group wine tours
|

5 top-rated group wine tours in Nova Scotia for 2023

Share:

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 lived for a while in the beautiful Annapolis Valley and got a chance to tour the valley as well as the rest of the province learning all about the wonderful wines, ciders, and craft beer.

Although the Annapolis Valley is the centre of Nova Scotia’s wine industry, great vineyards are dotted 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 it’s not ALL about wineries — as you’ll see, there’s also great group wine tours at other exciting 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 will work best for you and offer you a holiday you won’t forget.

Our pick for best Nova Scotia wine tour

Our pick is the Wine and Lunch Escape tour 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 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 Halifax makes it much more convenient for those here for just a weekend or for those here to enjoy a two-week vacation.

Some other 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 tour, a great-value six-hour winefest with lunch and scenery included.  

#1 Wine and Lunch Escape tour

Photo by cottonbro studio: Pexels.com

▶︎ BOOK Wine and Lunch Escape tour

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — With more than 325 positive reviews!
  • TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax
  • Tour available: May through December

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 – a complete tour with round-trip service from and to Halifax.

This is a very popular one – be sure to book early to get the dates you want.

The Wine and Lunch Escape Tour includes:

  • A scenic drive through the Annapolis Valley.
  • Benjamin Bridge wine estate for a tour and tasting.
  • Luckett Vineyards for a guided tasting and lunch served with wine, beer or cider set in picturesque Gaspereau Valley.
  • Depending on the timing, the third vineyard could be Grand Pre Wines, Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards, Mercator Vineyards, Gaspereau Vineyards or L’Acadie Vineyards. 
  • Air-conditioned vehicle, avoid the hassle of driving between wine tastings.
  • Small group (maximum of 20 travelers).

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)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#2 Sunset Wine and Cheese Yacht Sailing tour

Photo courtesy of J Farwell Sailing Tours

▶︎ BOOK Sunset Wine and Cheese Yacht Sailing tour

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — With 39 positive reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: 2.5 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax
  • Tour available: May through October

Why choose this group wine tour? It’s the perfect way to end a day: sailing 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:

  • Cruise out of Halifax Harbour under the setting sun with beautiful sea views.
  • Maximum of 10 people for a more personalized experience.
  • Samplers of Nova Scotia wines and an excellent charcuterie are included.
  • A friendly and knowledgeable crew can tell you all about the local area.

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)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#3 Half-day small group tour of the Annapolis Valley

▶︎ BOOK Half-day small group tour of the Annapolis Valley

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — With 19 positive reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax
  • Tour available: Year-round, but most popular between April and October.

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:

  • Grand Pre National Historic Site – monument to the tale of Le Grand Dérangement.
  • Old Post Road – gaze over the marshes and dykelands that Acadians settled and tamed 200 years ago.
  • Blomidon Look-Off – a beautiful panoramic view of the Annapolis Valley and the Minas Basin.
  • Hall’s Harbour – an authentic 1779 fishing village and a great place for fresh Nova Scotia seafood.
  • Fox Hill Cheese House – crafts more than 20 varieties of specialty cheeses, and more.
  • Planters Ridge – an artisanal winery and renovated 156-year-old timber frame barn that combines historical and modern features.
  • Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards – home of passionate “winegrowers” who believe that great wines start in the vineyard.
  • Luckett Vineyards – overlooking the magnificent Gaspereau Valley, this winery is open daily for wine tastings (the tastings are not included in the price of the tour).
  • Wolfville – enjoy lunch in a university town full of restaurants and cafes; it’s also in the middle of eight wineries located within 10 km of the town’s centre.
  • Sheffield Mills and Acadia University drive-by

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 a look at 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)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#4 Tidal Bay Wine & Cheese Yacht Sail tour

Photo courtesy of J Farwell Sailing Tours

▶︎ BOOK The Tidal Bay Wine & Cheese Yacht Sail tour

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — With 4 positive reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax
  • Tour available: May through October

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 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:

  • Wine and charcuterie.

What past guests have said:

“Excellent company, wine and service. So friendly, they created such a memorable experience for us. Highly recommend”

— Robert (see more reviews)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#5 The Classic Vintage Car Wine Tour

Photo courtesy of Vintage Vino Tours

▶︎ BOOK The Classic Vintage Car Wine Tour

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — With 1 review (they just started summer of 2022)
  • TOUR LENGTH: 4.5 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Wolfville at the library, or they’ll pick up and drop you off anywhere within 25 minutes of downtown Wolfville.
  • Tour available: June through October

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 The Classic Vintage Car Wine Tour includes:

  • Domaine de Grand Pre – Nova Scotia’s oldest farm winery in the heart of the historic Grand Pré region.
  • Luckett Vineyards – Great Nova Scotia wines, breathtaking views, and a working vintage phone booth!
  • Wolfville – lunch at one of our recommended eateries or choose one of your own.
  • 1365 Church Street Vineyard And Winery – Nova Scotia’s newest winery; try a Tidal Bay, Nova Scotia’s own wine.
  • A private tour/activity. Up to four people can join your group wine tour!

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

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

Final Thoughts: best group wine tours in Nova Scotia

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!

For more information on the Annapolis Valley, check out our Annapolis Valley Travel Guide.

Thanks for joining us on this new adventure! Got a question or a comment? Go to the comments page where you can find our email address and drop us a line.

Similar Posts