Finger Lakes AVA is located 5 hours north, away from New York. If you ever want to experience a top-notch winery visit, definitely consider visiting them up. I have been there a couple of times, and I wish to stay longer. Therefore, it will take me a few trips back and forth to discover all the Wineries in the Finger Lakes AVA. However, I have some of the tips and tricks for your next Finger Lakes Wine Trip that will make an extraordinary experience when visiting this wonderful New York Wine Region. Tips and Tricks for your next Finger Lakes Wine Trip article is one of my evergreen posts, which means that I will keep you updated with the new visits that I do to the Finger Lakes AVA. So bookmark this post as it grows with new wineries and wines to discover.
What wines to try in Finger Lakes?
According to amateurgastronomer.com, Riesling is the undisputed signature white wine grape of the Finger Lakes. But as for this region’s signature red wine grape in upstate New York, should it be Cabernet Franc or Lemberger? The answer isn’t is clear. My tip and trick for your next Finger Lakes wine trip: try both, and you decide. Try their reds, try their whites. Plan ahead of time. Visit as many wineries as possible in within the two sub-regions of this unique viticultural area.
How to get to Finger Lakes AVA?
Driving! Yes, if you live in New York City, my advice will get a car to drive up there. Then to move from the Wineries to the Hotel and Restaurants you will need the vehicle. Finger Lakes AVA is the countryside, so do not think that a bus will promptly take you from side to side as they do or try to do in New York City. If you are coming from other states and are used to the countryside, you got this! Get your map going. Assign a Designated Driver by day so you can all visit and enjoy the wineries safely.
Finger Lakes AVA
Finger Lakes AVA encompasses different wine trails that have grown throughout the centuries. It has been an American Viticultural Area since 1982. Since then has grown around eleven glacial lakes thoroughly. According to Wikipedia, the area around Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lakes contains most vineyard plantings in the AVA, often referred to as “finger lakes” because of their “finger” form. Hence, around these bountiful and beautiful finger-long-shaped lakes is where the magic has happened. As a result, the vineyards have grown the best Riesling of America.
There are two sub-regions in Finger Lakes: Seneca Lake AVA and Cayuga Lake AVA. There are more than 30 wineries in each sub-region. For this reason, you need time and good planning when visiting. The first time I saw it was in 2018. I just had time to visit the Seneca Lake AVA wine trail and not even visit all their wineries. After that, I am only sharing a few limited recommendations of the ones I saw. However, keep reading and scrolling down since I am leaving you on this post, some links to excellent articles of experts in the area containing all the information you need if you ever want to visit Finger Lakes AVA.
Seneca Lake AVA Wine Trail
We visited Seneca Lake in January 2018, and since I still hold to duplicates of bottles that I brought from there. Home of the most fantastic Riesling made in America, you have to try the New York varietal expression that holds on to the cool climate and bring up their best acidity in the grape far from those sweet Riesling you thought. Of course, they are growing Riesling in this area, but Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Gewurtztraminer are also thriving there. Read below a summary of three wineries you have to visit.
What a beautiful winery! They have a vast and fantastic tasting room. It can host more than 20 tables, making it perfect for celebrating a significant wedding here. They have a beautiful terrace with a fantastic view of their vineyards. They have small cheese plates and fresh oven-baked pizza that pairs perfectly with their bold reds. So grab a bite, take the tasting outside and enjoy the view.
Hermann J. Weinner
The best American Riesling that I have ever had. The tasting room is cozy and modern; the service is stunning. You will have a one on one experience. They will pour to you excellent Rieslings from different vintages and different vineyards within the same producer. They will explain their terroir, and you will fall in love with their reds as well. Their vineyards are not easily accessible like those on other wineries, but you can still walk through them.
A family-owned winery in Finger Lakes AVA produces an outstanding Lemberger and Cabernet Franc on top of their Rieslings. I loved their Cabernet Franc. Three generations have perfected their Riesling, but they are also doing a remarkable job with the Lemberger. They have a cozy tasting room on the patio at the vineyard level. My tip and insider trick will be to wine taste at the deck, sip, and enjoy the view. You will feel inspired as you can oversee Seneca Lake.
- Where to stay in Finger Lakes? Read all the tips from a New York native: Grapechic. The first time I visited, I followed her advice thoroughly and stayed at one of the hotels she recommended.
- Need more recommendations on vineyards to visit if you love red wine? please read this article from the experts on wine travel: winetraveler.com
- Want to know more about the unique Finger Lakes terroir? Check this post from Wine review online: The Earthly Story of the Finger Lakes: A Unique American Terroir
- Read this masterpiece written by Adrian for winetraveler.com in regards to the comparison of Old World wines to Finger Lakes Wines.
Read more about tricks and tips about traveling into vineyards here
Traveling during Covid Post-Quarantine to a Winery? Read the advice here.