The Niagara Escarpment Ava Is An Ideal Area For Grape Growing

2223 Words Apr 20th, 2015 9 Pages

The Niagara Escarpment AVA is a relatively new viticulture designated area. The area received the designation in 2005 and is now one of the fastest growing wine regions in New York State. This AVA is comprised of a portion of the Niagara Escarpment landform that runs from New York State through Canada into Wisconsin. (Fig. A) The escarpment has formed over time due to erosion of the rock layers. The top rock layer, dolomitic limestone, is more weather resistant causing it to erode slower and creating the escarpment landform. Fig. A
The escarpment is an ideal area for grape growing, as well as other fruits, due to the microclimate created by the combination of the escarpment and Lake Ontario. Those growing areas that are
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In this report I will be looking at three of the possible grape varietals for the trail. I will look at Chenin Blanc, Rkatsitelli, and Zweigelt varietals. While looking at these varietals I will be looking at the growing conditions needed, the potential each has for disease, and the variety of uses that each provides. Based on the given criteria I will recommend which of these three varietals the wineries on the Niagara Escarpment should plant in their vineyard.


Chenin Blanc is an old French varietal originally found in the Loire region. This particular varietal dates back to 845 AD. Chenin Blanc can now also be found in Australia, New Zealand, California, Washington, Canada, and widely planted in South Africa.
Chenin Blanc is a consistent producer and can yield anywhere from 5-8 tons per year with the potential to yield up to 11 tons if planted further inland. The vigorous yields however can lead to a lower quality wine. When allowed to produce larger yields the grapes lose their typical Chenin Blanc qualities and become neutral and sometimes bland. If kept to smaller yields the Chenin Blanc grapes are able to retain their typical floral and honey qualities. This is an early budding varietal but can have a harvest time of anywhere from mid-September to mid-October depending on weather conditions that year. The amount of hangtime before harvest can have an impact on the pleasantness of the acidity of the grape. The soil of the vineyard can
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