If you are from Upstate New York (some people are surprised to find out there is a WHOLE GIANT STATE outside of New York City. 🙄) you are familiar with The Finger Lakes and the Finger Lakes Wine Trails-including the Seneca Lake Trail. Before I get into good stuff about the wine, it seems like I need to share a few facts about the Finger Lakes and it’s largest lakes:
1. 11 lakes make up The Finger Lakes
2. Skaneateles Lake is a trendy little town where famous people and former presidents have been known to visit. (At least that is what the Finger Lakes website tells me. I cannot vouch for ever having seen even the back of someone’s head)
3. Cayuga Lake is not only home to tons of amazing wineries, but is also the home of Cornell University and Ithaca College (so if you have kids who want to tour either of these colleges, be sure to hit the wine trail to try and erase the dollar signs from your vision 🤑🤑)
4. Seneca Lake is the largest lake and has the largest amount of wineries in the area. Not only is Seneca known for it’s amazing wine trail, but Watkins Glen and the Watkins Glen International Race track sit at the southern end of the lake.
The activities are endless in The Finger Lakes region. Boating, camping, fishing, summer home/cottages..the list is endless!
Ok. On to the fun stuff…the wine trails! 🍷🍷
I will confess, it has been a handful of years since I have been wine trailing. 😟 However, I can tell you that as a result of my many years spent happily on those trails, I went from someone who hated wine, to someone who needed the sweetest you could get to now preferring a glass a bit on the dryer side. I tell everyone who says “I can’t drink wine. I don’t like it” that they must hit the wineries and discover what they like-because there is one out there for everyone.
Heather, how does the wine trail work? I’m guessing you’re wondering this and here is the answer:
Anyway you want it to.
Seriously. You can hire a limo to take you and your 8, 10, 12 closest friends to drive you from winery to winery so you can sample all the grape goodness (then stay in a hotel in Watkins Glen maybe?! No drinking and driving 😠) You can also drive from winery to winery (do I need to tell you (in clearer terms) to please drink responsibly and have a DD??). Many places have outdoor seating or decks so you can admire the stunning view after you’re done tasting. Maybe pick up some cheese or snacks and just…sit and stare.
Some wineries might charge you a nominal few dollar fee to sample, and some do not. You basically stand around the counter while a super knowledgeable wine person explains the grapes used to make the various wines, what to pair the wines with, etc. You will very quickly learn what you like and what you do not. You will also discover that a Reisling from Hazlit can taste different than a Reisling from Red Newt. That having been said, I feel like you can never go wrong with a Reisling ☺️ (just my 2 cents) I learned that no matter where I am, I can order a glass of Reisling and be happy!
If you have someone who insists they only drink beer, never fear! I’ve got you covered. 😬 There is also a Beer Trail!
I could fill this entire post with nothing but amazing images from the area, but I’ll stop myself. It really is an area you should experience for yourself. It doesn’t matter if it is winter (the wineries look so beautiful decorated for Christmas ❤️), spring, summer or fall. There is never a bad time to visit!
Here are a few sites to get you started:
p.s. All of these images belong to someone else originally, but who knows who.