In the event you get pleasure from wine – particularly white wine – a go to to the Finger Lakes is so as. The area, which spans 11 lakes in New York, makes the perfect escape from New York City and different locales within the Mid-Atlantic and New England for a weekend or perhaps a week – although the Finger Lakes are additionally worthy of a cross-country flight.
The very best wine within the Finger Lakes
New York state is America’s third-largest wine producer because of the standard vintages of the Finger Lakes, the place ice age glaciers left an excellent terroir and microclimate for rising riesling and funky weather-tolerant grapes. Riesling is the signature wine of the Finger Lakes, intently adopted by gewurztraminer. Many wineries additionally produce scrumptious chardonnay and pinot gris; you will doubtless discover ice wine, a candy wine comprised of frozen grapes nonetheless on the vine. In the event you like purple wine, strive the varietals equivalent to pinot noir and cabernet franc for which the area can also be recognized.
The very best Finger Lakes for wineries
Search for wineries on Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Thought-about the center of Finger Lakes wine nation, these lakes every have a delegated wine path – although new development and wine tasting rooms are popping up elsewhere within the area too. Observe that wineries pay to be members of their respective path(s) and seem on public maps and guides; loads of glorious wineries aren’t members of those official trails and should not be ignored.
The very best Finger Lakes wineries
The very best Finger Lakes wineries are positioned each on and off the official wine trails in Finger Lakes wine nation.
Add these Finger Lakes wineries to your trip itinerary for an opportunity to tour bucolic vineyards, meet native winemakers, and sip award-winning whites and reds when you take within the surroundings.
(Courtesy of Boundary Breaks)
Boundary Breaks’ dry riesling No. 239 has been named one of many world’s prime wines by Wine Spectator Journal twice, most lately in 2021; No. 239 has additionally been acknowledged by Wine Fanatic and the Wall Avenue Journal. The winemakers attribute the success of this wine and others to a late harvest, which permits extra time for the fruit to ripen, leading to a tropical high quality and style.
You possibly can sip a number of the award-winning wine in a seated tasting (accessible on a first-come, first-served foundation) that features 5 samples. You’ll want to strive a gewurztraminer and cabernet franc, different specialties by the vineyard. Guests also can order wine by the glass or bottle, finest loved within the vineyard’s Adirondack chairs that overlook Seneca Lake. Many current guests tout Boundary Breaks as their favourite vineyard within the Finger Lakes – and bonus: It is dog-friendly.
Tackle: 1568 Porter Covert Highway, Lodi, NY 14860
(Courtesy of Dr. Konstantin Frank Vineyard)
In 1958, a Ukrainian viticulturist named Dr. Konstantin Frank planted the primary European grape varieties within the jap U.S., establishing what would change into referred to as the “vinifera revolution” amid the cool local weather of New York. His experience launched the Finger Lakes area’s status for riesling and different vinifera varieties. A long time later, the late winemaker’s namesake vineyard stays family-run and extra in style than ever.
Situated on Keuka Lake – with an extra winery on Seneca Lake – Dr. Konstantin Frank Vineyard attracts crowds to an array of tasting experiences, together with a seated sampling of 5 wines for which reservations are really useful. In the summertime, walk-in friends are welcome to order wine by the glass, flight or bottle in Eugenia’s Backyard. Additionally from Might to October (however by reservation solely), guests can benefit from the 1886 Meals & Wine Expertise, which options an in-depth have a look at the vineyards or winemaking course of and pairs wines with small plates.
The vineyard has earned innumerable awards and accolades for its wines. Of particular be aware is its rising concentrate on saperavi, an historic purple grape with a pigmented pulp – and one of many first varietals Dr. Frank planted when he started his winemaking journey. The vineyard’s saperavi is mild and stylish, with notes of recent berries, licorice, violets, tobacco, grilled spices and chocolate.
Tackle: 9749 Center Highway, Hammondsport, NY 14840
(Courtesy of O-Neh-Da and Eagle Crest Vineyards)
Head to Hemlock Lake in Conesus to find two distinct vineyards in a single place: O-Neh-Da and Eagle Crest.
Established in 1872 by Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid, O-Neh-Da Winery derives its title from what the Seneca folks referred to as Hemlock Lake, the one Finger Lake that did not preserve its authentic Indigenous title. At this time O-Neh-Da considers itself the oldest genuine producer of premium sacramental wine; it additionally produces conventional Finger Lakes wines equivalent to a cabernet franc, rieslings and a unoaked chardonnay. Eagle Crest Vineyards, then again, makes proprietary mix desk wines with playful names equivalent to Yummy or Queen of the Vine, a prime vendor.
Vacationers respect the historic setting and educated employees of the vineyard, which runs on solar energy. O-Neh-Da and Eagle Crest’s two tasting choices every embody 5 wines, with a alternative of 1-ounce or 2-ounce pours. When deciding on wines to pattern, you’ll want to strive the cabernet franc. What’s extra is the property’s FLX Glamping websites, with kayaks, bicycles, pontoon boat rides and guided hikes accessible to in a single day friends.
Tackle: 7107 Winery Highway, Conesus, NY 14435
Oenophiles will need to pattern a complicated riesling by grasp sommelier Christopher Bates, whose world coaching and technical abilities have made him an illustrious winemaker. To take care of all-natural flavors and aromas, Bates’ wines are made completely with hand-picked grapes and with out the usage of components or oak barrels.
Component Vineyard’s tasting room may be discovered on the Geneva location of F.L.X. Provisions, the place you’ll be able to strive Bates’ world-class wines plus dozens of different Finger Lakes vintages. Earlier guests say the expertise and employees are excellent, with some commenting that it is an excellent place get a style of assorted Finger Lakes wines should you’re quick on time.
After stopping for a wine tasting in Geneva, take a experience 25 miles south to Dundee to get pleasure from one other ardour undertaking co-founded by Bates: FLX Wienery, an off-the-cuff restaurant that pairs artisanal brats and fast-casual meals with beer and wine.
Tackle: 16 Linden St., Geneva, NY 14456
(Courtesy of Fox Run Vineyards)
In the event you’re visiting the Finger Lakes with children and/or canines in tow, take a look at Fox Run Vineyards. Along with its in style semi-dry riesling, unoaked chardonnay, dry rose and lemberger, the vineyard provides academic winery excursions, a seasonal cafe, a wine barn (the place you’ll be able to get pleasure from wine by self-guided flight, glass or bottle on Saturdays in the summertime), reside leisure, festivals and different occasions, all of that are family-friendly. Leashed canines are welcome at Fox Run’s tasting bar, again patio and yard.
As a part of its mission to scale back environmental affect, Fox Run Vineyards’ observe of “dry farming” means the crops aren’t watered by synthetic means. Fox Run additionally absolutely operates on solar energy and maintains a 4-acre monarch butterfly and bee sanctuary close by to help the native pollinator inhabitants, amongst quite a lot of different sustainability efforts.
For conventional tastings, select your flight – dry, candy or riesling – for a sampling of 5 wines, or go for the Style Buds Flight, which pairs 5 preselected wines with 5 artisanal bites. Fox Run doesn’t take reservations for tastings. Elevate your expertise additional with a VIP Tour, through which you’ll discover the property with co-owner Scott Osborn, adopted by a non-public wine tasting paired with charcuterie and cheese within the barrel room, a restored 1800s dairy barn. This expertise have to be reserved no less than two weeks prematurely. Latest guests say they totally loved the vineyard and its choices, particularly the meals from the cafe.
Tackle: 670 state Route 14, Penn Yan, NY 14527
(Courtesy of Glenora Wine Cellars)
Glenora Wine Cellars is the proper place to flee for a romantic weekend in upstate New York (with or with out Fido). This vineyard’s high-quality choices embody glowing wines, rieslings, purple and white vinifera wines, blends, and dessert and fruit wines. 12 months-round tastings assist you to pattern a six-wine flight on a walk-in foundation (or by reservation in case your group exceeds eight folks). Guests also can make an appointment for a cellar tour or a wine tasting paired with chocolate truffles. Latest guests loved their wine tasting at Glenora, with some saying they appreciated the choice of cheeses accessible to buy.
After you’ve got loved a cellar tour or a tasting overlooking Seneca Lake, retreat to The Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars, the place you’ll be able to keep in one of many Vintner’s visitor rooms – a few of which characteristic fireplaces and whirlpool tubs – or the GSE Winery Cottage, full with a totally geared up kitchen and sleeping area for as much as six friends. You too can dine on-site at Veraisons Restaurant, which receives reward for each its meals and its quick, pleasant service.
Tackle: 5435 state Route 14, Dundee, NY 14837
(Courtesy of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards)
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards is not simply any vineyard; it is a ceremony of passage within the Finger Lakes. The historic farm-turned-winery provides wines, arduous ciders and wine seltzers, all of which you’ll be able to strive in an everyday tasting or perhaps a non-public tasting. Accessible to teams of between seven and 12 folks with advance reservations, the non-public tasting features a pairing with regionally sourced cheeses and meats.
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards is very well-known for its award-winning Pink Cat wine. Dubbed the “Unique Sizzling Tub Wine,” this candy purple wine has a narrative (ask your wine tasting information) and a chant (which you will doubtless hear and/or be singing by the point you allow). The vineyard’s second location – Hazlitt Pink Cat Cellars, in Naples, New York – is called for the wine, which can also be a whole line of merchandise together with Pink Cat Sangria, Pink Cat Fizz (a bubbly wine) and White Cat (a candy white wine).
As a result of common wine tastings can accommodate teams of as much as 18 folks on a first-come, first-served foundation, the vineyard can get busy. If it’s important to watch for a tasting (and even should you do not), pull up a seat at The Oasis, an on-site out of doors bar serving wine by the glass, wine slushies, native craft beers, arduous cider, nonalcoholic drinks and lightweight bites. Each Hazlitt places are wheelchair-accessible and kid- and dog-friendly.
Tackle: 5712 state Route 414, Hector, NY 14841
(Courtesy of Hermann J. Wiemer Winery)
A pioneer of winemaking within the Finger Lakes, now-retired Hermann J. Wiemer comes from a protracted line of winemakers from one of many world’s prime riesling-producing areas in Germany. Wiemer’s vine nursery, which opened in 1974, helped populate the area’s vineyards and as we speak supplies tailor-made options to farmers and their vineyards nationwide; his namesake vineyard, which opened in 1979, has received numerous awards for its dry rieslings. Head winemaker Fred Merwath, named Winemaker of the 12 months by Wine Fanatic in 2021, was significantly praised for his biodynamic farming of riesling and chardonnay.
Earlier guests extremely suggest making a wine tasting reservation properly prematurely of your go to. Wine is obtainable by the glass, bottle or in 2.5-ounce pours so you’ll be able to design your individual flight of wines by Hermann J. Wiemer Winery – and by Standing Stone Vineyards, which was acquired by the vineyard in 2017. Specialty tastings and customized flights could also be accessible with advance request; children and leashed pets are welcome.
Tackle: 3962 state Route 14, Dundee, NY 14837
(Stu Gallagher/Courtesy of Heron Hill Vineyard)
Heron Hill provides seven distinct rieslings – which span dry varietals to ice wines – and two places: Its authentic Heron Hill Vineyard and tasting corridor on Keuka Lake opened in 1977, whereas the Heron Hill Tasting Room on Canandaigua Lake opened in 2010. Each are worthy of a go to, however the latter is very pretty. Heron Hill Tasting Room is located in a renovated century-old barn overlooking the riesling and cabernet franc vineyards. It provides each indoor and out of doors seating plus wood-fired pizza in the summertime months and reside music on choose days. Reservations are required for tastings, which embody 5 wines.
Tackle: 5323 Seneca Level Highway, Canandaigua, NY 14424
(Bonnie Gustin/Courtesy of Keuka Spring Vineyards)
Patrons of Keuka Spring Vineyards reward the beautiful views of Keuka Lake, the stress-free ambiance, the hospitality and, after all, the wine. Latest accolades embody profitable Better of Class for the 2020 Wiltberger Winery riesling on the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competitors, in addition to excessive scores by Wine Fanatic for 2 of its different rieslings.
Tastings characteristic six wines and are provided on a walk-in foundation to teams of six folks or much less. Bigger events can buy wine by the glass or bottle to get pleasure from with meals – both their very own picnic or one thing delivered from a Penn Yan eatery. Native cheeses, crackers and different snacks are additionally accessible for buy on-site.
Tackle: 243 state Route 54, East Lake Highway, Penn Yan, NY 14527
(Courtesy of Miles Wine Cellars)
Beware the spirits at this early Nineteenth-century Greek Revival mansion on Seneca Lake. Miles Wine Cellars’ best-known providing is the “Ghost” wine, a mix of chardonnay and cayuga grapes that commemorates the departed amongst us. The vineyard provides beer, wine and reserve spirits tastings; teams of lower than 10 folks don’t want a reservation.
Talking of spirits, ghosts are stated to hang-out the property’s historic inn, which options two newly furnished suites for in a single day stays. If visiting in the summertime, you’ll be able to arrive by boat (a well-liked mode of transportation within the Finger Lakes) and have an ice-cold beer or a glass of wine at The Boathouse, a small dockside cafe that is usually open seasonally from Memorial Day by Labor Day.
Tackle: 168 Randall Crossing Highway, Himrod, NY 14842
(Courtesy of Nice Valley Wine Firm)
Because the Finger Lakes’ oldest vineyard, Nice Valley Wine Firm has eight landmarked stone buildings relationship again to 1860 which can be listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. On the Nice Western Customer Heart on-site, you will uncover the vineyard’s shocking accomplishments, which embody an honorable point out on the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle for its glowing catawba wine, the primary American glowing wine to win one of these award in Europe. That was solely the start: The vineyard gained such a status for its glowing wines that Nice Valley got here to be referred to as the “Rheims of America.”
Tastings and informative guided excursions of the historic buildings are provided year-round. In summer time and fall you will must make a reservation for a tour. Except for the principle location in Hammondsport, it’s also possible to style Nice Valley wines at Caywood Vineyards in Lodi and Seneca Harbor Wine Heart in Watkins Glen.
Tackle: 8260 Nice Valley Highway, Hammondsport, NY 14840
(Courtesy of Ravines Wine Cellars)
House owners Morten and Lisa Hallgren discovered a lot of what they find out about wine within the Provence area of France earlier than settling at Ravines Wine Cellars. Collectively, they produce glorious, largely dry rieslings, chardonnays, pinot noirs, a purple meritage mix and extra. Ravines’ wines have been listed within the prime 100 on this planet by Wine Spectator Journal, amongst different accolades. These wines may be sampled at two places: the principle one in Geneva or the Keuka Tasting Room in Hammondsport.
Conventional wine tastings in Geneva, which embody 5 pours, can be found for teams of as much as six folks by appointment solely, although bigger teams of as much as 14 folks can request tastings. You have to make your reservation on-line. A tasting right here may be paired with seasonal bites from the favored Ravinous Kitchen. In the event you’re planning to go to the Keuka location, reservations are really useful however not required.
Tackle: 400 Barracks Highway, Geneva, NY 14456
(Courtesy of Wagner Vineyards Property Vineyard)
Not solely will you discover good wine at Wagner Vineyards, however you will additionally discover craft beer at Wagner Valley Brewing Co and lunch at The Ginny Lee Café. Wagner is one of some wineries within the so-called “Banana Belt,” a hotter microclimate on Seneca Lake’s jap shores. The 250-acre property grows quite a lot of grapes, a number of of which have received wine competitions yr after yr.
Guided wine tastings embody 5 wines of your alternative and have to be reserved prematurely; you’ll be able to set these up on the vineyard’s web site. Extra informal tastings can be found on a walk-in foundation as properly. You too can get pleasure from wine – and beer – flights on the Vantage Level on Seneca (an enclosed deck) or on the picnic tables outdoors, climate allowing. Except for the wine and beer, guests rave concerning the property’s informative and attentive employees.
Tackle: 9322 state Route 414, Lodi, NY 14860
Regardless of the Finger Lakes’ status as a largely white-wine vacation spot, Chateau LaFayette Reneau manages to provide some scrumptious dry reds together with cabernet sauvignon and merlot, in addition to the world’s signature cabernet franc. One other vineyard within the Banana Belt, this one sits about 5 miles north of Watkins Glen and provides tastings that embody 5 pours and front-row views of Seneca Lake from each the indoor tasting room and out of doors deck. Reservations are extremely really useful for teams with lower than six folks and are required for bigger events. Wine can also be accessible by the glass. Further choices embody the Winery Picnic Expertise, with seasonal fare and a baguette to pair with a bottle of chilled pinot noir rose, and a five-room guesthouse for in a single day stays. Earlier guests say they love the wine and respect that the vineyard welcomes canines.
Tackle: 5081 state Route 414, Hector, NY 14841
(Courtesy of Sheldrake Level Vineyard)
Select one in all six preselected tasting flights to pattern dry roses, ice wines, wines from the small-lot Beta Sequence (in any other case referred to as trial wines) and extra at Sheldrake Level Vineyard, among the best Finger Lakes wineries. Seated tastings, restricted to teams of as much as six, will assist you to style 5 wines plus a bonus “welcome wine,” which incorporates your alternative of the favored dry rose or cabernet franc. Get pleasure from them within the tasting room or outdoors within the backyard. Reservations are urged, however Sheldrake Level does welcome walk-ins. For a singular expertise, make a reservation within the Classic Room, Sheldrake’s intensive wine library and a uncommon providing within the Finger Lakes. Right here you’ll be able to style the vineyard’s aged wines, which date again to its inception in 1997, accompanied by cheese and crostini. Reviewers be aware that this sustainable vineyard is barely off the crushed path, and that whereas it is not positioned proper on the water, it provides stunning views of Cayuga Lake. If touring by boat, you’ll be able to park in one of many vineyard’s eight boat slips.
Tackle: 7448 County Highway 153, Ovid, NY 14521
(Courtesy of Bully Hill Vineyards)
Bully Hill Vineyards is an important Finger Lakes vineyard for anybody who enjoys candy wine. Situated in Hammondsport, this vineyard is thought for its candy blush and fruit wines. The latter sort constitutes a whole line referred to as Candy Walter – named for the vineyard’s founder, Walter S. Taylor – with flavors together with peach and pineapple.
Get pleasure from a tasting with 5 preselected wines and get a complimentary wine glass as a memento, or take a free tour of the vineyard if the climate permits. You too can go to Bully Hill’s restaurant for lunch or Sunday brunch; earlier guests rave concerning the meals. An on-site museum tells the story of Bully Hill Vineyards by vintage tools, historic artifacts and extra. The vineyard additionally welcomes leashed pets.
Tackle: 8843 Greyton H. Taylor Memorial Drive, Hammondsport, NY 14840
(Courtesy of Coronary heart & Arms Wine Firm)
In the event you like pinot noir, cease at Coronary heart & Arms Wine Firm, a sustainably farmed winery whose purple varietal is aged in French oak barrels. The pinot noir comes extremely really useful by vacationers, as does the riesling. Tucked right into a peaceable location overlooking Cayuga Lake, Coronary heart & Arms Wine Firm includes a cozy tasting room and cellar, the place attentive employees present guided flights with 5 wines. The nice and cozy ambiance matches the vineyard’s emblem: an Irish Claddagh, which represents friendship, love and loyalty. Tastings can be found primarily by appointment and are restricted to 4 friends.
Tackle: 4162 state Route 90, Union Springs, NY 13160
Finger Lakes wineries FAQ
tour the Finger Lakes wineries
Since most of the wineries are shut collectively, it is easy to go to just a few in at some point. That stated, it is also straightforward to get tipsy after only one vineyard or two, which makes guided excursions or private drivers a well-liked choice for visiting the wineries. Discover a number of the prime transportation choices compiled by New York’s Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance.
The very best time to go to the Finger Lakes wineries
Although most wineries on this area supply tastings year-round, think about visiting between Might and September for the most effective climate.
The very best Finger Lakes motels close to wineries
Regardless of the place you keep within the Finger Lakes, you will not be removed from a vineyard or a number of. The truth is, some wineries supply their very own lodging for a singular expertise, and you’ll even spend the night time in a fort with its personal vineyard and brewery at Belhurst in Geneva. Different lodging choices embody glamping, bed-and-breakfasts, trip leases, conventional motels and lakefront resorts. In the event you’re in search of the most effective Finger Lakes motels close to wineries, start your search here.