Champlain Valley of New York AVA
In this extremely cool climate, you’ll find cold-hardy native and hybrid varieties along the backdrop of the Adirondack mountains.
Lake Champlain is where Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, first documented the native grape species, Vitis riparia, in 1535. These cold hardy vines could resist the extremely cool conditions of the area.
Later, Samuel de Champlain, in the early 1600s, tried to transplant French Vitis vinifera grape vines to the area. However, they all died because of the cold.
Today, we still see mostly native and hybrid varieties in this AVA due to the extremely short growing season and the harsh winters. The Vitis vinifera species you do find are cold-resistant ones, such as Riesling.
Without the lake, it would be near impossible to grow grapes here as it moderates the severe winters and the warm summers.
With just a few wineries located in New York state, just 120 acres under vine, and recently established in 2016, this region will grow bigger in the future. If you’re in the area, you can tour vineyards around the lake in New York, Vermont, and Québec.