Thursday, August 19, 2010

Finger Lakes Report: A New Favorite Found

Bookmark and Share    Our tasting team members Stephanie and Pat Wise have been on the road again -- this time to one of their favorite wine destinations, the Finger Lakes.

The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York holds special memories for us. When we began dating in 1998, Patrick took me there on our way to Boston. We returned the following years until we had our daughter in 2004. We were even engaged there at our favorite bed and breakfast, the 1918 Red Brick Inn, in 2001.

Now that our daughter is older and able to keep herself occupied on long car trips, we decided that for our anniversary this year we would return to our Shangri-la to check out our favorites places and discover new ones. When we were last there in 2001, the Seneca Lake Wine trail brochure listed the wineries A through V.

Now, the brochure extends the list to II. The other lakes have also expanded their trails to include new wineries, all capitalizing on the region’s ability to grow some of the country’s best grapes, and thus the best wines.

Our favorites stand the test of time:

Lakewood Vineyards has a great buttery chardonnay and a red we discovered called Crystallus, which is a great blend of 61% Lemberger, 13% Pinot Noir, 13% Cabernet Franc & 13% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Prejean still offers the best dry Riesling in the region along with a red called Marechal Foch.

Dr. Konstantin Frank brought wine making to the region in 1962, and his winery has some of the best wine with their Cabernet Franc, Dry Riesling, Chardonnay, Meritage, and their specialty, Rkatsiteli, which is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world.

Our new discovery was a winery that Dave and Kathy visited last summer and raved about their wine selection. Ravines Wine Cellar in Hammondsport opened in 2003 and is owned by the former chief winemaker of Dr. Konstantin Frank’s winery. There is nothing on the tasting list that we didn’t like. We even joined their wine club so that we can enjoy the wines all year around.

Other favorites include Castel Grisch, Heron Hill, Fulkerson’s, Glenora, Chateau Lafayette Reneau, and many more!

We can’t say enough about the region. It’s a quick 6-hour trip which is just right for a long weekend out of town. Visit some of the following websites to plan your wine getaway. Enjoy!
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