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  • Writer's pictureSara Aber

Our Picks for Best Wineries in the Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes Wine Country is the reason I'm here. We have over 100 wineries in this region - double the number in North Fork of Long Island.

Truth told - it's really hard to pick "favorites" around here with 100 wineries. These are some of my favorites, but there are so many others that are super high on my list and still so many I haven't tried yet. I can vouch for each of these ones though!

Wine Tourism is something I got into for the first time in the Finger Lakes. I came here and fell in love with Cab Franc and the changing leaves. After this, I decided I loved wine tourism and I traveled to several other wine regions, including North Fork, Napa Valley, and Willammette Valley. While I enjoyed wine tourism overall, I kept coming back to the Finger Lakes as my favorite. It's casual - you can wear jeans literally anywhere, including the nicest vineyards and the best restaurants. Now post-pandemic, I've downgraded to yoga pants most days and I have yet to be turned away, lol. It's also an extremely dog-friendly area. Dogs are welcome outside at almost all wineries. Dogs are welcome inside at some wineries - if they serve food they can't allow dogs in due to health codes. There are some wineries that have their own winery dog and outside dogs aren't allowed for that reason. While that may be disappointing for people who want to bring their dogs in, I'm happy as long as there are dogs around!

Finger Lakes Wine Country

  • Best Breadth of Excellent Wine: Hosmer Winery (Cayuga) - Like many vineyards in the area, they specialize in Riesling—try the Single Wheel Batonnage. However, they are masters at wine across the board. One of the marks of a good winery to me is if they can get me to love a wine that isn't my typical fave. This "Berri" Cab Franc is so wild - it is best served chilled, it tastes like berries, and it's dry, not sweet...which is really hard to imagine, so it's super fun to taste. I can't wait to have a whole glass of this.

Hosmer is one of the few places where I'm actually in the Wine Club - the kind where you have to buy a certain number of wines each year. It's totally worth it!

  • Best Red Wines: Silver Spring Winery (Seneca) - This spot could also get the award for most tie dye. Owner/winemaker Don Giovanni is an encyclopedia of wine knowledge, and he turns that into truly stunning reds. I always learn something when I go in here.

  • Best Glass of Wine: Gewurztraminer from Shepardess (Interlaken) - This incredible wine is actually made with Sheldrake (Cayuga) grapes. I love going here because they have a friendly, but chill winery dog.

  • Best Hidden Gem: Silver Thread Vineyard (Seneca) - Tucked away off the beaten path, the drive to Silver Thread is stunning—and not far from us!

  • Best View: Thirsty Owl (Cayuga) - The bistro on their back deck is lovely, and they have over 2,000 feet of lakefront. The tasting fee is extremely affordable, and you get $ off the tasting fee if you buy wine. The wines are stunning also - these are wines that I drink all the time.

New Park is a quick drive from the Cayuga Wine Trail - less than 15 minutes to some of the best wines in the world! Seneca Wine Trail is about 40 minutes away. Mill Creek Cabins in Lodi is equi-distant from both wine trails, so that may be another accommodation you might consider!

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