FINGER LAKES TRAVEL REPORT – We arrived in the Finger Lakes area (Hammondsport) about 3 o’clock and immediately headed for Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Cellar. After our ride of more than six hours it was great to see Keuka Lake from Dr. Frank’s wonderful deck. Another nice feature is that the tasting is completely free.
We tasted 15 different wines. For me, the class of the tasting was the 2007 Dry Riesling. With a crisp acidity and great balance, this wine rocks. Other members of the crew had different favorites. Green Dragon favored the 2008 Cold Brook White – a beautiful white blend with a pleasing price tag of only $8.99. Glorious T selected the tasty Gewürztraminer with the peppery finish. Spiderman selected the Rkatsiteli –this is an unusual grape and this is one of the few wineries that makes wine with it. Also notable is the Lemberger (very rare) and Celebre Rose Champagne. This won out over the much awarded Chateau Frank Blanc de Noirs in our mind.
With the help of our GPS navigator Jan, we were off to Heron Hill. Heron Hill has one of the most beautiful wineries and tasting rooms in the Finger Lakes. With an expansive view from a hilltop, you can look out from the tasting room and view Lake Keuka and see the vines from which the wine you are sipping came.
Audrey was our server and provided some nice background on the winery and the wines. The tasting room is fashioned to look like the inside of a wine barrel and is filled with attractive wine displays. It was awarded the most scenic tasting room by Travel + Leisure magazine. The easy drinking wine is titled Eclipse and both a red and white version are offered. These wines are nice but simple. The bottles do look excellent, scattered with stars.
Our favorite was the Reserve Old Vines Riesling 2007 with citrus aromas and a mineral finish. This is a European style Riesling with grapes from three different local vineyards. Their Semi-Dry Riesling 2007 is perhaps Heron Hill’s most awarded wine and offers a sweeter taste, but a great harmony of flavors.
On the red side the Reserve Pinot Noir ‘07 is a smooth, pleasant glass with delicate nuances and a deep color. This was our winner, even over the Reserve Blaufrankisch, which it turns out is a Lemberger. Glorious T gave this one the highest marks.
Heron Hill is a must-see for the Finger Lakes wine traveler.