We were guests of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. All meals and accommodations on the trip were provided gratis by the merchants. These views are purely our own based on the experience and we never guaranteed (nor will we ever guarantee) positive press or reviews, only opportunity…

I’m a New Yorker. I’ve lived in the region most of my life, yet somehow I only recently heard rumblings that “there’s this place upstate that’s an absolute blast to visit and happens to be producing incredible, award winning wines”. The Finger Lakes and Seneca Lake have been a favorite hidden treasure for many, going on decades now, but the notion of experiencing wine country without leaving New York was new to me. Needless to say, I was extremely excited to be invited “into the know”, when the region got in touch to come check it out! I’m so glad I did…

View from the deck at Wagner VIneyards...

View from the deck at Wagner VIneyards…

The production room at Anthony Road Vineyards...

The production room at Anthony Road Vineyards…

Getting There Was Easier Than Expected…

New York City to Finger lakes in under 5 hours. Done. NO truly, I did it. You can also fly, with direct flights from Newark into nearby Ithaca. With two viable options, one which you can even do for free using miles (flying), getting there is no biggie. Once there, the area is serviced by the brilliant Main Street Drivers, which are a group of chauffeurs who drive your car to lower the cost of actually being able to “taste” the wines and get around. It’s really fun.

Freshly bottled Brut at Ravines...

Freshly bottled Brut at Ravines…

The extensively delicious Riesling samplings of Boundary Breaks Vineyards...

The extensively delicious Riesling samplings of Boundary Breaks Vineyards…

The Area Is Genuinely Gorgeous…

We arrived in the bountiful finger lakes to find snow on the ground, which made for a scene out of a cool Scandinavian flick. The beauty of winter lies not only in the serene lakeside setting, but also the access to the wine makers, who are bombarded with tourists during the summer. I must admit, everyone did say it’s impossible to beat the autumn colors along the lake in fall, tourists or not, so I’ll be back…

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The “laboratory” at Fox Run Vineyards, exploring residual sugar in Port…

Comparing new logos to old logos at Anthony Road Vineyards with John Martini.

Comparing new logos to old logos at Anthony Road Vineyards with John Martini.

The Wine Is Simply Inspired…

My job is not always enviable, but sometimes it’s just the best. We were able to schedule appointments at each vineyard, talking first hand with winemakers about the passion, labor, quality, history and love that goes into each wine. The Finger Lakes, particularly Seneca Lake where we set up camp, were once laughed out of wine tastings, but now they win them. Their Rieslings, the most famous varietal of the region can be found in just about every fine dining establishment in the country, with good reason. We fell in love with their Pinot Noir and most surprisingly their Brut as well. Lots of former French master vintners have spread their wisdom through the lakes and it shows…

Can’t Miss Vineyards: Anthony Road (really interesting Riesling), Ravines (personal favorite, Amazing Pinot Noir, Riesling and Brut), Fox Run (amazing Port and Riesling), Glenora (fabulous Brut), Boundary Breaks (top notch Riesling and ice wine), Standing Stone (incredible Saperavi and Vidal), JR Dill (great Riesling), Wagner (neat Meritage blend, amazing beer)

Amazing cafe spread at Ravines Vineyards. Perfect spot.

Amazing cafe spread at Ravines Vineyards. Perfect spot.

The gorgeous, original barn at Ravines.

The gorgeous, original barn at Ravines.

The Food Is As Farm To Table As It Gets…

We had a particularly incredible meal in the quaint cafe of Ravines, a top vineyard and wine producer in the region. This was no “cafe” though. The chef was classically trained and spoke with true passion about his food. After all, most of the ingredients were grown down the road so care was necessary to bring out their full, fresh potential. The area has a large Mennonite population, which means incredible crops sold locally all throughout the year. For anyone who LOVES food (and wine), tasting estate grown wines with food grown mere feet down the road is an experience to savor forever. It doesn’t stop there. FLX Table, a new addition to the area, just won best new restaurant in America from USA Today, if that’s any indication…

Sunset on the deck of Wagner Vineyards...

Sunset on the deck of Wagner Vineyards…

There Are Amazing Places To Stay…

We were guests of the Inn At Glenora, another top vineyard with a cozy lodge overlooking the lake and some of their many vines. Needless to say it looked picturesque every morning as the blue lake contrasted the white snow, with the sunset providing the perfect Instagram addition. Aside from the Inn there seem to be lakeside cottages, villas and boutique hotels throughout the area, catering perfectly to solo getaways, romantic couples, families, multiple families and so forth. There is indeed Airbnb. I just can’t imagine how pretty it is in fall during crush!…

Have you been to the Finger Lakes or Seneca Lake Wine Trail? Are you going NOW?