The topopraphy of Prince Edward County is irregular with deep valleys digging into the broad flat Trenton limestone that is the foundation of this appellation. A gradual rise from north-east to south-west is crossed by a number of long east-west gentle ridges and occasionally steep rugged escarpments.
On the northern and eastern shorelines high rocky bluffs rise to an elevation of a hundred feet or more while the western shore has many inlets with sandy shores and large sand bars which define bodies of water such as West Lake and East Lake.
Prince Edward County is an appellation full of micro-climate and terroir conditions that provide the basis for the distinct in the wines that are produced here.
The broken limestone bedrock and stony soils of this appellation allows for excellent drainage in the spring and acts like a wet sponge throughout the growing season, forcing vines to grow deeper during the hot summer months and produce small yields with concentrated flavours.
Soils throughout this appellation are mostly reddish-brown clay loam to sandy loam that overlay a limestone bedrock embedded with shale fragments. The stony surface and numerous rock and shale fragments within the soils allow water to drain into the limestone, which ensures good drainage of winter-melt and substantial root penetration for mature vines. This rocky soil also allows good heat conduction and retention and encourages early warming in the spring.
Most vineyards in this appellation are located in areas that receive maximum benefit from lake breezes. Prevailing southwesterly breezes travel steadily across the Bay of Quinte which moderate temperatures throughout the year and are especially beneficial during the warm summer months, keeping average temperatures around 22 degrees C., with pleasant cooling during the hotter days and keeping cool nights at bay.
WIN gratefully acknowledges VQA Ontario as the source for the Terroir backgrounds provided on www.vineandtreefruitinnovations.com
VQA Ontario (2009)