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Sep 28, 2009 08:36 AM

Finger Lakes trip in Oct

Please suggest wineries, restaurants & food specialties in the Finger Lakes area of NY. I have two days to take a tour. What's the best red varietal wines?

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  1. I like Glenora Vineyards along the shores of Lake Skaneateles. They have really nice Reislings and Gewirtztraminers.

    The Bluewater Grille is nice for lunch. If the weather is nice, there is very scenic outdoor seating on a pier looking over the lake. I have heard good words about Rosalie's, also in town, towards the western side.



    1. Do you have towns in mind, or even "sides of certain lakes" (e.g. eastern side of Seneca Lake).....?

      As far as good reds from the Finger Lakes region, they are not as common as good whites. I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful sommelier at Spina Restaurant in NYC. Rob is passionate about finding the best of NYS wines, so his suggestions (on the restaurant's website) are well-researched.

      1. FWIW, Glenora WInery (which is beautiful) is on the western side of Seneca Lake, not Skaneateles. I also think you'll find that white wines, especially Reislings, are generally better than the reds in the Finger Lakes region. If you must choose a red, try cabernet franc. In my experience, the merlots and cabernet sauvignon are way over-priced and not particularly good.
        As far as restaurants are concerned, it's hard to make a recommendation without knowing a) what kind of food you like and b) where in the Finger Lakes you are going to be.

        4 Replies
        1. re: tuttobene

          Do a search on Finger Lakes and you will get some more ideas. But IMO, Glenora is no where near the top in wine quality. My favorites for food are Dano's and Stone Cat Cafe, both on the east side of Seneca and Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg. Best wines are white, especially rieslings.

          1. re: jmoryl

            A second (third?) for Dano's. Incredible food.

            And yes, the Finger Lakes are well known for whites - but there ARE good reds being made. McGregor, on the east side of Keuka, has won numerous awards for its reds, and I've really enjoyed the reds from Red Tail Ridge and Fox Run. Ventosa makes tremendous Italian-style wines, and Shaw's reds continue to amaze me, as do the reds at Rooster Hill.

            My suggestion would be to do Seneca and Keuka lakes on your first trip. Start in Watkins Glen and go north up the east side of Seneca. Stop at Atwater, Shalestone, and Bloomer Creek. Eat lunch at Dano's. Stop by Lamoreau and Ventosa. Then go up through Geneva and hit the wineries on the West side on your way back. Red Tail, Fox Run, Anthony Road, Miles, Shaw, Fulkerson.

            The next day visit Keuka lake - including McGregor, Rooster Hill, Hunt Country, and Dr. Frank's. I like Keuka Spring but others don't, so play that one by ear, along with Heron Hill.

            If you are looking for something non-wine to do, stop into the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning. You could spend a whole day there.

            1. re: njguy99

              Good recs and a good game plan, njguy99.

              Red Newt on the east side of Seneca has some great wine and a great restaurant. Lakewood on the west side of Seneca is one of our favorites. It's hard to go wrong for the tasting price anywhere.

              Beware of visiting on an October weekend however - the tasters we chatted with last week said it's an incredible mob scene during foliage season.

              1. re: ns538bmk

                I can't believe I forgot Lakewood and Red Newt! Both great choices.

                Let me add in Ravines as well, on the east side of Keuka. Well known for its reds.

        2. It is a huge area running from near Batavia all the way past Geneva. So helpers here would need to know which finger? E.g., there are a few decent wineries near the appropriately named Naples.

          1. Don't forget Sheldrake Point on west side of Cayuga--This year's NYS winery of the year, and Fox Run on west of Seneca.