New York Wine AVAs: Catoctin

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Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake AVA is part of the well-known Finger Lakes AVA in west-central New York State. Its soil is mostly shale and its growing season is about a month longer than many of its neighbors.

Finger Lakes New York Vineyards

Finger Lakes New York Vineyards

Finger Lakes
Finger Lakes AVA is located in upstate New York. This region covers 2.6 million acres (over a million hectares), with over 11,000 acres (about 4500 hectares) planted in vines. This is New York State's largest wine region, accounting for 80% of the state’s total wine-grape production. The soils are often glacial. This AVA is known for a short growing season and cold winters as in Germany. In both cases the dominant grape variety is Riesling, well suited to the climactic conditions. Finger Lakes Riesling is known for powerful floral aromatics, fresh acidity, and mineral, citrus and apple flavors. Other cool climate varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, are widespread. Both Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are found in the warmer parts of the AVA. Sparkling wines and ice wines are regional specialties.

Hudson River Region
Hudson River Region AVA goes from north of New York City to south of Albany, traversing three full and five partial counties. Its temperature tends to be somewhat moderated by the Hudson River but the summers are hot and humid and the winters are cold. The local soil includes glacial shale, schist, slate, and limestone deposits. The region boasts both the oldest continuously operating winery in the USA (the Brotherhood Winery, established in 1839), and America's oldest commercial vineyard, almost ten years older. During Prohibition this region made sacramental and "medicinal" wines. Most of its vineyards are planted along the western shores of the Hudson River. Grapes include the local Concord, Delaware, and Niagara varieties, Franco-American hybrids and the international Riesling, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc.

Lake Erie
Lake Erie AVA occupies almost 225 thousand acres (about 90 thousand hectares) in part of New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Most of its vineyards are located near the lakeshore. The region includes 18 islands in the American part of the lake. Lake Erie moderates the climate and lenghtens the growing season. The region's glacial soil is high in sand and gravel and drains well. Grape varieties started with Franco-American hybrids but now international varieties such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris among the whites and Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc among the reds are grown.

Long Island
Long Island AVA is located just east of New York City, covering Nassau and Suffolk counties. There's a lot of water in the neighborhood; the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Long Island Sound to the north and Peconic Bay separating the island's two forks. The soil tends to be loamy. Popular grape varieties include Merlots and Chardonnay as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling.

Niagara County
Niagara County AVA occupies an entire county in northwestern New York State along the border with Canada. Lake Ontario has a major effect on the grapes lengthening the growing season. The Niagara Escarpment helps protect them from frost. The Niagara river flows over a cliff in the escarpment to form the Niagara Falls. The area is suitable for ice wine. This is home to the Niagara, a hybrid of Concord and Cassady grapes.

Niagara Escarpment
Niagara Escarpment AVA has an American and a Canadian sector. The American on is located just east of Niagara Falls in New York State and occupies about 18 thousand acres (over 7 thousand hectares). It is named for the free-draining limestone ridge that runs for over 650 miles (more than 1000 kilometers) across the Great Lakes region. The local climate is maritime. The lake helps to warm the air and the limestone ridge retains heat. Undergound springs furnish the groundwater with minerals. Popular grape varieties include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Riesling.

North Fork of Long Island
North Fork of Long Island AVA occupies over a million acres (more than 400 thousand hectares) of eastern Suffolk County in Long Island, New York but only about 3 thousand acres (1200 hectares) are actually planted in vines. With all the surrounding waters the local climate is definitely maritime, extending the growing season. The soil is deep and sandy. Popular grape varieties include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Riesling.

Seneca Lake
Seneca Lake AVA occupying about 200 thousand acres (approximately 83 thousand hectares) is one of the 11 Finger Lakes and as such is part of the Finger Lakes AVA It is the deepest of these lakes and never freezes. The soil here is often silty, sandy, or loamy. Popular grape varieties include Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This AVA is known for its often fine sparkling and dessert wines.

The Hamptons, Long Island
The Hamptons, Long Island AVA occupies about 135 thousand acres (approximately 55 thousand hectares) in eastern Long Island, New York. The sandy loam soil was deposited by glaciers. The Atlantic Ocean and a local bay extend the growing season. Popular grape varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

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