Stretching across the Lake Iroquois Plain this appellation is characterized by a long shallow grade from the Lake Iroquois Shore Bluff on its southern boundary northward to Lake Ontario. Though gentle, the slope provides for ground water drainage and keeps moisture in balance. Vineyards enjoy uninterrupted sunshine throughout the day with no topographic barriers. Many large streams cut across this area, including Thirty Mile, Forty Mile and Fifty Mile Creeks, and have incised deep channels, providing an excellent source of water and also good seasonal drainage, especially during the spring when the soils are saturated by spring snowmelt.
The Lincoln Lakeshore has an especially long and temperate growing season and mild winter climate owing to the full exposure to the moderating effect of Lake Ontario. Ideally suited to viticulture, even tender varieties, this area is also a major producer of tender fruit.
A distinguishing characteristic of this appellation is the marked variability in soil types and depth. Part of the extensive Lake Iroquois Plain that was the lakebed of an ancient lake, its complex soils overlay the red shale of the Queenstown Formation. Light sandy soils that are well to moderately-drained cover approximately 55% of the appellation, and warm early and easily in spring. Heavier soils of red clay loam are also scattered throughout the region, providing thick and fertile pockets with high water-holding capacity.
Temperatures in this appellation remain relatively cool in April, rising gradually in May and decreasing gradually decreasing in October. In the summer and over the peak of the growing season, the subdued topography ensures maximum sunlight exposure for the growing vines and their fruit. The temperature difference between the cool air over Lake Ontario and the warm air over the land create localized circulation systems that moderate the rate at which this appellation warms during the day and cools at night. Another common occurrence is the development of a band of cloud along the lakeshore in early fall, acting as insulation and keeping the days slightly cooler and nights warmer.
WIN gratefully acknowledges VQA Ontario as the source for the Terroir backgrounds provided on www.vineandtreefruitinnovations.com
VQA Ontario (2009)