Niagara Wine Trail USA
Where to Go and What to Taste
In our May/June 2015 issue, Holly Howell’s profile on the Niagara Wine Trail USA takes you through a tour of the region, detailing where to visit and which wines to be sure to taste.
Happy tenth Anniversary Niagara! That is exactly the number of years since the region of the Niagara Escarpment was officially certified as one of New York’s American Viticultural Areas (AVA). Despite it being a later addition to New York’s wine portfolio, the Niagara Escarpment has actually been making wine since the nineteenth century. But it wasn’t until October 11, 2005, that they were recognized as having distinguishable geographic features that could earn them an AVA status. And the biggest of those features would be its unique location on some prime real estate that forms a ridge of dolomitic limestone-based soils. This would be the “escarpment.”
In addition to awesome earth for vine growing, the Niagara region also has the advantage of a warmer micro-climate due to its proximity to Lake Ontario. Those extra few weeks tacked on to a growing season can make all the difference in the world as to the ripeness levels that the grapes can achieve. Despite the fact that New York State lies in a cool-climate region of the world, Niagara has the potential to pack some punch into those wines!
A current total of 22 wineries offer an incredible diversity of flavors, and wide choice of wine styles, including ciders and meads. The wineries among this region are spread out, but there is a small hub of them around the city of Lockport. All along the trail there are beautiful views and, of course, great wine to be enjoyed. Wherever you choose to travel, each winery will bring something unique and special to the table, making it one of the great wine trails we love in the Finger Lakes region.