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Favorites From the Fingerlakes

May 19th, 2008-- by Sharon Alexander

A few years ago, I made my first (and long-awaited) trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York. Although we couldn’t visit every winery in the three days we were there, we did manage to visit 24 of them. There are so many marvelous things happening in this area that I wanted to share some of my favorite experiences from our journey.

Most Interesting Tasting Room: Miles Wine Cellars. The tasting room at Miles Wine Cellars is located in their 1802 Greek Revival home which sits directly on the shore of Seneca Lake. It has a haunted past, which I read about on their website before our visit. I emerged from the tasting room with quite an eerie feeling.  

Most Beautiful Tasting Room: Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars. The Greek Revival building which houses this winery’s tasting room is absolutely magnificent. From a distance it beckons you to come inside. When you step in, the high ceilings and airy feeling take your breath away. 

Favorite Accommodations: The Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars. This is where we stayed and every time we mentioned to someone where we were staying…they said we had booked the best accommodations in the Finger Lakes region. I certainly believe they were right. Glenora offers beautiful spacious rooms, a large deck or patio on every room complete with a view of Seneca Lake and the surrounding vineyards, champagne check-in, a free bottle of wine in your room, free after-dinner port, on-site winery and restaurant (that also serves breakfast). We couldn’t have asked for more.

Favorite Wine Tasting Experience: Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars. When you visit Dr. Frank’s, you are ushered in to your own personal host or hostess and you have their undivided attention during your entire tasting. Our hostess helped us select which wines to sample and she was very knowledgeable about the wines, the winery and the area. We were not rushed and were able to ask questions…and we received informed answers.

Favorite Restaurant: The Restaurant at Bully Hill Vineyards. The food here was extraordinary. I highly recommend the portabella mushroom stuffed with crabmeat and topped with sea scallops. A delight for your taste buds!

Favorite Wine: Bandit Red from Torrey Ridge Winery. I tasted many exceptional wines while in the Finger Lakes, but this semi-sweet Baco Noir won my heart. I wish I had purchased several more bottles of it, because I’ll probably end up ordering some online within a few months. 

Winery with my Favorite Fruit Wines: Earle Estates Meadery. I know this winery is best known for its honey wines…but their fruit wines are spectacular. All are made from 100% of the fruit and taste so fresh. 

Favorite Port: Glenora Wine Cellars. Aged in French Oak…this Port is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Baco Noir and has a wonderful raspberry flavor. 

Favorite Winery Gift Shop: Fulkerson Winery. I spent more time in this gift shop than I did sampling their wines. There were so many interesting things to look at.

Best View: Thirsty Owl Wine Company. When you first pull into the drive, the view of the Thirsty Owl tasting room along the shore of Cayuga Lake is breathtaking.


Getting There: We stayed in Dundee, a small town situated between Keuka Lake and Lake Seneca in the heart of the Fingerlakes region.  If you are driving to the area, Dundee is about five hours from New York City and six hours from Boston.  If you are flying, the closest good-sized airports are in Syracuse and Rochester. You’ll definitely need a car to get around, as the wineries are spread out.


Tags: Sharon Alexander · United States - Other

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