Blog Master G

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Wine Tasting in the Finger Lakes

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 · 5 Comments


On Saturday Jen, Alexis, and I headed west from Saratoga Springs, while Johnny headed east from Buffalo. We met somewhat in the middle: In the Finger Lakes region of central New York, where we left the rain and fog of Saratoga that day behind and enjoyed a picture-perfect day at Seneca Lake.


We met at Belhurst Castle, overlooking Seneca Lake, posed for a few photos, then got the wine tasting underway. It was our first of seven winery stops of the day.


As the designated driver, my tasting consisted of only a few really tiny sips throughout the day, but from what I sampled – and from what Jen said – the region has come a long way since just a few years ago when we were last there (for the first time): There was more variety and the wines seemed more complex.


Five or so years ago, most of the wines were really sweet and the wineries and their wines seemed less mature somehow. In just a few short years, it really feels a lot more like Napa Valley East, complete with big groups of people going from winery to winery in giant limos. The beautiful views of the lake are a nice differentiator from the California wine tasting experience, too.


We laughed our asses off all day long (and even visited a winery called Pompous Ass), did some photo shoots in a garden, soaked in the sunshine, and enjoyed a picnic with all the delicious cheese, fruit, and snacks we brought along.


We squeezed in three tastings in the final hour-and-a-half, concluding at the fun Arcadian Estate Winery at the south end of Seneca Lake, which doesn’t take itself too seriously and the wine descriptions invoke famous actors and set the mood for how the wine might be enjoyed (“Seal and Nicole Kidman dancing in the vineyard under the stars”), rather than getting caught up in things like “earthy tones” or “a nose of citrus.” They also have a super-friendly dog who wanders around, chocolate to clear the palate after tastings, and beads in exchange for jokes (or perhaps other creative expressions).


For dinner we headed the 30 or so miles back to Geneva and hit the cozy Red Dove Tavern, which features delicious and affordable dishes chock-full of local ingredients. It was the perfect end to an awesome day in New York’s wine country.


The drive home was nuts: As we got within an hour or two of Saratoga, the fog was so thick, I could barely see 20 feet in front of me. More than once I slowed way down on the Thruway and had to turn on the hazard lights. But we made it home safely by midnight or so, exhausted and sated.

View more photos on Flickr.

Tags: anecdotes · photos 2009

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Johnny // Oct 6, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Powering through THREE wineries in the final hour-and-a-half!!! What a blast this trip was! We’re thinking “first of an annual, right”?

  • 2 Blog Master G // Oct 6, 2009 at 9:17 am

    No doubt! And next time we’ll stay over and do the limo thing! 🙂

  • 3 jen a. // Oct 6, 2009 at 9:32 am

    yes! would love to do it all over again next year!!!

  • 4 bro bro // Oct 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    sounds fun, brotha! good luck this weekend… you know ill be pullin for ya!

  • 5 Blog Master G // Oct 8, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Thanks, broseph!