Finger Lakes Updates?

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David K o l i n
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Finger Lakes Updates?

#1 Post by David K o l i n » July 27th, 2019, 2:47 pm

We’re going to be dropping off our son at Syracuse in a couple of weeks, and will have a couple of days to tool around in the Finger Lakes. I haven’t visited wineries there in almost 40 years (!) and have been reviewing the threads on the board for ideas, such as viewtopic.php?f=1&t=136677&p=2190375&hi ... s#p2190375

Does anyone have any updated or additional thoughts on visiting?

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#2 Post by jon leifer » July 27th, 2019, 6:03 pm

for whites, Hermann Weimer, for reds, Damiani, and Bloomer Creek for an eclectic experience,,re both food and wine...and don't forget to stop at Dinosaur BBQ while you are in town..We live in the suburbs of the Big Orange.
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Markus S
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#3 Post by Markus S » July 27th, 2019, 6:58 pm

For the FLX, are you more interested in reds or whites, and how do you like your rieslings? Last year was not a kind one to growers, but mostly you will be seeing 2017 whites being sold. New wineries are popping up all the time and I just spent a day visiting some new places last week. How many did you want to visit? Herman Weimer has bought Standing Stone and the tasting room totally revamped. Boundary Breaks is a relatively new winery that specializes in riesling. Kemmeter is great (no reds yet, only a charming pinot rose) but you need to make an appointment and plan on an hour. Anthony Road go for the wines on the back of the list; there is quite a change from the regular list to the reserve wines, though I wasn't impressed with the skin ferment ones. Another new winery, Ryan Williams (also on Seneca Lake, as are the others I mentioned) has an eatery on spot which is reputed to be very good, unfortunately closed the day I went so I cannot personally vouch for. Billsboro closer to Geneva has good everyday wines are reasonable prices. Shaw further down the lake sometimes does interesting wines. Ravines (on Keuka, but has a tasting room in Geneva) is high-quality overall and does well with reds and chardonnay.

Not an exhaustive list, but one to get you started.
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#4 Post by Mike Rotondo » July 28th, 2019, 7:27 am

I've posted already in a few threads on FLX, so no need to repeat - but one "update" I'd share is now that Nate Kendall has taken over all winemaking at Hickory Hollow (not just the Nathan K label), I'd suggest that as a good place to visit.

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#5 Post by David K o l i n » July 28th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Thanks, all. Looks like we’ll have to extend our trip from three days to three weeks

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#6 Post by Nathan Smyth » July 28th, 2019, 3:29 pm

jon leifer wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 6:03 pm
for whites, Hermann Weimer
Weimer also has a nursery, so, at least in theory, you could take some vines home with you.

In practice, though, you really shouldn't move plant matter across state lines without a nurseryman's license from the USDA.

And with invasives like Lycorma delicatula [the spotted lanternfly] & Drosophila suzukii [the spotted wing drosophila] on the Eastern Seaboard now, you need to be really careful about that stuff.

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#7 Post by vwsmaltz » July 28th, 2019, 7:18 pm

Again, depending on where you want to go - Weis is a new winery on Keuka Lake doing German influenced styles. Domaine LeSeurre on Keuka has great French influenced Rieslings and Pinots. Red Tail Ridge has release a Beerenauslese just recently that is amazing. It's an amazing wine region with tons to offer. I'm lucky enough to live in the heart of it....
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#8 Post by Robert M yers » July 29th, 2019, 5:50 am

Are there any dog friendly worthy visits that the locals could point me to? We will be up that way, but will have our 120lb Newfoundland with us...somewhere where you can taste/picnic outside possibly?

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#9 Post by David K o l i n » July 29th, 2019, 5:59 am

Robert M yers wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 5:50 am
Are there any dog friendly worthy visits that the locals could point me to? We will be up that way, but will have our 120lb Newfoundland with us...somewhere where you can taste/picnic outside possibly?
If we overlap, my wife would be more than happy to watch your Newfie

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#10 Post by Robert M yers » July 29th, 2019, 6:18 am

David K o l i n wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 5:59 am
Robert M yers wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 5:50 am
Are there any dog friendly worthy visits that the locals could point me to? We will be up that way, but will have our 120lb Newfoundland with us...somewhere where you can taste/picnic outside possibly?
If we overlap, my wife would be more than happy to watch your Newfie
Ha, good idea! She’s a good companion, but not exactly graceful. Her tail could take out a whole table of wine glasses if pointed in the wrong direction.

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#11 Post by Markus S » July 29th, 2019, 7:18 am

Robert M yers wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 5:50 am
Are there any dog friendly worthy visits that the locals could point me to? We will be up that way, but will have our 120lb Newfoundland with us...somewhere where you can taste/picnic outside possibly?
Well there were two show dogs at Boundary Breaks when I was there, and they have a large lawn area. Someone at the winery has at least two dogs who meander around.
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#12 Post by Hank Victor » July 29th, 2019, 8:14 am

Weimer
Lakewood
Wagner - great brewery too
Boundary Breaks
Fox Run
Red Newt
Shelldrake
Redtail Ridge
Ravines
Glenora


Take your pick but these are all solid
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#13 Post by Mike Grammer » July 29th, 2019, 10:27 am

Just came from a much-abbreviated visit, only got to Fox Run, Red Tail Ridge and Hermann J. Wiemer. I have to be honest and say that nothing came close to bowling me over, but HJW's single-vineyard Ries was fairly good and Fox Run's tawny port was, at a minimum, an interesting take on that type of wine. Would have liked to visit Kenmeter and Shaw, just ran out of time.

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#14 Post by Markus S » July 29th, 2019, 11:14 am

Mike Grammer wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 10:27 am
Just came from a much-abbreviated visit, ... I have to be honest and say that nothing came close to bowling me over...
Rather feel the same way when I visit Ontario wineries.
I don't know how you you define 'bowled over', but you tend to drink well. I give new regions some benefit of the doubt, and find Finger lakes wines maturing well since the 80's when I began following the region. Climate is a beast here, as in Ontario, and defines what type, concentration, ripeness can be achieved. Many of these wineries were low capitalized until recently compared to other regions and had a lot to learn. But when you consider most wines sell for between the teens-20's, they are a nice alternative.
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#15 Post by vwsmaltz » August 2nd, 2019, 4:05 pm

Robert M yers wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 5:50 am
Are there any dog friendly worthy visits that the locals could point me to? We will be up that way, but will have our 120lb Newfoundland with us...somewhere where you can taste/picnic outside possibly?
Most of the Wineries on Cayuga are dog friendly. Seneca Lake wineries tend to be more hit and miss. Fox Run near Geneva has an area behind the tasting room with tables and chairs where you can grab food from their cafe....
Virgil

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#16 Post by mmarcellus » August 2nd, 2019, 5:17 pm

Not wine, but I highly recommend a stop at Aurora Brewing Company, on Rte 90 just south of Aurora, if convenient. Selections rotate, but when I was there last week their Pilsmatic was the best Pilsner I've had in years, maybe ever. They also had some great sours (especially Goseface Killah), an excellent IPA made with West Coast hops, and a wonderful Imperial stout ("Stza").
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#17 Post by Mike Grammer » August 6th, 2019, 11:11 am

Markus S wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 11:14 am
Mike Grammer wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 10:27 am
Just came from a much-abbreviated visit, ... I have to be honest and say that nothing came close to bowling me over...
Rather feel the same way when I visit Ontario wineries.
I don't know how you you define 'bowled over', but you tend to drink well. I give new regions some benefit of the doubt, and find Finger lakes wines maturing well since the 80's when I began following the region. Climate is a beast here, as in Ontario, and defines what type, concentration, ripeness can be achieved. Many of these wineries were low capitalized until recently compared to other regions and had a lot to learn. But when you consider most wines sell for between the teens-20's, they are a nice alternative.
Thanks for your input Markus, it's appreciated. With Ontario, I definitely admit to having some local-bias, but I'm still pretty picky about anything that bowls me over here as well---and there hasn't been a lot. I have the advantage/additional bias of giving myself a lot more exposure to our wines than to the Finger Lakes, where I was last visiting over a decade ago. You are not wrong about the climate. And I definitely acknowledge that the pricing has gone up for the higher-end Ontario products (even when our Canadian peso gets converted ;) ). But I *have* had some wines here that did and have impressed me to the point where I'm not ashamed to take them anywhere I go to any group of 'philes I'm with. Pearl Morissette's Cab Francs and Westcott's Reserve PN and sparklers are two that come to mind immediately in this category.

Maluhia,

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#18 Post by Joe S. » August 6th, 2019, 8:12 pm

Besides the ones mentioned, I would add we had a great experience at Dr. Frank for one of their Sparkler food parings. Six different sparklers and a small bite with each, and also a small tour. I really enjoyed it...then you can go through the normal tasting room afterwards for free.
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#19 Post by Clayton Wai-Poi » August 6th, 2019, 8:22 pm

Mike Grammer wrote:
August 6th, 2019, 11:11 am
Markus S wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 11:14 am
Mike Grammer wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 10:27 am
Just came from a much-abbreviated visit, ... I have to be honest and say that nothing came close to bowling me over...
Rather feel the same way when I visit Ontario wineries.
I don't know how you you define 'bowled over', but you tend to drink well. I give new regions some benefit of the doubt, and find Finger lakes wines maturing well since the 80's when I began following the region. Climate is a beast here, as in Ontario, and defines what type, concentration, ripeness can be achieved. Many of these wineries were low capitalized until recently compared to other regions and had a lot to learn. But when you consider most wines sell for between the teens-20's, they are a nice alternative.
Thanks for your input Markus, it's appreciated. With Ontario, I definitely admit to having some local-bias, but I'm still pretty picky about anything that bowls me over here as well---and there hasn't been a lot. I have the advantage/additional bias of giving myself a lot more exposure to our wines than to the Finger Lakes, where I was last visiting over a decade ago. You are not wrong about the climate. And I definitely acknowledge that the pricing has gone up for the higher-end Ontario products (even when our Canadian peso gets converted ;) ). But I *have* had some wines here that did and have impressed me to the point where I'm not ashamed to take them anywhere I go to any group of 'philes I'm with. Pearl Morissette's Cab Francs and Westcott's Reserve PN and sparklers are two that come to mind immediately in this category.

Maluhia,

Mike
My experience is over 10 years old, but I found the average quality of Ontario’s wines well above the finger lakes. And the peaks of Ontario were above the finger lakes for me too. The best FL Riesling topped Ontario. Again an old impression.

The FL region was much more beautiful (not that Niagara or PEC are scrubs).

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#20 Post by bob parsons alberta » August 6th, 2019, 9:06 pm

Great thread and good info on the new Riesling producers. I have access to Fox Run here in AB.

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#21 Post by Markus S » August 7th, 2019, 5:07 am

Mike Grammer wrote:
August 6th, 2019, 11:11 am
... Pearl Morissette's Cab Francs...
I've been trying to get my hands on one of their wines but it's not easy. So you like the cab franc over pinot noir? I'll have to remember that.
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#22 Post by Mike Grammer » August 7th, 2019, 8:59 am

I do in Ontario--other than Westcott's and just one or two others from the last 4 or 5 years, I remain unconvinced that Ontario is a happy home for PN. That may just be my own taste---there are those who stoutly defend this place as a PN haven.

Come up and visit and I'll be happy to share a PM!

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#23 Post by Brian Gilp » August 10th, 2019, 11:15 am

The fact that some of the wineries mentioned won’t take groups larger than 6 is a real PITA. I have a group of 8 for which I am making plans so some of those I want to visit are off the list. Planned 3 days for the same group in Napa/Sonoma a few years ago and was never told by any winery that they couldn’t accommodate 8.

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#24 Post by jon leifer » August 10th, 2019, 7:21 pm

just to add to what Joe said, the Dr Frank sparklers can age quite gracefully...Have had some over the years that had a few years cellaring and were delightful..had the first one with some age on it at a tasting in Albany..I would never have guessed that it came from the FL region, what a surprise!!, .what followed surprised me even more..While I was praising the wine to my wife, an elegantly dressed gentleman who had been sitting near us, came over and introduced himself and said he was happy to hear that we enjoyed the wine..That's how we met met Willi Frank a number of years ago
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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#25 Post by David K o l i n » August 10th, 2019, 7:32 pm

Great story. Thanks again to all for the updates

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#26 Post by Jim Brennan » August 11th, 2019, 7:17 am

Clayton Wai-Poi wrote:
August 6th, 2019, 8:22 pm
Mike Grammer wrote:
August 6th, 2019, 11:11 am
Markus S wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 11:14 am


Rather feel the same way when I visit Ontario wineries.
I don't know how you you define 'bowled over', but you tend to drink well. I give new regions some benefit of the doubt, and find Finger lakes wines maturing well since the 80's when I began following the region. Climate is a beast here, as in Ontario, and defines what type, concentration, ripeness can be achieved. Many of these wineries were low capitalized until recently compared to other regions and had a lot to learn. But when you consider most wines sell for between the teens-20's, they are a nice alternative.
Thanks for your input Markus, it's appreciated. With Ontario, I definitely admit to having some local-bias, but I'm still pretty picky about anything that bowls me over here as well---and there hasn't been a lot. I have the advantage/additional bias of giving myself a lot more exposure to our wines than to the Finger Lakes, where I was last visiting over a decade ago. You are not wrong about the climate. And I definitely acknowledge that the pricing has gone up for the higher-end Ontario products (even when our Canadian peso gets converted ;) ). But I *have* had some wines here that did and have impressed me to the point where I'm not ashamed to take them anywhere I go to any group of 'philes I'm with. Pearl Morissette's Cab Francs and Westcott's Reserve PN and sparklers are two that come to mind immediately in this category.

Maluhia,

Mike
My experience is over 10 years old, but I found the average quality of Ontario’s wines well above the finger lakes. And the peaks of Ontario were above the finger lakes for me too. The best FL Riesling topped Ontario. Again an old impression.

The FL region was much more beautiful (not that Niagara or PEC are scrubs).
Clayton, are you sure you described that correctly? You talk about Ontario being better on average, and also better at the peaks, but then you state that the best FL Riesling topped Ontario. That seems to indicate that the FL wines at their peak are better than Ontario...

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Re: Finger Lakes Updates?

#27 Post by Clayton Wai-Poi » August 12th, 2019, 7:51 pm

That’s what I intended to say. On the whole I think Ontario wines are better and the best ones are better than the best FL. The FL at their best, tops Ontario for Riesling, but it for any other grape variety for me.

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