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Favorite Finger Lakes Wineries


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Does anyone have any favorites? I was there 2 years ago, spent 2 days visiting wineries along Seneca Lake and then spent a day at the wine festival so I've tasted a bunch, but it's been a while. I'll be on the East side of Seneca lake again so wineries on that side are ideal, but west side of either Cayuga or Seneca are possibilities. I did a little searching online and sadly the "new" places that popped up are on the north end of the west side, which might be a stretch for me to get to. Also headed up there with my dog for a greyhound event so many, but not all wineries are letting dogs in. Anyway, thought you might have some suggestions. Wineries that I enjoyed last time that allow dogs and that therefore I will definitely be stopping at are Standing Stone, Shalestone, and Damiani. I hear there's a new distillery that's letting us brings dogs so I'll be checking that out too.

Thanks!

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I can't remember where these are, but I was up there a bit under 2 years ago. The best wineries in the area, for me, were Dr. Konstantin Frank and Hermann Wiemer. Don't waste your time with any of the reds. Go for the rieslings and gewurztraminer. Fox Run and Anthony Road are OK, too, as are the sweets wines from Lamoreaux Landing. But these still pale in comparison to the first two. Wiemer is my favorite producer up that way.

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I can't remember where these are, but I was up there a bit under 2 years ago. The best wineries in the area, for me, were Dr. Konstantin Frank and Hermann Wiemer. Don't waste your time with any of the reds. Go for the rieslings and gewurztraminer. Fox Run and Anthony Road are OK, too, as are the sweets wines from Lamoreaux Landing. But these still pale in comparison to the first two. Wiemer is my favorite producer up that way.

Ditto. Frank (west side Keuka)and Weimer (west side Seneca)are definitely the class of the bunch. On the west side of Cayuga, I was always a fan of Lucas (esp. their Seyval Blanc).
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Unfortunately Dr. Frank is on Keuka Lake and is probably the best winery in the Finger Lakes. If you can somehow trek over, its worth it.

Weimer, is on the west side of Seneca lake, not far up from Watkins Glen. Amazing Riesling.

For the east side of Seneca Lake, Red Newt is a must. Their restaurant is nice too. They make a good meritage and their reds are pretty decent overall. Lamoreux Landing had a nice unoaked chardonnay. Their wines are pretty good. Shalestone has excellent reds if it is open. Hazlitt and Wagner are a big step down from these three but not too bad. Otherwise, there isn't much memorable, though if Rasta Ranch in Hector is open, it's an experience to behold for pure amusement factor, but the wine is awful.

For West side of Cayuga, Sheldrake Point is a wonderful view along the lake though their wines are mediocre. Hosmer, Knapp and Lucas are the best three on that side of Cayuga. Also Bellweather Cider is very nice if you like cider.

If you need help with restaurants or a place to stay, let me know. We go up there way too much.

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Check the Finger Lakes Region thread in the Intrepid Traveler forum for restaurant and winery info. Stay away from Hazlitt.

Hazlitt isn't that worst on Seneca and you get the opportunity to drink the Hazlitt Horny Juice (aka Red Cat), the #1 selling NY wine (though it is rather awful).

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Does anyone have any favorites? I was there 2 years ago, spent 2 days visiting wineries along Seneca Lake and then spent a day at the wine festival so I've tasted a bunch, but it's been a while. I'll be on the East side of Seneca lake again so wineries on that side are ideal, but west side of either Cayuga or Seneca are possibilities. I did a little searching online and sadly the "new" places that popped up are on the north end of the west side, which might be a stretch for me to get to. Also headed up there with my dog for a greyhound event so many, but not all wineries are letting dogs in. Anyway, thought you might have some suggestions. Wineries that I enjoyed last time that allow dogs and that therefore I will definitely be stopping at are Standing Stone, Shalestone, and Damiani. I hear there's a new distillery that's letting us brings dogs so I'll be checking that out too.

Thanks!

We travel through the area several times a year on the way to see family. I'll echo many of the suggestions -- Lamoreaux Landing (gorgeous facility; decent whites); Shalestone (for the few decent reds in the area and to talk with the quirky owner); Standing Stone; Red Newt (some worthwile; some overpriced); Damiani (decent). Yes; skip Hazlit; mediocre all around. Wagner is too touristy. I look forward to your telling us of the distillery. We stopped by two weeks ago and it was still "opening soon," but a press piece says it just opened on the 21st. It looks really attractive. Above all, though, please make the time to go to Hermann Wiemer and to Konstantin Frank; they are the best in the region by a long shot. Frank (which is still open despite a fire in one of its tasting rooms earlier this year) also has the friendliest people and the most generous pours I have ever had at a tasting.

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Well you guys basically confirmed what I already knew, I had hit all of the reputable wineries on my last trip up there two years ago. On my first day, I revisited Standing Stone and Shalestone, and then in a moment of poor judgement joined some friends at Penguin Bay since they were the only winery still open. :rolleyes: I only bought one bottle at Shalestone this time, I meant to go back and buy some of their pinot b/c I didn't want it sitting in my car all weekend, but I never managed too. I did go back to Standing Stone to retaste and left w/6 bottles. I think there are some really solid, food friendly wines for really good prices at SS.

Day 2 I hit the west side - started at Lakewood, meh except for a dry reisling I liked enough to buy one bottle of. Then I revisited Miles and Fox Run - Miles wasn't as good as I remembered and Fox Run disappointed again (I forgot I had been there until I walked in). The highlight though was a newer winery called Red Tail (just before Fox Run). Really good wines across the board and an excellent dry riesling. I really liked this place and the staff was incredibly friendly (and they're dog friendly) - I HIGHLY recommend it.

Last day I did stop at Hazlitt, I was curious as I had read some good things elsewhere. Really disliked their wines except for the dry riesling, but it was the same price as the Red Tail and didn't compare. Then we went to Damiani, which I had really enjoyed last time. They were offering a wine and chocolate pairing which was interesting. Dry chardonnay w/a sesame chocolate (I left with some of the chocolate), pinot w/ a smoked almond and dried cherry choc (I tasted both pinots, the cheaper one was terrible, the more expensive one was quite good), a pistachio and ginger chocolate with either merlot or cab (merlot is suggested pairing, i thoguht it was much better w/the cab) and finally a meritage infused truffle with the meritage. Really good, but I'd rather have my dark chocolate with port, that's just me though. I also tasted their dry rose and left with 2 bottles of that. Finally, Atwater was a pleasant surprise. I liked their wines across the board, especially a brut champagne, which came home with me. :huh: Oh, I did go to Lamoreaux Landing again - same impression as last time, wines are all okay - I liked the red oak riesling the best.

Oh, I almost forgot the reason for my follow-up post - the distillery. It's open - they have 2 vodkas (one is infused with berries), a gin, a whiskey of some sort, I think corn (sorry, not a whiskey drinker) and 2 fruit liquors, a cassis and a blueberry. I really liked the cassis liquer - so much that I bought a bottle despite having a whole bottle of creme de cassis at home. I'm not a very good judge of hard alcohol on its own so I don't really know what to report on the vodkas I tasted except that I found the berry infused one quite pleasant mixed with a little tonic (they pour you shots, but will add a little tonic for you if you'd like - I tasted everything both ways). You get to taste 3 of they're offerings for the fee ($2 I think). Staff is very friendly, I didn't have this experience but other people reported them pouring full shots for them.

Well there's my report on the distillery plus the totally unsolicited report on teh wineries I visited. :) Thanks for the feedback!

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Well you guys basically confirmed what I already knew, I had hit all of the reputable wineries on my last trip up there two years ago. On my first day, I revisited Standing Stone and Shalestone, and then in a moment of poor judgement joined some friends at Penguin Bay since they were the only winery still open. :rolleyes: I only bought one bottle at Shalestone this time, I meant to go back and buy some of their pinot b/c I didn't want it sitting in my car all weekend, but I never managed too. I did go back to Standing Stone to retaste and left w/6 bottles. I think there are some really solid, food friendly wines for really good prices at SS.

Day 2 I hit the west side - started at Lakewood, meh except for a dry reisling I liked enough to buy one bottle of. Then I revisited Miles and Fox Run - Miles wasn't as good as I remembered and Fox Run disappointed again (I forgot I had been there until I walked in). The highlight though was a newer winery called Red Tail (just before Fox Run). Really good wines across the board and an excellent dry riesling. I really liked this place and the staff was incredibly friendly (and they're dog friendly) - I HIGHLY recommend it.

Last day I did stop at Hazlitt, I was curious as I had read some good things elsewhere. Really disliked their wines except for the dry riesling, but it was the same price as the Red Tail and didn't compare. Then we went to Damiani, which I had really enjoyed last time. They were offering a wine and chocolate pairing which was interesting. Dry chardonnay w/a sesame chocolate (I left with some of the chocolate), pinot w/ a smoked almond and dried cherry choc (I tasted both pinots, the cheaper one was terrible, the more expensive one was quite good), a pistachio and ginger chocolate with either merlot or cab (merlot is suggested pairing, i thoguht it was much better w/the cab) and finally a meritage infused truffle with the meritage. Really good, but I'd rather have my dark chocolate with port, that's just me though. I also tasted their dry rose and left with 2 bottles of that. Finally, Atwater was a pleasant surprise. I liked their wines across the board, especially a brut champagne, which came home with me. :huh: Oh, I did go to Lamoreaux Landing again - same impression as last time, wines are all okay - I liked the red oak riesling the best.

Oh, I almost forgot the reason for my follow-up post - the distillery. It's open - they have 2 vodkas (one is infused with berries), a gin, a whiskey of some sort, I think corn (sorry, not a whiskey drinker) and 2 fruit liquors, a cassis and a blueberry. I really liked the cassis liquer - so much that I bought a bottle despite having a whole bottle of creme de cassis at home. I'm not a very good judge of hard alcohol on its own so I don't really know what to report on the vodkas I tasted except that I found the berry infused one quite pleasant mixed with a little tonic (they pour you shots, but will add a little tonic for you if you'd like - I tasted everything both ways). You get to taste 3 of they're offerings for the fee ($2 I think). Staff is very friendly, I didn't have this experience but other people reported them pouring full shots for them.

Well there's my report on the distillery plus the totally unsolicited report on teh wineries I visited. :) Thanks for the feedback!

...and, thank YOU for the report; I'm looking forward to the distillery visit next time through.

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Hazlitt is a nice mid-day stop for the popcorn they provide w/ the wine tastings. Everyone's already stated the cream of the crop..... Dr. Frank's, Standing Stone, Wiemer. Wiemer's a bit pricier... but the late harvest Riesling is amazing. Vidal Ice is great at Standing Stone.

Glenora used to be better, but they're open until 7 or 8pm...later then most places. I love Wagner's deck in back.

On Cayuga Lake, Sheldrake Point is good, Swedish Hill/Goose Watch are ok.... maybe among the better sparklings in the area.

I'm going at the end of the month.... can't wait....

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So has anyone had much look in finding Finger Lakes wines in the DC/MD/VA area? Particularly in quantity.... like 3 cases worth? I need 3 cases of finger lakes riesling by the 3rd weekend of May - I've got a very nice person from Total Wine trying to get me 3 cases of Wagner.... but even he was saying I should look for some back-up options... total wine also carries Hazlitt and Bully Hill, but I'm not going anywhere near those. I'd love to find a place that carries Standing Stone.

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So has anyone had much look in finding Finger Lakes wines in the DC/MD/VA area? Particularly in quantity.... like 3 cases worth? I need 3 cases of finger lakes riesling by the 3rd weekend of May - I've got a very nice person from Total Wine trying to get me 3 cases of Wagner.... but even he was saying I should look for some back-up options... total wine also carries Hazlitt and Bully Hill, but I'm not going anywhere near those. I'd love to find a place that carries Standing Stone.

You have time and the weather is still cool enough and unless you live in MD, how about calling a few wineries to direct ship.

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So has anyone had much look in finding Finger Lakes wines in the DC/MD/VA area? Particularly in quantity.... like 3 cases worth? I need 3 cases of finger lakes riesling by the 3rd weekend of May - I've got a very nice person from Total Wine trying to get me 3 cases of Wagner.... but even he was saying I should look for some back-up options... total wine also carries Hazlitt and Bully Hill, but I'm not going anywhere near those. I'd love to find a place that carries Standing Stone.

I've seen Herman Wiemer wines at IMWine in Columbia, MD. One of the best producers from that region, IMHO.

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So has anyone had much look in finding Finger Lakes wines in the DC/MD/VA area? Particularly in quantity.... like 3 cases worth? I need 3 cases of finger lakes riesling by the 3rd weekend of May - I've got a very nice person from Total Wine trying to get me 3 cases of Wagner.... but even he was saying I should look for some back-up options... total wine also carries Hazlitt and Bully Hill, but I'm not going anywhere near those. I'd love to find a place that carries Standing Stone.

Couple options what I can think of...

1. Wegmans - They can get you anything. Nice thing about being a Rochester based chain. Probably your easiest option

2. Direct Ship as others have mentioned.

3. You could have Northside Wines in Ithaca ship you wine depending where you live (http://www.northsidewine.com/)

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So has anyone had much look in finding Finger Lakes wines in the DC/MD/VA area? Particularly in quantity.... like 3 cases worth? I need 3 cases of finger lakes riesling by the 3rd weekend of May - I've got a very nice person from Total Wine trying to get me 3 cases of Wagner.... but even he was saying I should look for some back-up options... total wine also carries Hazlitt and Bully Hill, but I'm not going anywhere near those. I'd love to find a place that carries Standing Stone.

This was a couple years ago, but I found some Dr. Frank's at Planet Wine in Del Ray. Worth a call to see if they still carry it.

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So has anyone had much look in finding Finger Lakes wines in the DC/MD/VA area? Particularly in quantity.... like 3 cases worth? I need 3 cases of finger lakes riesling by the 3rd weekend of May - I've got a very nice person from Total Wine trying to get me 3 cases of Wagner.... but even he was saying I should look for some back-up options... total wine also carries Hazlitt and Bully Hill, but I'm not going anywhere near those. I'd love to find a place that carries Standing Stone.

Your best bet might be a DC store that can Direct Import some. Cleveland Park is a good bet - they have carried Frank and Wagner before, and probably have the best selection of East Coast wines in DC. I've seen Standing Stone wines here and there. The VA ABC Web site lists Suprex Intl of Fairfax as the VA distributor for Standing Stone - you could call them to find out what retail outlets carry it: (703) 237-9209 .

Otherwise, from general experience:

Fox Run

Red Newt

Hermann J. Wiemer

Dr Frank

Anthony Road

Heron Hill ?

Lamoreaux Landing

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Success at Total Wine for 3 cases of Wagner! Wagner isn't my favorite (that'd be Wiemer, Dr Frank, Standing Stone)... but it's also significantly cheaper then the others. $9/bottle with the case discount, compared to at least double that for Wiemer or Dr. Frank's. Think I'll still look for a case of Vidal Ice though..... calling Suprex is a great idea.

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You might also try Corridor in Laurel if you haven't already. They have a pretty large selection of "local" wines, but I honestly can't remember a thing about what Finger Lakes wines they carry, if any. A search on their site didn't turn up anything, but it often doesn't. Their number if you want to call: 301-617-8507.

I realized that my annual trip is quickly approaching (end of July) and I've barely drunk any of the wine that I brought back last year so I've been opening bottles recently. You're not going to hear me say this sort of thing often, but for $7 or so (I think that's what I paid with my case discount) the Standing Stone dry and semi-dry vidal blancs are really excellent bargains and pair nicely with a good range of foods. I honestly can't remember the last time I've been so enthusiastic about a wine under $10. So far nothing that I've opened has disappointed, which is a pleasant surprise as I often find it difficult to discern on a beautiful sunny day in a gorgeous tasting room, particularly at the end of a day of wine tasting. :lol:

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Please be sure to post about the restaurants you go to! I'd love to read some updates.

Will do. If anyone has suggestions, I'm happy to hear them too. I didn't actually post about the places I ate last time - the dogs do limit me, but I did have 2 good meals. The usual trip to Dano's, which is always fun, although we got POURED on this past year, and the organic cafe on teh eat side of Seneca whose name is slipping my mind, but which I will definitely be revisiting as the food was outstanding.

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Last night I opened my last bottle of 2011 Forge Cellars riesling. At the time that I bought it in July of last year, it hadn't actually been released yet, but the winemaker met me for a private tasting at Hector Wine Company and I convinced him to slap labels on some bottles and sell them to me (they didn't even have foil seals yet). This wine is outstanding in my opinion. Much more representative of a german-style dry riesling with lots of petrol and a round mouthfeel. I honestly believe it is in a class of its own.

I am going to make a point to get back to Herman J Wiemer this year and see if that changes my opinion, but for anyone in the area, do taste the Forge Cellars wines. I saw last night that they also released a rose this year made from their pinot grapes although they expect to sell out of it this week. Mostly I look forward to tasting their pinots out of the bottle. When I went last year they hadn't bottled them yet so I was only able to taste barrel samples.

http://forgecellars.wordpress.com/

And on that note, I am headed back in a month for my annual trip. Any new/updated suggestions on wineries to visit around Seneca are appreciated! Right now, I have plans to at least head back to Atwater, Red Tail Ridge, Billsboro, Damiani, and Bloomer Creek and I'm sure I'll hit some other places on the east side of Seneca like Standing Stone and Anthony Road.

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I should have included a request for suggestions for places on Cayuga. I'm much less familiar with the wineries there but would like to stop at a few. The only one currently on my list is Heart and Hands, but I scrolled back through this thread and will check out the previous suggestions. If anyone has any new/updated ones, please do share. :)

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I should have included a request for suggestions for places on Cayuga. I'm much less familiar with the wineries there but would like to stop at a few. The only one currently on my list is Heart and Hands, but I scrolled back through this thread and will check out the previous suggestions. If anyone has any new/updated ones, please do share. :)

Well if you find one I would like to know about it. In my experience Heart and Hand is the only winery worth visiting on Cayuga.

Between Cayuga and Seneca is Wagner - nice people making mediorce wines, I would not bother to return.

If on the way to Heart and Hand you are thinking of stopping to get something to eat in the idyllic setting of Aurora (Also known as The Wonderful World of Pleasant Rowland), the only place that I could find that served anything decent was Dories.

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Penn Yan

Red Tail Ridge also puts out some damn fine wine.

I'll be in the area next month...any particular reccs? We were last there several years ago, and found the wines interesting enough that we picked up a small assortment, mainly the semi-dry Riesling and her Pinot.

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Dave,
The Rieslings are all quite good, but I think that the wine that is the most fun is the "Good Karma" - well worth the $12 we picked it up for.

One of the things that I really like about the Finger Lakes is that most of the winemakers realize that the climate that they have is attuned to Germany/Alsace and are keep true to that region. On our last trip there were several wine makers playing with Blaufränkisch, but I do not think that anyone did it as well as Red Tail did.

While I think that the rose is slightly overpriced it is still a good fun wine that would be even better for $5 less (but there are few wines that would not improve with a lower sticker price ***cough <Virginia> cough***

If you go to one place to taste wine while you are in the Finger Lake region I would recommend Heart and Hand.

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I'll be in the area next month...any particular reccs? We were last there several years ago, and found the wines interesting enough that we picked up a small assortment, mainly the semi-dry Riesling and her Pinot.

See my post a few posts up (#27). :) Forge Cellars is my number one rec, and based on the glass I had at dinner last year, I agree with Sthitch about Heart and Hands. If you're on the west side of Seneca, both Red Tail Ridge and, a bit further up Billsboro are producing some nice wines. On the east side, in addition to Forge I recommend Damiani. I think Atwater does a nice job, Standing Stone does a lovely tour and has some good value wines, Shalestone is a trip if you can pop in when the owner is there (he only produces red wines), and while I didn't love all of the wines, I think Bloomer Creek is worth a stop just for the unique varietals they're working with.

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Any suggestions for new wineries (since last year) to check out, particularly in the Seneca Lake area? I leave tomorrow for my annual trip. Excited to get to try the beer at Climbing Bines this time. Not sure if there's anything else new/worth trying.

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