Referred to as Finger Lakes Wine Country, the region boasts over 100 diverse wineries (from small, micro-wineries to bigger, farm wineries) that offer something for everyone on a wine tour – a popular Finger Lakes visitor activity! Renowned for its production of world-class Rieslings, Finger Lakes wine consistently wins top honors from international competitions — especially for the white-grape variety. The Finger Lakes region also boasts micro-breweries, a distillery, meadery, and cidery options sure to please everyone’s preference. In addition to tasting rooms, many wineries and beverage producers also offer behind the scenes tours, gift shops, and have restaurants or special event booking spaces available (perfect for Finger Lakes Weddings or live entertainment venues) – making them an ideal year-round destination.
There are currently 34 wineries in the Finger Lakes Central Region of Seneca County. Many of these wineries can be found on either the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, which is the first organized and longest-running Wine Trail in the United States or the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Both the Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake wine trails have special events during the year. Popular events on Cayuga Lake include Mardi Gras in February, Wine and Herb over two weekends in late April and early May and the Harvest Hoopla in September. The Seneca Lake Wine Trail features Deck the Halls in November and December, Pasta and Wine Weekend in January and Chocolate and Wine in February.Tickets are available per event or as a season pass. You can also purchase a vino visa coupon book for discounts at each member winery and other local businesses.
In addition to trail events, many wineries also have special events of their own, including live entertainment, throughout the year. Americana Vineyards has live entertainment most Sunday evenings and Ventosa Vineyards features live music every Wednesday evening. Some of these events are by special ticket price, while others are free.
There is a tremendous diversity among Finger Lakes wine and certainly something for everyone’s taste. Riesling is king of the Finger Lakes. In fact, May is Riesling Month. The Finger Lakes is also producing many popular types of wine including Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay, as well as certain varieties developed in the Finger Lakes such as Cayuga White, and also many blends. Several wineries offer wines featuring other fruits, such as peach, apple & cranberry. Bellwether in the southern portion of Seneca County exclusively offers hard cider. Montezuma Winery at the northern end of the lake offers several varieties of Meade, which is wine made from honey. Montezuma also offers vodka made from honey, which it has named Bee Vodka. In fact, an increasing number of wineries offer distilled products. On Cayuga Lake, wineries offering distilled products include Montezuma, Swedish Hill, and Knapp. On Seneca Lake, Wagner Vineyards and Three Brothers offer microbreweries.
A growing number of wineries are also offering dining opportunities. Some, like Knapp, Sheldrake Point, and Americana on Cayuga Lake and Wagner on Seneca Lake, have separate restaurants. Others, like Thirsty Owl, Ventosa, and Three Brothers, have smaller bistros adjacent to tasting rooms. As you can see, there is alot to see and taste in Finger Lakes Wine Country.