Time to set out and explore the stunning yet charming Finger Lakes Wine Country! Which excursion will you venture out on? The best part is – you won’t know until you hop on a bus and head out. No matter where you end up, you’ll have the opportunity to meet local winery owners and winemakers, wander through vineyards, learn from local experts, indulge in local Finger Lakes-focused fare and of course, taste amazing wine. Excursions will also include winemaking styles from each of the three main lakes, overviews of the terroir, private library tastings, and multi-vintage verticals.
So rev up your sense of adventure and hop on a bus!
Reds & Ryes: Innovative Winemaking & Distilling on Seneca Lake
The excursion will start with craft cocktails and a tour at award-winning Finger Lakes Distilling. The events will then move next door to Damiani Wine Cellars, where winemakers will showcase their reds, discussing the difficulties, challenges, and opportunities with producing red wines in our region, which is known for producing white wines. Other participating wineries include Ventosa Vineyards, Hector Wine Company, Standing Stone Vineyards. Dinner will be provided by Stonecat Café.
The Ageability of Finger Lakes Wines
Bloggers will take a step back in history with the oldest wineries from each of the three main Finger Lakes: Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars (Keuka Lake), Glenora Wine Cellars (Seneca Lake), and Lucas Vineyards (Cayuga Lake). Each winemaker will share wines from their private library, as well as the history of the wineries. Dinner will be provided by the Village Tavern of Hammondsport, NY, recognized with an Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator.
This excursion will feature micro producers in the Finger Lakes, who will discuss some of their unique experiences as compared to larger wineries, as well as the differences in varieties grown across a range of terroirs in the region. Dinner will be served family-style with only locally sourced products. Participating wineries include Element Winery, Bellwether Winery, Barry Family Cellars, N. Kendall Wines, and Wild Brute Winery.
Hands-on Finger Lakes Food & Wine Experience
Bloggers will get an exclusive opportunity to disgorge and dosage their own bottle of sparkling wine to take home. A wine & tapas dinner will be held at Veraisons Restaurant and feature four leading Finger Lakes Winery chefs. Participating wineries include Glenora Wine Cellars, Knapp Winery, Chateau LaFayette Reneau, and Zugibe Vineyards.
Senses of Place
Winemakers will discuss similarities and differences in soils, traits, and wine-making styles of several vineyards in the region, while educating on the ideal grape growing climate and geology of the Finger Lakes. A barrel discussion and sampling cocktail hour will be held at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards’ outdoor hangout, The Oasis, and dinner will be served by Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca. Participating wineries include Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Heart & Hands Wine Company, Keuka Spring Vineyards, and Sheldrake Point Winery. There will also be beer from Upstate Brewing and Cider from Eve’s Cidery.
Keuka Lake Wine Trail Experience
In conjunction with their 30th Anniversary, this excursion will provide an intriguing sneak peek into the Trail’s history, family stories, accolades, and unique experiences. Dinner will be served at the Manor House with stunning views of Keuka, and local celebrity chef Brud Holland will prepare locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients from nearby farms and producers, enforcing the idea “what grows together, goes together.” All eight Keuka Lake Wine Trail members will participate: Barrington Cellars, Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars, Heron Hill Winery, Hunt Country Vineyards, Keuka Spring Vineyards, McGregor Vineyard, Ravines Wine Cellars, and Vineyard View Winery.
Vertical in the Vineyard: Featuring 4 Family-Owned Wineries
Family-owned and operated wineries are the focus, and attendees will be split up into smaller groups to taste with wineries stationed throughout Lakewood’s Vineyards. Everyone will join in a family-style dinner in the vineyards with several generations of Finger Lakes winemaking families to get a taste of the intimate local flavor of the Finger Lakes. Participating wineries include Lakewood Vineyards, Prejean Winery, Bellangelo Winery, and Keuka Spring Vineyards.
Keuka Lake: 100+ Years of Fabulous Finger Lakes Wine
For more than a century, winemakers around Keuka Lake have been leading the way when it comes crafting award-winning wines. This excursion will take bloggers to legendary Chateau Frank, as well as the original Taylor Winery complex, now also home to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. Dinner will be served in the historic, brick-vaulted rooms beneath the legendary facility, which was designated as Bonded Winery No.1 in State and Federal districts on March 15, 1860. Participating wineries include Heron Hill Winery, Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars, Pleasant Valley Wine Company, and Ravines Wine Cellars.
Estate-Established FLX Vineyards
The excursion begins above Seneca Lake in Wagner’s Caywood East Vineyard for vineyard demonstrations with vineyardists, Tunker Hosmer, Mark Wagner, Tom Macinski, and John Wagner. The micro-climate of the Banana Belt and the unique topography will help bloggers better understand why the Finger Lakes is an ideal region for growing vinifera grapes. Dinner will comprise of homemade cuisine prepared with all locally-sourced ingredients, including produce from the winemakers’ personal gardens. Participating wineries include Wagner Vineyards, Hosmer Winery, Standing Stone Vineyards, and Lamoreaux Landing.
Watkins Glen: Water, Wine, and Wonder
Bloggers will visit Watkins Glen State Park, voted #3 Best State Park in the U.S., where they will explore the breathtaking waterfalls and gorges to learn about the geology and the history of the area that are essential to the Finger Lakes’ unique terroir. At Chateau LaFayette Reneau, bloggers will get the chance to meet with winery owners and representatives. Dinner begins with a locally-sourced farmers board, followed by four courses with a strong focus on a farm-to-table theme. Participating wineries include Chateau LaFayette Reneau, Fulkerson Winery, Atwater Vineyards, and Red Newt Cellars.