The gentle topography of this area decreases gradually in elevation northward to the lake, providing drainage of spring runoff through the streams and their tributaries that mark the landscape. In summer and winter, the moderating winds crossing Lake Ontario reach through to the southern limit of the appellation at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment.
The winding creeks provide for some relief in the topography and short slopes in every direction. Lake Ontario and the smaller, deep water bodies in the area, such as Martindale Pond, Sixteen Mile Pond and Jordan Harbour usually remain cool and calm through the summer, and the stored heat moderates fall temperatures across the appellation.
The complex glacial soils of the Lake Iroquois Plains and lots of unobstructed sunlight define the terroir of Creek Shores and contribute to concentrated, full bodied wines.
The Lake Iroquois Plain has a complex sedimentary history and the surface and sub-surface soils of this appellation display great diversity over short distances. These sedimentary soils – deposited from activity of glaciers and historic lakes and streams - are laid over the Queenston Shale formation. The numerous streams flowing through this sub-appellation have produced a highly dissected landscape, with well-drained lighter soils, perfect for grape-growing, distributed in several long, narrow bands oriented north-south in the general direction of stream flow. Interspersed are several patches of loamy soils that are thick, porous and allow deep root penetration by vines. In the south, where vineyards are most prevalent, the soils show the striking colours of red, yellow and olive clays.
The entire appellation is within 5 kilometers of Lake Ontario and its waters even out the season, providing moderation during the warm days of the growing season and sudden cooling. The appellation warms slowly in April and May due to lake breezes and cool north winds, with warm summer temperatures coming in June and peaking by the end of July. The growing season extends well into the first half of October. The gentle topography provides reliable sun exposure from early-morning to late-evening and contributes to the heat available to promote fully ripe grapes.
WIN gratefully acknowledges VQA Ontario as the source for the Terroir backgrounds provided on www.vineandtreefruitinnovations.com
VQA Ontario (2009)