The Twenty Mile Bench, a sub-appellation of the Niagara Escarpment, is defined by a long growing season, a complex landscape and high elevation. The area is perfect for Ontario’s star grapes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Beamsville Bench, which sits immediately west of Twenty Mile Bench, is a haven for those same grapes, but the wines here reflect a distinct minerality thanks to limestone in the soil. In Short Hills Bench, the most easterly of the Escarpment’s sub-appellations, Chardonnay and Riesling thrive in the warm, sunny days and cool evenings and nights, which also help create intensity in the wines. St. David’s Bench, a sub-appellation of Niagara-on-the-Lake, sits south of Lake Ontario. Marginally cooler conditions add refinement and elegance to the Pinot Noir, Gamay and Riesling crafted here. Vinemount Ridge’s vineyards sit on south- and east-facing slopes that get excellent sun exposure. Southwesterly winds bring cooler nighttime temperatures that contribute to balance and freshness to the wines.
Wines to try from these regions: