Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seneca Lake Wineries - Part 1

So this past Monday and Tuesday my mom, dad, and I went to Seneca Lake in NY. It's one of the finger lakes, and is surrounded by wineries. Sur. round. ed. I decided to make this into two posts since we went for two days, and I took lots of pictures.

We hit 13 wineries and a brewery the first day, and 11 wineries and a brewery the second day. We came back with 27 full bottles of wine, 4 mini bottles of wine, and a mini bottle of champagne. That's right. You're jealous.

The first day, we left our house around 8:30AM. The GPS took us on some weird back ways, but we were in NY and at the first winery around 11:30AM. The first one we stopped at was Heron Hill Winery. They had an amazing Chardonnay - I think the best that I tasted the whole trip. I didn't get any pictures here since it wasn't very impressive, and they didn't have a view of the lake. We continued on to Hermann J. Weimer Winery. Here, I tasted my first Gewurztraminer. (Pronounced guh-vertz-truh-meen-er.) It. was. awesome. I tasted many throughout the trip, and none were anything like this one. You know when someone says a wine has "floral" qualities? Well, this one seriously did. It was like drinking roses. No joke. It was $24 a bottle, though, so I will have to go back after I hit the lottery.

Ashley Lynn Winery was next. It was kind of hick-ish. You tasted out of a disposable shot glass, and they only had fruit wines (apple, blueberry, cherry, etc.). They were very good, but I don't like too-sweet wine. They had a nice little gift shop, too. We got a few bottles there. I got an Apple-Cherry wine that was pretty magnificent. Fruit Yard Winery was down the street, and also had a lot of wines made from fruits other than grapes. I got an awesome Pear Wine there.

Up until this point, I hadn't taken any pictures because none of them were especially impressive buildings, and didn't have views of Seneca Lake. When we got to Glenora Winery, though, it was gorgeous.

Plus, they had these huge wine barrels all over, and this awesome wine bottle tree. I could totally make one of those. Guess what everyone's getting for Christmas. :-P Since we hadn't eaten all day and Mom and I were basically tipsy, we had lunch here. I had a Cuban Pork Sandwich. It may be the best thing I've ever eaten. It was huge, and smoky and sweet and a little spicy, served with homemade potato chips.... I would totally drive the three hours back up there just for that sandwich. We also got a tour of the winery here that lasted, like an hour. It was cool, but halfway through I was ready to be done.

After Glenora, we backtracked some and started back up to the top of the lake, since our hotel was in that direction. Our next stop was Miles Wine Cellar. This one also had a brewery. The building (which I'm very mad I didn't take a picture of for some reason) was this old plantation-looking mansion. They claim to be haunted, and say that the ghosts like sitting on the porch. I tasted a few great wines, two beers, and a wine slushie here. That's right. A wine slushy. Mmmmmmm. Miles also had a dock, and you can go right down to the lake.

We left Miles and hit Torrey Ridge Winery and the Earle Estates Meadery. I think I should have gotten some kind of amazing discount at Torrey Ridge. How many Torreys do they get? Come on.

Connected to Torrey Ridge is the Earle Estates Meadery. They make honey mead, and had an active beehive right in the tasting room.

After Torrey Ridge, we hit Seneca Shore Wine Cellars, Fox Run Vineyard, and Billsboro Winery. We tasted at some of these. Seneca Shores was a cool medieval-themed winery. None of these really stood out, though, and I didn't take pictures. We then went to White Springs Winery. I didn't take pictures here, but they had some awesome Sangria wines. Dad got a wine bottle accent light here, that I think he was nuts to pay $20 for. I've decided I'm going to learn how to make them. Some people may actually get these for Christmas if I buy the glass-cutting drill bits.

Our last stop for the day was Belhurst Castle Winery. I didn't actually taste here, because nothing really struck my fancy, and they were pretty high-end and pricey. I would love to stay in the castle some day (honeymoon??).

After we hit all the wineries for the day, we checked into our hotel in Geneva, NY - just a few minutes from the lake. It was decent (a Days Inn), and clean. They had a complimentary gym (that I didn't use) and continental breakfast. That night, we went to the Waterloo Outlets. It's this huge 100-store outlet mall in the middle of nowhere. I just got some gym shorts and a workout shirt because I had forgotten to pack pajamas.... The outlets closed at 9, and we headed back to the hotel. I didn't realize there was a 24-hour Coldstone right down the road, or we would have stopped there. :-P We went to bed early since it had been a very long day of getting drunk, and everyone was exhausted.

I'll post day two soon. This post was long enough, and the second day was just as eventful!

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