Brief Seneca Lake Wine Tour (Finger Lakes)
I recently had a day to do a bit of wine touring in the finger lakes, so thought I would share my experiences with anyone who might be interested. I was hoping to hit up some wineries on Cayuga Lake (like Dr. Frank's), but unfortunately didn't have the time on this trip.
Here's a short album. All in all I hit up five wineries. The standouts in terms of wine for me were Serenity Vineyards and Hermann J. Wiemer.
Fox Run Vineyards
Clearly a place that does a fair number of events. Fair-sized main tasting room with friendly staff, with additional side and downstairs tasting areas (which I presume are mostly used for events). Food is also really good, and can be eaten outside on their lakeview patio area.
For wines they have a dryer and a sweeter tasting list. I had the dryer while my fiancee had the sweeter. The dry wines were generally okay, somewhat lacking in body. The dry Riesling was probably best, but not as good in fruit or acidity as some of the others I tried. Also tried an off-dry Traminette, which is a French-American hybrid. Not bad, with a nice roundness, but lacking in body for my taste.
Red Tail Ridge
Next up was Red Tail Ridge. A small tasting room that was empty when we came in but quickly grew fairly busy and the single staff member doing tastings clearly had a hard time keeping up. The dry Riesling was okay, a bit lacking in fruit and had some alcoholic warmth. I tried the Blaufrankish, which was had some nice dark fruit notes on the nose but was pretty thin on the palate. Also tried some rose, which is a blend of pinot noir and blaufrankish — had a nice nose but lacked fruit on the palate and acidity for my taste. I bought a bottle of the pet nat Riesling, because I'm a sucker for Pet Nat.
Quite nice and rather expansive space, with a large garden that was fun to walk around in. I liked the unoaked Chardonnay and the dry Riesling, which had a fairly good bit of acidity to it. The Cabernet Franc rose was neat, but a bit watery.
A much smaller and less popular place — we were the only ones in there except for a couple who wandered in and quickly left. Evidently their vineyards have been around since 1977, but they only started bottling in 2006. The tasting room is essentially a barn. I think the person serving was the winemaker (or an exceptionally knowledgeable staff member). Quite an array of wines, including a Seyval Blanc, which was a little bit lacking in body but worth trying, as well as a pretty nice, fruit-and-pepper-driven Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend called "Mirth". The standout for me was definitely the dry Riesling, though, which was varietally correct in every way and had a fantastic, crisp acidity. Absolutely worth a visit if you're in the area.
Hermann J. Wiemer
This was the winery I really wanted to get to this year after missing it last year. Large, fairly impressive tasting room in their renovated barn. It was quite busy, but we only had to wait a few minutes for a spot. Another fantastic dry Riesling — more minerality and slightly less acidity than Serenity's. Clearly well put-together. Undoubtedly the most 'serious' Riesling that I tried. They also had the best Rose, made from Pinot Noir — nice fruit on the nose, good body and quite good fruit on the palate.
We also stopped by the Finger Lakes Cider House the next day. They have a pretty nice indoor space as well as an outdoor patio. A great selection of ciders of various dryness/sweetness on tap, available in custom flights or by the glass. We tried a flight of five, two dry, two off-dry, and one sweet. I was pretty impressed by the ciders, particularly the off-dry ones. My favourites were from Kite & String, particularly the Northern Spy and the Rose cider. My only disappointment was that, while the flights and glasses are pretty reasonably priced, the bottles of cider were IMO pretty expensive (about $14-16 per 750mL for the ciders we tried). I was planning to buy 6-8 bottles, but ended up getting only 4. Definitely worth stopping by if you're at all into cider, though.
Submitted August 12, 2017 at 07:02PM by my002
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