Wine & Travel

Snooth User: apulliam

Finger Lakes wine trip- Seneca Lake

Posted by apulliam, Nov 18, 2009.

Hello all,

I am a Snooth newbie (as of yesterday) and I am so excited to be here. I am also very excited about my very first trip to the Finger Lakes wine region. Seneca Lake is our destination and in just two and a half short weeks I shall be strolling through out the region, enamored with the landscape and the prospect of falling in love with one or two or six more wines. Unfortunately I do not have much experience with this region. Any recommendations as to what wineries we should visit and what wines we should taste would be more than welcome. I prefer wines of the drier variety- full bodied, spicy reds and crisp whites- and do not care much for the sweet ones. I've been on the look out for a nice little Finger Lakes Wine guide but haven't had much luck. If anyone has any recommendations, that would be excellent. Otherwise, I will continue to read up on what Snooth has to say about the region and do some more searching on the internet. In July I traveled to Sonoma and El Dorado County California and had a magnificent time. I am very much looking forward to visiting this east coast region.

Thanks for your time!



Reply by chadrich, Nov 18, 2009.

There's a Seneca Lake guide (as well as other Finger Lake areas) at this link:


I haven't been there, but an anxious to visit both the Finger Lakes and Long Island wine regions, so look forward to your report.

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Nov 18, 2009.

Welcome to Snooth! It sounds like you'll have a great time up there. I'll echo chadrich... come back and tell us what you found worth seeing!

Reply by schellbe, Nov 18, 2009.

We took our honeymoon (bike trip) through the Finger Lakes, and have had a number of trips to the wineries in the past. The best wines made in the Finger Lakes are Riesling and Gewurzrtraminer. The latter are generally dry; the former can be dry, off-dry or dessert style (ice wine or late harvest). Unfortunately, it is not always clear whether the non-dessert Riesling are dry or off-dry. Be sure to ask. Standing Stone, Red Newt and Herman J. Wiemer produce good white wines, as does Lamoreaux Landing. Definitely more satisfying acidity than west coast whites of these varieties, even more so than the Anderson Valley. But just because these two varieties do well here, it does not mean that all producers produce good wines. The region really needs a good infusion of money to reach its full potential, but there are some nice wines now.

As for reds, think Loire, pariticularly Cabernet Franc. In a good year (every three or four), the good producers will not overcrop, and produce a product that is not weedy or vegetal. They go nicely with light tomato or seafood dishes. We had a Prejean (Seneca Lake) Cabernet Franc 05 that was wonderful with scallops with diced tomato and basil. Match these with the right foods but don't compare these with the California varieties, as these are subtle cool climate wines.

The reds are often overpriced, and many are thin or weedy. Pinot Noir can be good.(Try Newland, I believe on the north end of the lake.) Think Volnay. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot generally don't ripen and are best avoided. Surprisingly, Chardonnay does not do that well either. most of them seem light and simple, although maybe not as overoaked as many CA versions.

I believe the best producers are on the southeast side of Seneca Lake. But all of them are friendly, with generally free or fairly low tasting fees. Do buy some Riesling and Gewurz. They are well worth the extra money over the the generic $10 WA state plonk from Columbia or Chateau St. Michelle.

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