Terroir

The terroir has a direct influence on the character and quality of wine grapes and it is the knowledge of the terroir
combined with a knowledge of the vines that creates a successful vineyard.

Our Terroir

The soils of the County provide some of the best grape growing conditions favouring Vitis vinifera. Closson Chase’s decision to produce two early ripening varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, reflect a deep understanding of the site’s possibilities.

Specifically, the Hillier clay loam at Closson Chase is well to moderately draining, with a shallow layer of top soil consisting of organic matter and crumbled limestone rubble situated on an understructure of fractured limestone plates. The soil retains moisture within its depths which encourages deep root penetration of the vine.

The fractured limestone plates also facilitate root penetration. The calcareous nature of the soil, created from millennia of crustacean deposits, has a high pH – 7.9 to 8.1 – an ideal environment for grape vine roots, while the reflective pale gray rubble supports production of fruit colour and ripening.

The climate of Prince Edward County, virtually an island, is greatly moderated by Lake Ontario. This massive body of water allows Southern Ontario to grow its fruits.

Closson Chase Vineyard experiences a fast start in the spring, with higher risk of spring frost, but full ripening before the shorter, cooler fall season. Closson Chase’s south facing slope adds to the early warming ability of the site, as well as aiding in water drainage and airflow. Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir break bud early and require one of the shortest growing seasons of all vinifera wine grapes to fully ripen. The nature of the soil, the site and the nature of the varietals are perfectly married, giving Closson Chase the opportunity to achieve world class wines.

Closson Chase, in addition to its estate grown wines, produces both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir sourced from premium vineyards it leases in the Niagara Peninsula.

Appelation

Prince Edward County

Closson Chase Vineyards

  • Limestone bedrock
  • Stony soils
  • Low yields
  • Excellent fruit concentration

Niagara Peninsula - Niagara River

K.J. Watson Vineyards

  • Soils a mix of clay and sand loam 
  • Very stoney
  • Low yields
  • Moderated vineyard temperatures

Niagara Peninsula - Four Mile Creek

K.J. Watson Vineyards

  • Red shale with high silt and clay content
  • Relatively flat topography
  • Good water retention
  • Abundant exposure to sunshine

Overview

VINEYARDS
Single vineyard of 30 acres south facing, limestone-rich soil under vine; planted high density

AVG. YIELD PER ACRE

Yields are controlled through thinning prior to veraison; 2 tonnes per acre

SOILS
Hillier clay loam, shallow crumbled limestone overlying fractured limestone, pH 7.9, well drained

CLIMATE
Cool climate viticulture at the limit of vinifera production in Eastern Ontario. Prevailing southwesterly breezes travel across the Bay of Quinte moderating temperatures throughout the year. These are especially beneficial during the warm summer months, keeping average temperatures around 22 degrees C.

GRAPE VARIETIES
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris