Our wines at Ravine Vineyard are often described as “elegant” or “refined”. This style is as much a result of the terroir as it is of Lydia Tomek's organic viticulture efforts. The Terroir of the estate can be segregated into three main sections – the upper bench (‘the top’), the slope (‘the hillside’) and the bottom – and each has 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.
The soils on the top east side of the property, under a shallower, slower flowing part of the old river, are higher in clay; an ideal location for planting Merlot. Just west of there, where the clay ends abruptly, the soils are mostly sand and have low organic content, the result of 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 – 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.