Here in western New York and Pennsylvania, our terroir is most like the Rhine or Moselle areas of Germany - both in climate and soils. Since Lake Erie is a much larger heat sink than a river, this terroir, at the closest approach of the Alleghenies to that lake, is arguably better than its Old World cousins. Rieslings and ice wines are two regional products which can be "world-class".
Terroir is the expression of a sense of place created by a land and its climate. In wine, this expression comes from the combination of science and artistry of both careful farmers and winemakers. It is influenced by:
Seasonal Temperatures, Rainfall, and Solar Inputs (Averages, Maximums, and Minimums)
Soil Characteristics (Minerality, Drainage, and Nutrition)
Traditional Farming Practices of the Microclimate: How the vines are tended in its environment
The moderating effect of Lake Erie on spring and fall temperatures combine with the well-drained gravel soils from ancient lake beds to create the perfect growing environment or "terroir" for healthy vineyards and orchards. Settlers in this area, and Dr. Welch, in particular, began planting grapes in the area in the late 1800’s and it was deemed the world’s concord grape capital of the world by 1898. Almost five decades ago, Frederick Johnson (Johnson Estate) and Doug Moorehead (Presque Isle Winery) pioneered the establishment of French-hybrid and vinifera vineyards, which are also happy in this terroir, especially those with Germanic roots, and they are increasingly being planted for the growing wine industry.