Wineries, Breweries, Distilleries and beautiful scenery in the Finger Lakes

I just got back from visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday and I’m just 1/2 way telling you about my last trip there. So lazy to write sometimes! To recap, here’s a list of my stops from mid-July to mid-September 2021.

  1. SoCal and Idaho trip
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Charleston
  4. Finger Lakes, New York
  5. Portland, Maine
  6. Boston, Mass.
  7. Cape Cod & Returning home to my vineyard!

In this current installment updating you on my summer trip to the U.S., we are in the Finger Lakes, NY. The Finger Lakes lie between Syracuse and Rochester, where I flew in, rented a car and drove to Watkins Glen on the Southern tip of Seneca Lake. I spent five days in the Finger Lakes and I really only stayed around Seneca. There are some well known lakes – Cayuga, Seneca, Canandaigua, Keuka, Oswego amongst others.

I chose the Finger Lakes for a couple of reasons. I was hoping that being a bit north in the U.S. it would have a little less blistering heat. I had also heard some great things about the Finger Lakes area both from friends and in big glossy travel and food magazines. It was also “on the way” to Portland, Maine, where I would meet up with some friends the following week.

For those of you that have never been to the Rhine or Mosel valleys in Germany, the landscape here is just like that. Just throw some German speakers and some better public transport in there, and you have the Moselle. The similarity is not just in the landscape but also the climate making the Finger Lakes ideal for German style Rieslings and Gewurztraminers.

I didn’t know that Watkins Glen was famous for car racing. There was a neat mural in town with an homage to the sport. The entrance to the Watkins Glen State Park was only a few blocks from where I was staying. I had a great tasting at the Hermann J. Wiemer Winery. Something trivial but that I loved was that they gave you popcorn and nuts with your tasting. It was nice to have the salty items with the wine. I normally like to eat something when I drink and salty is #1. I also went to Starkey’s Lookout which was a winery and brewery. Something for fans of both and a nice atmosphere with a great view of the vineyard landscape of the opposite side of the lake. Finger Lakes Distilling whiskey and gin tasting was also a stop for me. Finally, I went to Wagner Vineyards and Wagner Valley Brewing Co. I had beer here, no wine. There’s a great mix of beverages for all tastes along Seneca Lake making it a great group destination. It was a bit difficult to be solo on a wine tasting trip. When I looked at options for taking a tour it just didn’t make sense so I made sure to only do a couple of places per day and make sure I was back in town and not driving soon after lunch. Due to shutdowns around COVID, the escorted tours just didn’t make sense. Also, I find that these canned tours never go where I want to go, so in the end, even though I didn’t get to sample as much as I would’ve liked, I got to go where I wanted to go when I wanted to go. I would definitely love to come back to the Finger Lakes again and hopefully with a companion so we can both enjoy the Lakes to their fullest.

2 replies to “Wineries, Breweries, Distilleries and beautiful scenery in the Finger Lakes

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