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 near the lake experience weather that is slightly moderated by the presence of the lake waters. Those that are contained on the escarpment receive a moderated weather pattern due to the escarpments form. The warm air trapped by the escarpment helps to provide those vineyards with a longer growing season and protection from harsh winter freezing and spring or fall frost.
The Niagara Wine Trail is currently in a period of growth. In the last few months several new wineries have been added to the trail and the trail has begun its expansion towards Rochester. Along with this growth the trail has continued to increase its number of visitors. Along with local customers the trail also sees many visitors from Canada, Rochester, Finger Lakes area,