Rapid Glaciation

Hundreds of thousands of years in the making, the Finger Lakes were carved out by successive waves of rapid glaciers.
These large and deep freshwater lakes and the soil deposits of limestone, shale, gravel, and silt surrounding them are the glaciers’ gifts to modern winemakers.

Carved Deep Lakes

The massive bodies of water, visible from our vineyards, have a profound effect on the grapes. During the winter, cold air drains naturally from the sloping vineyards to the lakes. In spring, cool air bathes the vines, delaying the start of the growing season so that the tender shoots are not injured by late frosts. In the fall, the sun-warmed lakes prevent early frosts and extend the growing season.

Creating Microclimates

The lakes themselves are vital to Finger Lakes viticulture. This is a cool climate region, and the temperature-moderating influence of the deep lakes supports quality grape growing.

Satellite Image of Snow in the Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes Depth Chart

Finger Lakes lake depth graphic