I think 60-90 is doable. I didn’t know I’d have free time and this is a very rare trip where I didn’t get a car so I wrote it off. But then I got a text asking if I wanted to hit Middle Ages brewery or Anyela vineyard? They said we’d have time to make it to the region or at least Anyela winery. I told them I’d do some research. They are not really wine folks. At least not geeks
Middle Ages is meh. I’ve heard good things about Eastwood Brewing from friends but haven’t been yet. Go to Clark’s Ale House for good beer and a great roast beef sandwich. Like Tom said, most of the better wineries aren’t too close.
If you stick to the lower end of Seneca lake (above Watkins Glen), I would wholeheartedly agree with the above Herrmann J Wiemer recommendation as the wines are some of the better wines you will find up there (at least for my palate), and while there, you can also swing by and have lunch at FLX Wienery (owned by Christopher Bates, Master Sommelier and also winemaker/founder of Element Winery) where the wine list is great and reasonably priced to boot.
Hermann J Wiemer - The best wines we tasted while in the finger lakes. Do not miss.
Favorite wines: Magdalena Vineyard Cabernet Franc & their basic Brut
Dr. Konstantin Frank - The most memorable tasting and some of the most obscure wines.
Favorite wines: Saperavi & ice wine.
I think these two are worth visiting from my personal experience. We couldn’t make it into Ravines (it was just after Xmas) and roads were not helping us make the time we wanted for a 3rd winery. I’d expect that they are worth it though.
Another vote for Hermann J Wiemer. Very nice tasting room and location, high quality wines (IMO they have a claim to being the best Rieslings made in the US), and a terrific selection available for tasting and purchase. Including lots of well aged library wines, which a lot of places in the area don’t have. Really can’t miss.
Have not been to Konstantin Frank but intend to go sometime…they were the pioneer in the area and would be a great visit just for historical reasons.
The lake is gorgeous, winter is not the ideal time to visit of course but you’ll still enjoy it.
What they both said…tasting HJW’s single vineyards is fun. FLX is a funky gourmet hot dog shack with great food. Have some Element while you’re there or bring your own, no corkage unless you want to use nice glasses.
Reiterating that many of the wineries listed are NOT close to Syracuse or the SYR airport. Anyelas is okay with a nice view (in summer) but wines pale in quality to HJW, Frank, and others mentioned. Staying in Skaneateles at the Sherwood is nice - a good, warm pub overlooking Skaneateles Lake.
If you have time and the weather is good, hit the wineries mentioned. If not, just pick up some of the wines from a local shop and give them a try. Most of the rieslings range from only $15-20 and are pretty nice. There are some single vineyard wines but you cannot find them in shops - only at the wineries themselves.