Sub-Appellations

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The term ‘appellation’ simply means the name, or designation of the specific place where a wine is from.  It is the grape’s region of origin.  The Wineries Niagara-on-the-Lake are renowned for making terroir wines that fully express the grape varietal and vineyard they come from.  You see, not only do we want you to know that our wines are made in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we want you to know exactly where in Niagara-on-the-Lake our wines were crafted.

Within the designated viticultural (grape-growing) area known as the Niagara Peninsula, Niagara-on-the-Lake has been classified by VQA Ontario (Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario) as a distinct area.  We’re bordered by three unique geographical features: the Niagara Escarpment, Lake Ontario and the Niagara River.  Our wineries share a climate moderated by the unique relationship between these three geographical factors.  Yet, across this expanse of fertile land our wineries are differentiated by geology, soils, elevation and even variations in temperature and precipitation.  These distinct growing conditions have created the four sub-appellations of Niagara-on-the-Lake, which are: Niagara River, Niagara Lakeshore, Four Mile Creek and St. David’s Bench.

 

Niagara River


Inniskillin Wines
Lailey Vineyard
Peller Estates Winery
Reif Estate Winery 
Riverview Cellars Winery

The picturesque Niagara Parkway winds along the narrow band that borders the Niagara River.  Vines dig deep into the reddish-hued sandy soils, which tend to warm earlier in the spring.  The air currents from the river moderate temperatures protecting vineyards from damaging spring or fall frosts, ensuring the more tender grape varieties grown in the sub-appellation thrive. 

 

Niagara Lakeshore


Hinterbrook Estate Winery
Konzelmann Estate Winery
Palatine Hills Estate Winery
Small Talk Vineyards
Stratus Vineyards
Strewn Winery
Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery

From the Welland Canal towards the historic town of Niagara-on-the Lake, lush vineyards border the shores of Lake Ontario.  The land gently slopes towards the lake and vineyards and orchards receive abundant sunlight.  Temperatures are moderated by lake breezes and light sand and silt soils provide good drainage.  The grapes and fruit grown here produce full-bodied, flavourful wines. 

 

Four Mile Creek


Between the Lines Winery
Cattail Creek Estate Winery
Coyote’s Run Estate Winery
Diamond Estates - The Winery
Joseph’s Estate Winery
Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
Marynissen Estates Winery
Pillitteri Estates Winery
PondView Estate Winery
Southbrook Vineyards
Trius Winery at Hillebrand

This is the largest of the four sub-appellations in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Lying below the Niagara Escarpment, slightly inland, it stretches into an expansive, flat and fertile plain.  Red shale soils contain silt and clay, retaining water well.  The days are warm with lots of sunshine and nights cool, rounding off the multiple conditions that make this sub-appellation's optimal for growing many premium grape varieties. 

 

St. David’s Bench

Château des Charmes
Colaneri Estate Winery
Niagara College Teaching Winery
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

The topography in this area was carved out by ancient glaciers to form a natural bench below the Niagara Escarpment.  The region follows along the Niagara Escarpment from the Niagara River to Beechwood Road.  Vineyards are planted on the gentle slopes to allow for good drainage in the silty clay soils.  The Escarpment location helps the vineyards warm early in the spring and provides frost protection throughout the cold months.  Throughout the growing season vineyards located in the upper bench receive steady moisture from the abundant ground water.