Saturday, August 27, 2011

Seneca Lake Wineries - Part 2

*click on a pic to enlarge

So my last post was day one of my family trip to the wineries around Seneca Lake in NY. Day two started with a continental breakfast at the hotel. It wasn't anything fancy, but I had a pretty darn good bagel, and there were doughnuts, cereal, oatmeal, bananas, and coffee and juice. After breakfast, we checked out and went to a little park with a path around the lake. It was GORGEOUS, and I took about a million pictures.

It's my mom's favorite place in the world! We walked around for probably an hour, and made some seagull friends. We then embarked on the the journey down the other side of the lake, to 11 more wineries and a brewery.

Our first stop was Ventosa Winery. They were kind of big and overwhelming. We didn't taste there, just looked around the shop. We then hit the Three Brothers Wineries. This was by. far. my favorite. There were three wineries and a brewery, all together. Each winery had very different wines and atmospheres. The first, Stoney Lonesome Estates was kind of sophisticated and had dryer wines. They had a Gewurtz that I liked, but not even close to that $24 bottle the first day. The second winery at Three Brothers was Bagg Dare Wine Co. You had to go through a little path in the woods, with this at the entrance:

It's Louisiana bayou-themed. "Bagg Dare" is Louisiana-speak for "Back There". They had sweet wines with fun names like "Skirt Lifter", "Well Hung", and "69 Ways to Have Fun". Their mascot is a skeleton. I want to go back right now. Maybe they're hiring??

The last winery in the group was Passion Feet. Mom and I decided that if the three wineries represent the three brothers, this one is gay. It had wines with names like "Seduce Me", "90 Seconds of Heaven", and "Heart Pounding Crush". Connected to Passion Feet was the brewery - War Horse Brewing Co. They had some great beers - my favorite being the American Black Lager. It tasted like coffee. Hardcore. They also had the best root beer I've ever tasted. Ever.

So yeah, Three Brothers was by far my favorite thing ever. They had a "passport" you can get for $8 that lets you taste 5 wines at each winery, and all the beers and root beer at the brewery. It was fan. tastic.

After Three Brothers, we hit up Zugibe Vineyards. They were good. I got a Gewurztraminer there. It was floral and fruity, and as good as the $24 bottle, if not better. Wagner Vineyards was next, and they had a pretty awesome gift shop, but no really amazing wines. We were going to eat lunch at their restaurant, but they didn't really have anything Dad could eat, and the deck facing the lake was pretty much full, and who wants to eat inside with that view?!

Next up was Caywood Vineyards. They had free tastings, and the guy just went to town. I tried several "meh" wines, and a Madeira that'll put hair on your chest. Then. Then we tried their chocolate wine. Just by itself, it was amazingly delicious. But when he mixed it with the strawberry wine? It was a downright religious experience. For. real. I also got to try some champagnes which were awesome and bubbly.

After Caywood, we hit up Standing Stone Vineyards, and Penguin Bay Winery. I tasted at both, but nothing really reached out and grabbed me. Hazlitt was next. I'd had some of their wine before, that Mom and Dad brought home from their last trip. I got a "Bramble Berry" wine there. They also had a great gift shop. Our last stop was Red Newt Winery. They had some fantastic wines, and the people giving the tastings were super fun and friendly. I got a nifty hat here, and a bottle of Blue Newt wine.

By this time, it's after 4PM, and we realize we never ate lunch. Mom and I had been tasting wine and beer all day, and all we'd eaten was a bagel at 9AM. Yeah, we were petty much drunk. We decided that we should find some food, so we headed down to Watkins Glen at the bottom of the lake. (You should know that my Dad was driving, and had not been drinking. :-P) We first tried to eat at the marina, but they were between lunch and supper. After some debate/argument/walking, we got back in the car and went to Montage Italian Restaurant. It was pretty much super expensive, but deeeeelicious, and Dad actually managed to get half of his ravioli down. Oh, and the view from our table....

So it was an EXCELLENT two days, and an unforgettable experience. I'm glad we got to go before my dad starts all his surgeries and treatments. We're also now fully stocked up on wine. I have 27 bottles, and my parents have something like 50 bottles. Should get us through the winter. :-P

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