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LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE

Ontario's Southern Charm

Lake Erie North Shore is Ontario’s southernmost appellation, just a few hours from the GTA and Hamilton and only minutes from Windsor and the U.S. border.

Climate

Lake Erie North Shore has a long growing season. It benefits from the quick summer warming of the shallow waters of Lake Erie as well as from an abundance of sunshine during the growing season. Early harvests are the norm, with picking usually beginning at the end of August and late-harvest varieties often reaching their peak by late October.

Topography

Bounded on the northwest side by Lake St. Clair, to the west by the fast flowing Detroit River, with Lake Erie to the south, and including the nine islands in Lake Erie, which make up the South Islands sub-appellation, Lake Erie North Shore appellation is almost completely surrounded by water. Numerous short, shallow streams found throughout this appellation flow freely in the spring but often dry down to a trickle in the warm summer. The appellation is made up of long, gentle slopes that face in all directions, with elevations ranging from 172 m (564 ft) to 196 m (643 ft) above sea level. With no major topographic barrier to the prevailing southwesterly winds, this appellation enjoys the full effect of the lake breeze that moderates the entire area during the long growing season.

Soil

The soil composition was greatly affected by the glacial lakes, which deposited large amounts of unsorted stony materials in the area. When the glacial lakes elsewhere retreated, this area remained covered in deep waters for a longer period, allowing waves to smooth out the ridges and deposit considerable amounts of sediment. The light-textured, well-drained soils around the lakeshore contain mostly sandy loam and gravel deposits punctuated by small, irregular stony ridges, which overlie shale limestone bedrock. The South Islands have similar soil makeup as the mainland, and the majority of the vineyards are planted on the southwestern corner and centre of Pelee Island (the largest of the islands), where the soils are the deepest and allow for root systems to properly set.

Download the map for a look at all the wineries in Lake Erie North Shore.

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