Appellation STATS

2021-22 Annual
Production (9L Cases)

Degree Days

Number of

Number of
Appellation Wines

Common Varieties    Cabernet Franc         Riesling         Cabernet Sauvignon         Merlot    

Appellation OVERVIEW

Located at a latitude of approximately N42° and stretching along the bow-shaped shoreline of Lake Erie from Amherstburg to just east of St. Thomas, including the South Islands, the Lake Erie North Shore appellation encompasses the vineyards in the southwestern extremity of Ontario.

Cool lake BREEZES, abundance of SUNSHINE, ripe fruit with good BALANCE

Red Wine Grapes

This location, combined with the warming effect of the shallow waters of Lake Erie, allow this appellation to enjoy a long growing season and ripe fruit with a perfect balance between natural sweetness and acidity.



Bounded on the northwest side by Lake St. Clair, to the west by the fast flowing Detroit River, with Lake Erie to the South, and including the South Islands, Lake Erie North Shore appellation is almost completely surrounded by water. Numerous short shallow streams found throughout this appellation flow freely in the spring but often dry down to a trickle in the warm summer. The appellation is made up of long gentle slopes that face in all directions with elevations ranging from 172 m to 196 m with an average of 185 m. With no major topographic barrier to the prevailing southwesterly winds, this appellation enjoys the full effect of the lake breeze that moderates the entire area during the growing season.


The soil composition of this appellation was greatly affected by the glacial lakes, which deposited large amounts of unsorted stony materials in the area. When the glacial lakes retreated in other areas, this area remained covered in deep waters for a long time allowing for waves to smooth out the ridges and deposit considerable amounts of sediment. The light-textured, well-drained soils around the lakeshore contain mostly sandy loam and gravel deposits punctuated by small, irregular stony ridges, which overlay shale limestone bedrock.


Lake Erie North Shore has a long growing season and the highest number of heat units of all of Ontario's viticultural areas. It benefits from the quick summer warming of the shallow waters of Lake Erie as well as from an abundance of sunshine during the growing season. Early harvests are the norm, with picking usually beginning at the end of August and late-harvest often reach their peak by late October.

Notable Features

Plantings in Lake Erie North Shore are well developed close to the Lake Erie shoreline, where topographic and climatic conditions are particularly favourable and support full and balanced ripening of grapes.

Wine personalities

The most southern region in Canada, Lake Erie North Shore is blessed with a long, warm sunny growing season. This ideal (warm but not hot) translates to ripe and balanced wines in the glass. Lake Erie North Shore has excellent conditions for growing Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay.

Riesling and Pinot Gris from this appellation show floral, tropical flavours and a touch of spice.  Well-ripened Merlots, Cabernets and red blends have a complex character, with full fruit and a soft palate.

Aerial view of a vineyard in southern Ontario

Lake Erie North Shore

Declared a Sub-appellation in July 2015, the South Islands are the nine islands that comprise the municipality of the Town of Pelee Island and part of the Lake Erie North Shore appellation.

South Islands - pelee-island