Leelanau Peninsula is one of a series of fingerlike projections extending into Lake Michigan at Grand Traverse Bay. Nearby is the deep glacial Lake Leelanau. From a viticultural point of view, this abundance of water sufficiently moderates the appellation’s climate, delaying the onset of spring until well past the frost-risk period and protecting fall temperatures from sudden plummets. Even so, vineyards in this cold, northern climate experience an average frost-free period of just 145 days. Through the winter, high snowfall prevents deep-freeze ground temperatures, minimizing winter damage to roots. The glacially-deposited soils that form the Leelanau Peninsula are varied, with bedrock mainly of granite and limestone, a clay-based subsoil and top soils of sand and gravelly loam.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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