If you’re looking for a break from your day-to-day routine; maybe a little getaway not too far from home, consider the Finger Lakes wine country. Whether you make it a trip with just a couple of friends, or a wine tour with a larger group, the west side of Seneca Lake is packed with wineries waiting for your visit. Most are open from 10am until 5pm daily, and welcome you with smiling faces and uncorked bottles.
My wife and I recently took Rte.14 south out of Geneva on a Saturday afternoon and worked our way through some spectacular wineries along the way. Our first stop was at Fox Run Vineyards. After sampling several of their wines we took advantage of their small bistro/deli and grabbed a bite to eat. Their Arctic Fox white wine was fantastic, as was their turkey panini sandwich. Just a bit further down the road was Torrey Ridge. This is always one of my favorite stops because of its delicious Niagara wine. It is just like a green grape bursting in your mouth! Torrey Ridge is introducing two new wines with a fun flare and great taste. They are Redneck White and Redneck Red. Both pack a fruity, grapey taste; perfect for that small get together or kicking back on a weekend.
The amazing thing about the folks along Rte. 14 is how they support one another. Throughout many of our conversations with the proprietors I’m always astounded by the way they suggest that we try stopping by a “competitor’s” winery. You don’t see that happen in many sectors of business. Another stop on our Sunday was exactly one of those suggestions. How the Seneca Shores Winery ever eluded my wine-radar, I’m not sure; but boy am I glad I found it. Rachel and I were blown away by the fantastic taste of several of their wines, along with the knowledge of how each was prepared.
Anthony Road Winery was another stop we made. Tony’s White (formerly named Poulet Rouge) is a great table wine, with a very nice taste and body. The Thirsty Owl is a fun winery. Home of the great tasting- Liquid Wisdom. It is a white wine with a fun, grapey flavor. I think it is a perfect wine for a summer night sunset or lounging by the pool. Another winery that we hadn’t visited before was Miles Winery. Housed in a majestic, haunted mansion, perched overlooking Seneca Lake, Miles Winery was a neat place to visit for some wine sampling.
At many of the locations we visited we were told over and over again that we should absolutely stop at the Lakewood Winery. Many of the people that we had conversations with grew to know that we preferred a semi-sweet wine, and maybe an occasional Riesling. They emphasized how good Lakewood was. And when we arrived, we were not disappointed. Their Niagara was fantastic!
Our last stop, and final destination, was Glenora. Their winery is one of the most spacious, and offers an enormous selection of great-tasting wines. After a sampling of their Cayuga White, our favorite; Rachel and I checked in at The Inn at Glenora. Upon check-in guests are served a glass of sparkling champagne… Nice touch! When we got to our room we found the mini-fridge stocked with bottles of water and a bottle of wine. Another nice amenity. Our accommodations had plenty of room, with a sitting area, work station, and comfortable bed. The bathroom was very nice and clean. Perhaps the nicest part of any of the rooms at Glenora is their view. Every room at The Inn at Glenora comes with a lake-view of Seneca Lake. The rooms on the 1st floor have patios, while our room on the 2nd floor had a balcony. Though the balconies aren’t huge (probably somewhere around (8’ x 5’), they offer up spectacular views and two comfortable chairs to relax in.
For dinner we made our way to Veraisons, Glenora’s incredible restaurant. I would have to say that in my travels, Veraisons setting and atmosphere is one of the finest. Overlooking the grape vines and Seneca Lake, the restaurant has a warm, rustic setting. Though the room is quite large (able to be divided for private gatherings), you never feel lost in its size. Its cathedral ceiling and exposed beams add a sense of warmth and comfort. Make sure you bring your camera the first time you visit, so you can get a few pictures of the enormous and fabulous stone fireplace at Veraisons; it is breath-taking! My “Trio of Pulled Pork” appetizer was fabulous. Served on mini Johnny cakes with apple chutney- wow! For dinner the chef prepared “Coq Au Vin Rouge” for me. Now typically if I can’t read it, or understand it, I’m not going to eat it, but boy am I glad I did. The braised chicken in red wine, dressed with bacon lardoons was amazing. Perfectly prepared and packing a tremendous taste. And on weekends, Veraisons is known throughout the Finger Lakes region for having one of the finest weekend brunches around.
The nice thing about The Inn at Glenora is that they have several packages that guests can choose from. Whether it is including a sailing adventure to your stay or a complete dinner and breakfast for two, Glenora will accommodate your desires. Located at the southern end of State Route 14, just north of Watkins Glen in Dundee, Glenora is the perfect getaway destination any time of year. Don’t think that wine touring is an autumn thing. It can be a wonderful experience throughout the year.
For more information or to make reservations at The Inn at Glenora, call 1-800-243-5513 or visit their website at www.glenora.com .