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from our soil


Our unique 34-acre organic winery is located in the sub-appellation of Niagara known as St. Davids Bench. Ravine Vineyard wines are often described as “elegant” and “refined” as a result of the unique terroir of our property and organic vineyards whose fruit is skillfully cared for, processed and honed by our Head Winemaker.




The soils on the top east side of the property, under a shallower, slower flowing part of the old river, are higher in clay, making it an ideal location for planting Merlot. Just west of there, the clay loam ends abruptly, making way to soils that are mostly sand (with a low percentage of silty loam), due to faster waters scouring the river’s bed. There we have planted Cabernets. On the ‘hillside’, after 5,500 years of erosion on these small but relatively steep slopes, the soil is thin, sparse and very mineral which is conducive to the growth of some very low-cropping, Burgundy-style Chardonnay. Lastly, there’s the bottom of the slope, part of the bed of historic Lake Iroquois, rich in deposits of humus and organic material. There, we planted Chardonnay Musqué, which takes advantage of this extra vigor in the production of fresh, vibrant flavours.


Our fifth-generation family farm sits atop the river channel of the ancestral Niagara River as it once raged, 22,800 years ago, as part of an ancient drainage system that drained melted water from the thick surrounding glaciers. Over time, this incredible volume of water hollowed out a gorge that is more than one kilometer long. When the third glacier retreated 12,500 years ago, it emptied massive quantities of glacial silt into this gorge, filling it to the shoreline, plugging it so completely that it would never reopen again. The river’s waters, not to be denied in their downward imperative to the sea, rerouted to the present channel where the Niagara River now flows as it empties into Lake Ontario. Geologists refer to the earth below our vineyard as part of The St. Davids Buried Gorge. Although our neighbouring growers also enjoy the fortuitous 20% higher temperatures of this sub-appellation, our property is an anomaly; the soils are lighter, its airflow and water drainage more consistent, and its perch on the Bench is at the highest elevation. The Terroir of our estate can be segregated into three main sections – the upper bench (‘the top’), the slope (‘the hillside’) and the bottom – each have completely different compositions. Along with matching the variety of the grape to the soil’s inherent composition, we took into account the complementary characteristics of carefully selected clones and rootstocks.


Meet Our Head Winemaker

Lydia Tomek

In 1999, Lydia began to study Winemaking and Grape Growing by enrolling in the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Degree Program at Brock University. After completing her thesis in Viticulture, and working a couple of vintages in Niagara, Lydia graduated Top of her class and later began her Winemaking career at the age of 23 making her one of the youngest winemakers in Canada at the time. Over the last two decades she has made her imprint on the Ontario wine industry as an Award-Winning Winemaker developing her craft at various Niagara wine estates, as well as helping to develop a new up-and-coming wine region, focused on making an exceptional final product.

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