The Niagara Escarpment AVA
The Niagara Escarpment is a cuesta that lays at the base of our region, acting as a wind guard from the south and a warm air trap for the Great Lake Ontario. This “warm bottle" effect from the lake, coupled with the protection of the escarpment to the south, moderates our climate, and lengthens our growing season.
The Niagara region can be separated into three distinct geographical terroirs. The Bench land sits directly in front of the escarpment as a raised step above the Lake Plain to the north. The soils here are clay over limestone with portions of silt and gravel. The hills to the east lack this stepped bench, but roll further to the north towards the lake. The soils here are the same clay over limestone as the Bench. The Lake Plain lies north of the escarpment towards the lake. The proximity to the lake moderates the summer temperatures, and extends the growing season further into October. The soils are lighter than the escarpment, with outcroppings of sandy clay over sandstone and decomposed limestone.