The Finger Lakes are located in an agricultural region in central New York. Grapes have been cultivated in the area since the 1850's. The area was originally settled in the early 1800's and grew rapidly when the Erie Canal opened in 1825.
The Finger Lakes were formed by glaciers that advanced and receded from the north in Canada. The successive periods of glaciation formed the unique characteristics of the area. The eleven, long, narrow Finger Lakes remained when the last glacier melted. Some of these lakes, particularly Seneca and Cayuga, are extremely deep.
Seneca Lake is the deepest of the eleven Finger Lakes. It rarely freezes during the winter. The sheer mass of water moderates the temperatures around its shorelines. This makes it possible to grow grape varieties on sites close to the lake that would not normally survive the cold winters. In other words, the lake creates a beneficial "micro-climate" along its shoreline.
Seneca Lake the deepest of the Finger Lakes. It is also located at nearly the lowest elevation of all the eleven Finger Lakes. Vineyards located at higher elevations always experience colder temperatures, not only during the winter, but also during the growing season. The relative warmth of the vineyard sites on Seneca Lake make it possible to produce riper fruit which, in turn, yields some of the region's finest wines.
Boundary Breaks is located on the east side of Seneca Lake, about midway between the cities of Geneva to the north and Watkins Glen to the south.
The name, "Boundary Breaks," refers to the gorges or "breaks in the landscape". These were formed by run-off from melting glaciers. We have a "break" at the northern boundary of our property and another break at our southern boundary. These are the "boundary breaks."
The soil types in the Finger Lakes are considered "limy glacial till." There is a significant amount of limestone in the variable soils that were pushed and mixed by several periods of glaciers advancing and receding. At Boundary Breaks, we have uniform, deep, "silt loam" soil, which is a combination of sand, gravel, silt and clay. The soil retains moisture which is why we install extensive drainage tile prior to planting any vineyards. This keeps the vineyard floor dry, reduces mold pressure and enables us to keep our grapes on the vine as late as possible to achieve maximum ripeness.
Because great wine is made in the vineyard, our goal is to understand our terroir and manage our vineyard to produce the highest quality grapes that we can.