Warm Lake Estate has literally put the Niagara Escarpment AVA on the map. Banking on a climate that has been compared to Burgandy, they have found investors from around the globe to plant 45 acres of pinot noir. The winery has been open for only a few years but has been successful at distributing their wine throughout the state and beyond. Their location on the sloping bench of the escarpment was meticulously picked to provide an ideal terroir for pinot.
My first visit to this winery was almost two years ago and was regrettably not a memorable event. Last friday we stopped by while driving through the area and I'm glad I did cause it was an eye opening experience. Along with the tasty 2005 vintage were three single vineyard wines available to taste and buy. The point of course is to showcase the differences of each vineyard separated by soil type. I've studied up on the area's geography enough to know that the Otis and Rhinebeck wines are named after the loam soil on which they are planted. The other bottle, whose name escapes me at the moment, consisted of their newest planting and was my favorite despite the vines only being 3 years old. Each was extremely Burgundian in style and worth the hefty penny they are charging, and I only say that because the area is young and the other wines tend to be inexpensive.
Overall it was an inspiring day driving around the country up in good ole Niagara County, south of Lake Ontario. Even with snow covered roads and blustery winds this wino wasn't slowed down enough not to get a few tastes in with his new fiance and soon to be mother in law.