Living in Niagara has an endless list of perks and benefits… the negative might be the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day to indulge them all! My passion for Niagara extends to so many features, but the one I am most inspired by and passionate about is the wine industry. As I begin my journey with Naturally in Niagara as the resident wine lover, I am excited to have you with me. Let’s explore this beautiful region and taste its vinous offerings together.
Just as Burgundy is world renowned for its limestone soils and exceptional climate for growing their signature styles, and Australia’s Barossa Valley ‘s loamy sand and clay soils combined with hot temperatures are famous for creating big shiraz or syrah, Niagara has a signature in the glass that is indicative of this upcoming world wine region.
Here on the Twenty Mile Bench we can see and experience the micro-climate that makes Niagara an ideal location to make wine. Standing here I can feel the cool breeze coming in off the lake and it is this breeze that moderates the temperature and creates the balmy climate that creates perfect growing conditions.
Niagara grows a lot of different varietals – a way of saying kinds of grapes. Much like there are granny smith apples, royal gala apples, etc, grapes are distinguishable from one another by taste, and, of course, by name. In Niagara some of the most popular grapes that we grow are Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. This is not an encompassing list, but most of the wineries around here will have at least one of those on their list.
Another reason that Niagara was made for the wine industry is our soil. The chalky limestone adds a beautiful minerality to the wines. It sounds crazy, but if you really concentrate on a glass of single vineyard Riesling you might just find a wet stone quality to it. This will age beautifully and become what some will describe as a petrol note. Yes, as in gasoline. This is a sign of exceptional Riesling, and in Niagara it is common-place to find those signatures in the glass.
With nearly one hundred wineries that are waiting to host you in Niagara, there is something to do every weekend for almost two years! Indulge in the simple pleasure of wine-tasting, soak up some sun and breathe in some fresh air. After all, there is always a patio awaiting you.
Where can you spend endless days experiencing gourmet gastronomy and sipping fine wine? Naturally, in Niagara.