Monday, April 27, 2020

Goose Watch Winery: Finger Lakes Winery Visit


Looking for a spectacular lakefront view during your wine tour of the Finger Lakes? Check out Goose Watch Winery on Cayuga Lake.

IMG_20190909_124523Cayuga Lake Beckons

When you next travel to the Finger Lakes, and we hope it is soon, do not skip Cayuga Lake. Since we lived in the Toledo area for many years, we’d travel to New York coming from the west. That means we’d first hit Keuka Lake, then Seneca Lake, and the next major stop is Cayuga.

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In fact, some visitors never make it past the first two. Shame on them! The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail has the distinction of being the first wine trail in the nation. Cayuga is often less crowded than Seneca and offers some of the best wineries in the whole region -- including one of our favorites: Goose Watch Winery.

Goose Watch has one of the most magnificent lakefront views of any winery in this region known for its spectacular scenery. The tasting room, situated in a beautifully restored century-old barn, has a deck that overlooks the sparkling Cayuga Lake. In fact, if you are nautically inclined, there is a boat dock there and you can take a winery tour traveling by boat.

A Taste For The Unusual

Before you shove off, there is plenty to enjoy at Goose Watch. The winery is known for unusual wines so you can enjoy your pick from rare white grape varieties that include Diamond, Aromella, and Melody. Reds include offbeat options such as Noiret, Chambourcin, and, up-and-coming star in the region -- Lemberger.

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It was a warm sunny fall day when we pulled up to the tasting room and COVID-19 had not yet reared its head. Our trusty band of tasters included my wife (Green Dragon) and our good friends Cabernetor and Glorious T.

The arrival experience at Goose Watch is always a great one. It is nestled into one of the only commercial chestnut groves in the region. Flowers and great views put you in a cheerful mood as you walk to the tasting room.

In warmer weather, we like to kick off our tastings with some chilled rosé. Sparkling rosé is even better! First out of the bottle was the 2017 Pinot Noir Brut Rosé. This is a dry bubbly with subtle notes of strawberry and vanilla.

Goose Watch WineryThe next taste was a surprise. You don’t expect to find a Viognier in a Finger Lakes tasting room, it’s extremely rare in this New York region. This is a beautiful expression of the grape. The growing season allows this white grape to ripen slowly and develop a mélange of flavors including tropical fruit and peach. It’s dry with deep delicious flavors.

We enjoyed yet another rosé, this one the 2017 made with Cabernet Franc. This is a more robust rosé with berry flavors. This is food-friendly and loaded with refreshment.

Red Refreshment

Moving to the red side of the spectrum, we had the 2016 Noiret. Noiret is a hybrid grape developed at Cornell University (one of the top wine research schools in the country). The grape was specially developed for the colder climate of the US northeast. The tannins are soft and there is a bit of herbaciousness along with a smokiness and dark cherry.

Chambourcin is a red grape that makes outstanding wines in the Finger Lakes. The Goose Watch 2015 Chambourcin has flowing raspberry flavors with a pleasant tartness. The 2012 Merlot Reserve is made with the best barrels of the vintage and in our judgment was good, but not great. At $30 SRP, it is one of the higher-priced bottles while most wines are less than $20.

We closed out with a grape we’d never tried and, in fact, never heard of before: Aromella. Aromella is one of the newest grapes from Cornell, being released in 2013. One of its forbearers is Traminette. Goose Watch’s wine is the first single-varietal bottling of Aromella.

The 2016 Aromella is semi-dry and has a pop of sweetness on the palate. The bouquet is floral and there are flavors of pineapple and citrus. This unique wine is only $12.99.

We prefer dry wines, but Goose Watch has a wine for every taste whether its dry, semi-dry or very sweet. There’s sparkling wine, still wine, dessert wine, and even cider. The tasting room experience is grand. Then we suggest a stroll out to the deck to enjoy the view with a glass of wine.

Goose Watch is the complete winery experience -- memorable scenery, quality wines, and friendly staff. Put them on your list to visit during your next Finger Lakes swing.

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