’re interested, book early to have the best chance of getting the dates you want. These tours could MAKE your holiday!
So let’s get to it, starting with the Wine and Lunch Escape, a great-value six-hour winefest with lunch and scenery included.
▶︎ BOOK Wine and Lunch Escape
Why choose this group wine tour? In six hours you’ll see the breathtakingly beautiful scenery of the Annapolis Valley and Minas Bay, visit three award-winning wineries for tours and tastings, and enjoy a lunch with wine, beer, or cider. This is a popular full-agenda tour with round-trip service from and to Halifax – be sure to book early to get the dates you want.
The Wine and Lunch Escape includes:
What past guests have said:
“We loved this group wine tour and I am so glad that we booked this trip. We visited 3 gorgeous wineries in the Annapolis region and had 12 tastings along with a delicious lunch. The views were breathtaking and very scenic… “
— Ambalika (see more reviews)
Why choose this group wine tour? It’s the perfect way to end a day: an evening sail from the dock at the Halifax Boardwalk. Cruise out of Halifax Harbour, past George’s Island and McNab’s Island, and down the Northwest Arm narrows to watch the sun set over the coastline. With a maximum of 10 guests allowed, it’s a cosy evening sailing experience. Make new friends and learn about Nova Scotia wines and grapes as you sample Nova Scotia’s best and taste exquisite cheeses.
The tour group tells me that typically the sunset wine & cheese tour books a few weeks in advance, but they also told me that 2023 dates are already being booked – so it might be wise to book early to get the dates you want.
The Sunset Wine and Cheese Yacht Sailing tour includes:
What past guests have said:
“Great evening with Sarah, Terry, and Skipper Matt, they were fantastic hosts. The charcuterie was outstanding, the wine was great. This a wonderful evening after exploring Halifax all day. “
— Don (see more reviews)
Why choose this group wine tour? A six-hour small-group whirlwind tour in comfortable air conditioning, whisks you through the natural beauty of the Annapolis Valley, stopping at many of the high points along the way. Starting and ending Halifax, the tour will take you to some of the area’s best wineries, let you explore historic sites, and show you the interesting local history.
The Half-day small group tour of the Annapolis Valley includes:
What past guests have said:
“Paul was fantastic. The tour was part history, part wine tasting. The van is equipped with video; Paul narrated some things and showed us a video on Halifax’s role in the Titanic disaster. We saw the countryside including the Bay of Fundy, had lunch, and went to three different wineries for tasting. If you’re going to Halifax, do yourself a favour and contact Paul!”
— Susan (see more reviews)
▶︎ BOOK The Tidal Bay Wine & Cheese Yacht Sail tour
Why choose this group wine tour? All great wines are not only found at wineries… how about on a sailing ship? Sail on board this yacht from Halifax Harbour for a two-hour wine and cheese cruise. Out on the high seas, you’ll enjoy a guided tasting of three award-winning Tidal Bay wines, and learn about the Nova Scotians that make them.
What’s a Tidal Bay wine?
Tidal Bay is a kind of white wine that’s only produced in Nova Scotia, similar to the way that proper champagne is only produced in France. The Wine Growers Nova Scotia (formerly the Winery Association of Nova Scotia) created this designation in 2011.
To be considered a Tidal Bay, wines must be made from specific grape varieties, all of which must be grown in Nova Scotia. Producers have to follow a strict set of standards and be approved every year by an independent blind tasting
The tour group tells me that typically the Tidal Bay tour books a week in advance, but they also told me that their 2023 tour dates are already being booked – so it might be wise to book early to get the dates you want.
The Tidal Bay Wine & Cheese Yacht Sail tour also includes:
Why choose this group wine tour? For a classic and unique winery tour, check out this vintage 1947 Ford Super Deluxe! Hop in for 4.5 hours of cruising through beautiful Annapolis Valley, stopping in at several of the region’s best wineries, breweries, and craft cider houses, historic sites, and great restaurants. This is a private tour for groups up to four people and the Classic Vintage folks will customize the tour for you.
Although this tour is fairly new, it’s proven to be pretty popular. So book early!
The Classic Vintage Car Wine Tour includes:
What past guests have said:
“We gave him a tough assignment because my husband strongly prefers red wines, but Brennan organized a perfect tour for us! He selected three excellent wineries and took great care of us. We just walked in, took a seat, and enjoyed. Riding in that car was also a real treat for all of us! I highly recommend this tour for a really special, very personalized experience.”
— No name left (see more reviews)
Conclusion: best group wine tours in Nova Scotia
Our top-rated pick is the Wine and Lunch Escape because it combines a great six-hour scenic group wine tour with visits to three award-winning vineyards and lunch to boot!
When planning your Nova Scotia group wine tour, there a few things you should bring with you:
- Nova Scotia weather is changeable, so bring layered clothing you can add or remove as the weather demands.
- Nova Scotia’s natural beauty is second-to-none, so definitely bring your camera, and don’t forget the memory card (something I’d do!).
- Some tours include drinking water, but check with your tour company and bring some water along if they don’t provide it. As well as keeping you hydrated, you might need it after your third winery!
- Also, keep in mind that some of these group wine tours (the ones leaving from Halifax in particular) cater to passengers disembarking from cruise ships, which makes timing very important. So be sure to be on time to meet your group and also be sure to watch the clock at each stop along the way so the tour can get them back to the ship before it sails away!
Most of all, enjoy your group wine tour. Nova Scotia people are friendly and approachable. You could make some new fast friends!