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Nova Scotia Wine Industry Worth Almost $200 Million

(Nova Scotia) – Break out the bubbly.

Nova Scotia’s wine and grape industry contributes almost $200 million annually to the provincial economy, says a new study.

“This study shows just how rapidly the Nova Scotia wine industry is becoming a major economic driver in the province,” Nick Jennery, the Winery Association of Nova Scotia’s chief executive officer, said Tuesday.

“What’s even more striking is how quickly the industry is expanding.”

The economic impact study, released Tuesday by his association, concluded that the provincial wine industry, which includes 12 grape wineries and six fruit ones, contributes

$196 million annually to Nova Scotia’s economy, including $25 million in taxes, based on 2011 figures.

That translates into an economic impact of $375,000 per acre of grapes farmed, the association said.

The Nova Scotia numbers are part of a national study commissioned by the Canadian Vintners Association and winery associations in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Jennery said the Nova Scotia association contributed $7,000 toward the study’s cost.

“It was money worth investing,” he said in an interview from Lunenburg.

Jennery said the study, which found that Nova Scotia’s wine and grape sector supports 854 full-time-equivalent jobs, provided more than numbers and demonstrated the industry’s tremendous growth potential.

“It’s a catalyst for things like wine tourism.”

The report found that 100,000 tourists visited Nova Scotia wineries in 2011.

The association said the province’s growing wine sector — there was only one Nova Scotia winery in 1980 — is poised to play an even greater part in generating jobs, tax revenue and economic growth.

Jennery said the industry and government need to work together to realize that goal by aligning around a growth strategy.

“We need to ensure that the regulatory framework provides incentives for investment.”

The wine industry also needs the government’s help in getting the message out about Nova Scotia wines, he said.

“Our message to government is get behind this growth industry. It will pay huge dividends to the province.”

His association said a bottle of Nova Scotia wine produces 15 times the economic impact that a bottle of imported wine does.

The report found that the Canadian wine industry has a $6.8-billion impact on the national economy.

SOURCE: Herald Business

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