Daniel and Matthew Speck Discuss the Niagara Seasons
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Weather and Wine: Impacts of the Changing Seasons
ORIGINALLY FEATURED: THE WEATHER NETWORK
June 1, 2012 — Every season in Niagara is different, but the weather conditions through each transition are crucial for producing quality wine.
A lot of work goes into producing a bottle of wine that is then opened and shared among wine-lovers alike. But what exactly goes into producing that favourite bottle and how does weather play an important role?
Daniel and Matthew Speck, owners of Henry of Pelham Estates, break down the impact of weather through each season in Niagara.
The spring is very cool, which is a good thing because the vines stay dormant protecting against those killing frosts that can happen.
When the weather turns it goes from a cool spring to a very warm summer. The growing season can become quite intense and sometimes feels warmer than Napa in terms of heat accumulation.
By the time the grapes are fully ripe, it’s fall. Cool evenings throughout the season can help to develop the flavours more in the grapes.
By the time the harvest is finished, it gets cold quite quickly again and it’s ice wine time.
Quality wine is based on the right weather conditions “Four great seasons for our great wines,” says Daniel.
Matthew adds that these changing conditions in Niagara are not only perfect for making wine, but are quite unusual as well.
“We’re a continental climate, because we’re inland, but we have these lakes and there’s no other lakes like the Great Lakes in the world. Our lakes are like mini oceans and without those lakes forget growing any tender fruit, because it would be far too cold.”
The escarpment feature in Niagara can also help to intensify the lake effect.
“It magnifies the lake effect, it creates micro climates within the peninsula. The whole peninsula isn’t suitable to growing tender fruit, it’s really from the escarpment to the lake,” Matthew explains.