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Unreserved Wine Talk

238 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


102: Nova Scotia's Secret Star Wine Power with Benjamin Bridge's Jean Benoit Deslauriers

Where can you find one of the Canadian wine industry's best-kept secrets? How does the dynamic Bay of Fundy impact the flavours you taste in wines from the Gaspereau Valley? Which Benjamin Bridge wine will you find on Gordon Ramsey's restaurant wine list? Why do regional pairings of food and wine work?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jean Benoit Deslauriers, Head Winemaker at Benjamin Bridge.


  • Where can you find one of the Canadian wine industry's best-kept secrets?
  • How does the climatic dynamic of the Bay of Fundy impact the flavours you'll taste in wines from the Gaspereau Valley?
  • Which Benjamin Bridge wine would you find on Gordon Ramsey's restaurant wine list?
  • What creates the bubbly effect you experience with sparkling wines?
  • Is there a specific role that you'll see sommeliers play in the wine world?
  • Which process is responsible for the consistent, signature style you expect from Champagne?
  • Can you tap into some of Benjamin Bridge's oldest wines in an affordable way?
  • What flavour profile can you expect from Benjamin Bridge Non Vintage Brut?
  • Why should you aim for regional connections when pairing food and wine?
  • Why is Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 a great choice for you to match with foods that are difficult to pair with wine?
  • What makes the Benjamin Bridge Riesling a great example of their signature foundation of freshness?
  • How do Nova Scotia wines achieve both the richness and freshness you taste in their wines?
  • Why should you think of Nova Scotia as "the little wine region that could"?
  • What makes Tidal Bay an appellation wine?
  • What sort of profile should you expect from Benjamin Bridge Brut?
  • Why should you join the BB Club?
  • Which wine motivated Jean-Benoit to break his piggy bank as a fifth grader?
  • When did Jean-Benoit realize he wanted to have a career in wine?


About Jean Benoit Deslauriers

In 2008, Jean-Benoit joined the Benjamin Bridge winemaking team in time to release his first Canadian wine, Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge. Since then he has crafted all of the winery’s classic method sparkling wines and its still wines, in consultation with Peter Gamble (the winery’s lead consultant) and the late Raphaël Brisbois (its sparkling wine specialist and former chef de cave of Piper-Heidseick).

Originally from Québec, Jean-Benoit began his winemaking apprenticeship at VOE (Vinedos Organicos Emiliana), a biodynamic vineyard/winery in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, which was created by one of Chile’s largest producers, Vina Santa Emilina, to produce exceptional wines.

Having mostly worked in California, he made wine at Casa Barranca (2004-2008), the first certified organic winery in Santa Barbara County. In California, his winemaking efforts garnered accolades and standout reviews from Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer (90+). Since 2008, Jean-Benoit’s winemaking has elevated Benjamin Bridge’s wine programs to new heights with consistent 90-95+ scores and unanimous high praise from the nation’s leading wine critics along with growing international recognition.

About Benjamin Bridge

In little more than a decade, Benjamin Bridge has distinguished itself by its dedication to time-proven techniques, expert guidance, and most importantly its acclaimed, distinctive wines.

The Benjamin Bridge vineyards are located in the heart of the Gaspereau Valley on the Bay of Fundy, where the cool climate bears an uncanny affinity with the Champagne region of France. Our experienced winemakers work in collaboration with international experts to produce world-class Méthode Classique sparkling wines and limited edition luxury wines.

Their innovative sparkling wines display the hallmarks of classic prestige cuvées from Champagne, but with a Nova Scotia signature. “They are, without question, the best sparkling wines I have tasted in Canada,” says Tony Aspler, Canada’s most renowned wine authority. Their collection of handcrafted fine wines, including perennial sell-out Nova 7, together with our sparkling wine program, have helped raise the profile of Nova Scotia terroir and its winemaking in Canada and internationally.





To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the

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