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 Finger Lakes Help - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers
Does anyone have any updated or additional thoughts on visiting?
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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”).
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.
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.
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).