Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara Falls, New York, Niagara Region & Niagara Frontier, Ontario Vineyards & WineriesAttractions, Museums, and Parks information, listings and links
The Niagara Region (in Ontario) and the Niagara Frontier (in New York) is located along side the Niagara River, which connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The area has rich clay-based soils which make very productive farmland, which climbs in a step (called a "bench") from Lake Ontario. The Bench runs from the Western border of Grimsby to the Eastern border of Vineland, from the Number 8 Highway to the Escarpment.
The Niagara soils once formed the lakebed of the glacial Lake Iroquois, and now consists of very heavy limestone clay (some of it dark brown, and some red). Heavy clay, similar to soils in France's Burgundy region, is relatively infertile and reduces vine vigor while promoting fruit ripening. When the ancient glaciers melted, they left behind a mix of igneous minerals, including all sorts of granite, quartzite, gneiss, and pyrite. Igneous soils are also found in the Southern European areas of the Rhone and Northern Italy.
The region has long humid summers and a moderate winter climate because of the warming impact of the two lakes on either side. Furthermore, the high Niagara Escarpment shelters orchards and vineyards closer to Lake Ontario from cold winter winds. This creates a high temperature band that extends along the base of the bench approximately 2-3°C warmer than most of the Niagara peninsula. This boosts the ripening, and enables grapes to be harvested a week or two earlier than otherwise
Niagara wines have been recognized around the world in competitions as being outstanding, especially the ice wines, which are made from grapes harvested after the first winter frost. These rich soils and moderate climate also favour tender fruit growers with their crops, which include peaches and strawberries.
The wineries are grouped by location (east to west)
Andres Wines - Grimsby
Magnotta Winery, Distillery and Brewery - Grimsby