I went wine tasting in the Finger Lakes not too long ago and was refreshed to see how different it was from the tourist packed streets in Napa. The big differences were just how casual it all was. No appointments necessary, tastings were either free or a dollar or two (vs 20 and up in Napa). I also managed to try about 10 new varietals; things like: Cayuga White, Valvin Muscat, Diamond, Isabella, Pinella etc.
Its an interesting region. New York is the 3rd largest wine producing state, so its hardly a cottage industry, and its most known for cheaper sweet table wines, but many of the winemakers are moving away from this and are producing much drier earthier wines with a better sense of terroir.
Atwater, Bloomer Creek and some of the other smaller wineries that made dry wines often in a burgundian or loire style.
I'd like to get out to the North Fork of Long Island again and try some more wineries out there.
What else is within driving distance of New York?
Finger Lakes Trip Report
- Reply by John Andrews, Mar 18, 2008.
Being a Toronto Native (Canada, eh!), I am very familiar with a cool weather wine region. There are some regions that are 'close' to NYC but I wouldn't exactly say driving distance ... the two closet would be Prince Edward County and the Niagara region.
I would agree with Philip that there is a movement away from just sweet wines in these cool weather areas. I would say that there are some outstanding wines coming out of these regions.
If you make it up to the Niagara area I would check out:
- Thirty Bench
- Fielding Estate
Of course the bigger winery in the area is:
- Inniskillin - which produces wines from the Oakanagan Valley in British Columbia
- Jackson Triggs - again a multi-region Canadian producer
If you are going to visit one of those I'd go with Inniskillin.
- Reply by Chris Carpita, Mar 28, 2008.
There are some really great wineries along Seneca lake, I'm glad you got to experience central New York. Before I went to school in Ithaca, I went on a wine tour (I was 18) and got pretty wasted. Fortunately, I wasn't driving, which is the big disadvantage of the region: you need a car.
Supposedly there are several wineries around Montauk. Have either of you gents experienced?