Winery serves up an in-house solution to COVID challenges

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>Christian Perlat, his wife, Gabrielle, and daughter, Salome, were among the family members who helped bottle Petite Riviere&#8217;s new Drumlin Series of wine.</p>
  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>European vineyards often have goats on hand to help with the grass trimming.</p>
  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>Petite Riviere Vineyards now have baby goats on hand as part of their grass management and as an attraction for visitors.</p>

Many agricultural-based businesses in Nova Scotia have been challenged by the pandemic, with migrant workers unable or unwilling to travel from abroad to work here. While social distancing directives have made it difficult for their production processes.

But Petite Riviere Vineyards Inc. has managed to circumvent the issues. Moreover, the company has gone on to launch a new line of wines and introduce a quirky angle to a Nova Scotian winery visit.

Four years ago Petite Riviere hired French winemaker, Christian Perlat. On June 19th, the winery launched the first drumlin series bearing his name and design.

"The Drumlin Series is our elite red wines, and they are always released in their fourth year. Our newsletter headline was, 'We waited four years for this day,'" reported Sean Sears, in an email to LighthouseNOW.

Sears and his wife Barbara Thomson co-own the winery.

"In an interesting twist, we were able to complete our spring bottling without the need for social separation in our cellars by having the Perlat children help their parents," Sears explained. He said that on some days all four of Perlat's children were helping with the bottling.

Sears maintains that the Drumlin series are "outstanding" and "come from the marriage of French wine making and south shore soils."

Meanwhile, drawn to Nova Scotia as a means of owning their own home and passing on the ability to live off the land to their children, the Perlats have been raising goats. They had young ones that needed to be weaned off their mothers. And now the young goats are part of the landscape pictorials of Petite Riviere Vineyards for the summer.

"In European wine countries, goats are deployed for grass trimming. They are incredibly cute and play straight time. We think it will be good fun for families and provided a little magic covid suave for kids," Sears told LighthouseNOW.

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