Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake. Looking for Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake (New York State Finger Lakes)? This is my review of some of the Finger Lakes estate wineries along the Seneca Lake wine trail!


Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake

Over the last three years of taking Max to Cornell for his GME Hubby and I have visited a lot of Finger Lakes Wineries. You may want to read some of my past posts on Seneca Lake Wineries (west side) and Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake (east side).

Last month we took Max at the end of February for his chemo treatment and decided to hit a few wineries while waiting. We had only gone to one winery in January and decided more wine tastings were in order for February – especially in light of one of my favorite Finger Lakes wineries being sold! (it was an estate winery too!) That and it was 60 degrees out that day.

An estate winery is a winery where they grow their own grapes (owned or controlled). Many wineries do not own their own grapes. They buy grapes from various places (maybe not even local) and ferment and make their wine from the outsourced grapes. So, an estate winery is the exact opposite of that! They grow their own grapes and make their own wine.

Does it make a difference to the taste of the wine? In my uneducated opinion, it definitely can. One of my of my favorite estate wineries (the people closing down) has a Syrah grape that is not generally grown in the Finger Lakes. And they have produced some mighty fine wines with it.

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


For my favorite Finger Lakes Winery – Silver Springs Winery it appears (again, I am uneducated in viticulture) that the process is even more important. They dry the grapes (like raisins), the press, etc. with the higher-end wines they sell and everything was much more hands-on than what we have seen at other wineries.

I own (and have consumed) cases and cases and cases of wine from Silver Springs. It is an amazing winery!

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


This is an old photo since we had just purchased a few cases and didn’t head back in February. They finished their addition though (a huge new tasting room) and I think Hubby and I will be back in April for more very, very good wine.

Some details: The wine tasting here was $5 for 6 tastings.

The owner’s daughter (Kimmie) is now making wine with her dad. She is soooo helpful whenever we stop in. She marks our wines that need to be decanted, explain the new processes, and more.

While not inexpensive, I HIGHLY suggest stopping at Silver Springs Winery if you are touring the Finger Lakes.

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


I had not read up about Lamoreaux Landing before stopping there. I just needed a fourth winery to make the estate winery trip worthwhile, so added it.

One of the issues with Finger Lakes Estate Wineries we ran into is they were closed on Mondays. Some were only open on Sunday. Some were only open on Saturday. But many were closed on Mondays. I cannot blame them – if it is a family operation, a steady day off needs to happen.

The current hours of operation for Lamoreaux Landing are M-S, 10-5, and Sunday 12-5.* Tastings were 5 for $5, but since it was a Monday I think we had 7 or 8 tastes. (Tip: when there are two of you doing tastings and someone needs to drive, splitting a tasting helps. It also helps to swish and swirl, and not take big gulps of wine.)

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


This is my new second-favorite Finger Lakes Winery! OMG the Riesling Ice for $38 was well, well, WELL worth the price. I am not a big white wine drinker, but do like late harvests and ice wines. This is labeled a dessert wine and is so rich and smooth – the next time we buy a case! Absolutely delicious.

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


I also purchased the unoaked Cabernet Franc that was absolutely amazing. This will also be a case purchase next time too.

Now in case you are wondering why we (ok, I) do not buy cases the first time through as wintery, it is because Hubby and I do get palate fatigue when doing several wine tastings. We now have four wineries as our daily limit, and only purchase one or two alike bottles at a time after the first winery. It avoids mistakes.

The Riesling Ice was so good, I purchased four bottles first time though, and we’ve already consumed two of them. Yum!

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


The Atwater Winery was actually our first stop of the day. The current hours of operation for Atwater Winery are M-S, 10-5, and Sunday 11-5.* The wine tastings were $5 for 5 tastings.

They had very nice wines that were very inexpensive. For instance, their 2012 Gewürztraminer was on super discount sale – 3/$30 or 6/$50. I did purchase three and just have to be certain we drink it soon.

Our pourer also clued us in on the coravin wine system! I have not yet decided which one is best for our needs, but I need to buy soon. It basically ends wine-waste.

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


One thing that I purchased here that was really interesting was wine flour. Wine flour is made from grape seeds and skins and is gluten-free. This is sourced out, and part of their sustainable practices. I purchased a bag of red and a bag of white wine flour. While the bags came with recipes I can always find more recipes at Sustainable Viticulture Systems.

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


Right next door is Chateau LaFayette Reneau. This is one large estate winery. They have over 100 acres of grapes, and they are growing as far as the eye can see!

They have two seasons of hours, May-Oct open every day 10-6, Nov to April open daily 10-5.*

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


The wine tasting was 5/$5, and there was an upcharge for the premium wines. Hubby liked this winery a lot. Our purer was quite knowledgeable and gave us tidbits on all the wines we tasted.

I ended up buying the Meritage (on sale for $25 a bottle!), Cab Sauvignon Owner’s Reserve (the $2 upcharge was refunded when I purchased this $39.99 bottle of wine), and a Late Harvest Riesling ($14.99!! Yes, only a 375ml bottle, but still… cheap for what you are getting)

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


Our final winery of the day was Boundary Breaks Open 11-5 7 days a week*, the tasting was $5/5. They have a wine and cheese pairing for 4 wines + 4 cheeses for $10.

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


There is an interesting story to Boundary Breaks in that they only sold Riesling when they first opened, and for several years afterward. I did quite a bit of research on this winery before we went as it is well off the beaten path. The reviews all said it was worth the ride.

To me, because we like to try new things, it was worth the ride. For the wines? Not-so-much. Besides the dry rose I *gagged on* (seriously just not good), they only had dry Reislings in stock, the reserve had just arrived and was not ready to pour. I have no idea when the Riesling Ice would be available.

I also have no idea what Hubby purchased. I don’t think it was much as the few wines we tried were not for either of us. I did tell my brother that if he and his wife go (they like Rieslings) to buy me one of each of the Ice and Late Harvest. I’m more than willing to give them a try!

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake


They do have a lovely set-up here. Almost on top of Seneca Lake, you can drive around the winery (and all their grapes!) and get down on the access road next to Seneca Lake where I swear I could almost touch the water from my seat in our vehicle.

And that was it for estate wineries for us for the day. If you would like to find more Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake, be sure to check out the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. And, don’t be afraid to make a spur of the moment stop! Some of my favorite wineries were unplanned stops.

* Always check with the winery for store hours. Sometimes, wineries are closed for special events.



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More Finger Lakes Wine Tasting Experiences:

West Side of Seneca Lake

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake

Wine Tasting On Cayuga Lake

Wine Tasting On Canandaigua Lake

12 New York State Wineries Offering Free Wine Tastings


Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• For more Cocktails on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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Wine Tasting On Canandaigua Lake

Wine Tasting On Canandaigua Lake. Our Wine Tasting On Canandaigua Lake experience! Canandaigua Lake is one of the Finger Lakes in the west-central section of New York State. The Finger Lakes Wine Country is home to almost 100 wineries, breweries and distilleries centered around Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes.


Our Wine Tasting On Canandaigua Lake experience! Canandaigua Lake is one of the Finger Lakes in the west-central section of New York State. The Finger Lakes Wine Country is home to almost 100 wineries, breweries, and distilleries centered around Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes.

Wine Tasting On Canandaigua Lake

On our last trip to the Finger Lakes, Hubby and I stayed near Canandaigua Lake. While we spent some time at Sonnenberg Gardens, we also had time to stop at a two wineries. After our Seneca Lake Wine Tours on the east and west side, as well as the Cayuga Lake Wine Tours, we had become pretty familiar with New York State Finger Lake wines, and after hauling down five cases of wine to the basement, we knew we didn’t need any wine.

Canandaigua Wine Trail.

New York Wine and Culinary Center


Hubby and I met Jennifer from Home on the Finger Lakes for lunch at the New York Wine and Culinary Center. The upstairs Bistro offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and a very nice lunch menu.

Hubby and I did some tastings in the tasting room. It was explained to us that the New York Wine and Culinary Center is a not for profit institution. They have a special license that allows them to serve wine, beer and liquor tastings. They are the only place in New York State with this license.

Hubby chose the Semi Sweet & Dessert Tasting ($7 for a flight) where I drank his healthy portion of Brotherhood Riesling because it is one of my all time favorites! I chose to do the spirit tasting. ($7 for 3) We ended up purchasing a bottle of the Fox Run Hedonia and Kings Ferry Winery Apple Mystique.

We also went across the hall to the Culinary Boutique were I spent a small fortune on some New York State goods.

Heron Hill Winery


After lunch, Hubby and I decided to take in a winery before making the drive back to Geneva where we had a hotel for the evening. We stopped at the Heron Hill Winery. The tasting was $5 for 6 choices.

Heron Hill Winery


Heron Hill Winery


There were vineyards as far as the eye could see behind the tasting center. The grapes were definitely hanging heavy on the vines!

Heron Hill Winery


This was a bit of an odd set up as all the parking was in the back, and you could enter either up the stairs via the porch, or up the steep driveway on the other side.

We ended up purchasing the Late Harvest Vidal Blanc, and a Riesling. We knew we were wined-out at this point and called it a day.

More Finger Lakes Wine Tasting Experiences:

West Side of Seneca Lake

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake

Wine Tasting On Cayuga Lake

12 New York State Wineries Offering Free Wine Tastings


Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• For more Cocktails on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake. Our Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake experiences! Seneca Lake is one of the Finger Lakes in the west-central section of New York State. The Finger Lakes Wine Country is home to almost 100 wineries, breweries and distilleries centered around Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes.


Our Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake experiences! Seneca Lake is one of the Finger Lakes in the west-central section of New York State. The Finger Lakes Wine Country is home to almost 100 wineries, breweries, and distilleries centered around Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes.

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake

When Hubby and I take Max to Cornell, we had a lot of free time to spend in the Ithaca area. In July, we investigated the vineyards around Cayuga Lake. This trip, we decided to drive the eastern side of Seneca Lake.

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake


Our first stop was at Catharine Valley Vineyards. The day was overcast with off and on rain, heavy at times. I wish it had been bright and sunny as the area in which Catharine Valley’s tasting room is situated is stunning! I did take a picture of the overlook of Seneca Lake, but it didn’t do it justice, so I am not sharing.

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake


Hubby loved how knowledgeable the man pouring was! While we didn’t get a name, we suspect he was an owner. He knew far too much about the winemaking process all over the world and spoke of the vineyards as “his” to think otherwise.

Hubby asked him why wineries didn’t make their own vinegar. The response was that if any of the vinegar was left in the lines, it would ruin the next batch of wine produced. Makes sense!

The wine tasting here was $5 for 6 tastings. We a bottle of Traminette ($12), Seneca Steamer ($12) and Riesling ($16).

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake


One thing we noticed was how much more expensive everything was on Seneca Lake than Cayuga Lake. From the tastings to the wine itself, Seneca Lake wineries were just pricier.

No where was that more evident than Silver Springs Winery. The tasting was $5 for 6 tastes. The woman pouring was well trained. She swirled for us. That brought up the bouquet. She cleansed the glass after every taste with the next wine. Heck, we went to one winery (see below) that didn’t even rinse with water between tastings!

But I digress…

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake


Back to Silver Springs. This was a totally different animal from any of the wines we had tried prior to this point (and after too, to be perfectly honest). The process of drying the grapes (like raisins), the press, etc., all was much more hands-on than what we saw at other wineries. And the price reflected this. Heck, the Tri-dition 2007 was $118 a bottle! The cheaper version (that had just won some medal) was $55 per bottle. While I loved it, I know me well enough to know that a $55 bottle of wine wasn’t something I’d properly savor.

So I bought two bottles of the Malbec for the low, low price of $37 each.

Update February 2018 – This is (by far) my favorite winery in the Finger Lakes. I can’t tell you how many cases we have purchases since we first went there in 2014. The prices have come down a bit on the high end, but I generally spend $35-$50 a bottle and buy several cases at a time. I’ve received wonderful case discounts, plus FREE bottles of wine!

The owner’s daughter (I forget her name) is now making wine with her dad. She is soooo helpful whenever we stop in. She marks our wines that need to be decanted, explain the new processes, and more.

While not inexpensive, I HIGHLY suggest stopping at Silver Springs Winery if you are touring the Finger Lakes.

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake


At this point, it was time for lunch. Hubby had asked for a luncheon recommendation at Catharine Valley, and so we stopped at the Red Newt Cellars and Bistro.

Now, I have had Red Newt wines in the past and never liked them. However, when we were told that we’d have to wait for a table, I decided to do a tasting just in case I missed a good vintage.

I didn’t.

This was the first winery we walked out of without purchasing a bottle of wine.

But, we decided to try the Bistro as food options appeared more limited on Seneca Lake than Cayuga Lake.

As I mentioned, we had to wait for a table. Hubby and I had visions of the dining room being swamped, and the wait staff running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Not hardly.

The place was half empty. And our waitress finally showed up nearly 10 minutes after we were seated. All this made me wonder if we had made a giant mistake in going to the Red Newt Bistro.

The food was amazing! They had a very limited menu, so I didn’t expect much of my blueberry-pork-cheddar-cheese-sandwich. All I can say is WOW! I’d love that recipe. I’d have Hubby make it over and over and over again for me. Hubby and a soup and gnocchi, and he was also pleased. Hubby is difficult to please in a restaurant, and he too thought the food was great.

So while the staff was slow, the kitchen gets an A+ in my book!

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake


After that, it began to rain harder and the wind picked up. I asked Hubby to pick two random wineries, so he made a wrong turn into one, and landed at Kings Garden Vineyards. And what a fortuitous wrong turn it was!

This was a winery that I liked much more than Hubby. If we were not already drowning in wine at home, I’d have probably purchased more of the Syrah. Heck, I am sure I made a mistake, and I should have purchased a case ($25 per bottle, case discount though). This was an excellent wine! The tasting was $3/6 tastes. Hubby and I agreed on their Late Harvest Wine (375ml for $25), but the Syrah blew me away. They produce just a few hundred cases per year of the Syrah, and it will sell out. The lady pouring told me to put it away for a year or two, so I labeled it do not pour until 8/2016. If it was this smooth and rich young, I think I am in for a real treat in 2016.

The Syrah is sold out online so I may have Hubby stop back when we head down next month to take Max and pick up that case I regretted not buying. I have a feeling I’ll be happy if I do purchase that case.

Updated February 2018 – Kings Garden has been my second favorite winery in the Finger Lakes since we started going regularly to the area. In late 2016 I was only able to stop in once as the hours were cut back. In 2017, I tried several times to go there, but they were never open. Finally, in late January 2018, I had success!

Unfortunately, due to health reasons, Kings Garden was being sold. The son opened up a mushroom farm (!), and I was told the vines were being sold to possibly several different wineries. The place next door was supposed to be getting a bunch (same as Montezuma we were told, so we will pass).

It is a real shame. I wish him only the best with his health, but he made some very nice reds that were not crazy-costly. I bought my last two cases and will savor them slowly.

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake


Our last stop was something else. Hubby liked it. ‘Nuff said?

Hubby is pretty convinced my palate has “grown up” and outgrown sweet wines. Ha! I proved him wrong and guzzled a bottle of Moscato this past weekend all by myself! I like sweet wines, heck I even like syrupy late harvest and ice wines. What I don’t like, are wines that taste like sugar added to grape juice. For some reason, that is what the wines at Bagley’s Popular Ridge Vineyards reminded me of – sweet grape juice.

Wine Tasting On Seneca Lake


Now to be fair, Hubby liked a number of their wines. And he has a more discerning palate than I do. Maybe I was just suffering from palate-fatigue at this point in the day? I’ll have the opportunity to find out at a later date. Wine tastings were $5 for 6 tastings, and you got a $3 coupon on any bottle you purchased. We ended up buying the White Tail White ($12) and the Ravat 51 ($12).

Now, why was it “something else” at this winery? Well, in between each pour, the glasses were not rinsed. The water was hidden so you couldn’t rinse or cleanse on your own. There wasn’t a cracker to be seen to cleanse your palate either. Hubby gave the pourer (who could not have possibly cared less) a lecture on why the wine bottles should be labeled (to reinforce branding), and the pourer looked at him like he was nuts (ok, so did I… but hubby did have a point).

I think this winery would do better selling slushies or beer as a local tavern than as a vineyard tasting room. Especially on expensive Seneca Lake. The whole experience here was just “off” to me, and this is the first tasting room I can state I would not return to.

So far we are 8/10 on our winery tastings in the Finger Lakes. While Red Newt wines aren’t for me (but the bistro food was awesome!), and the Bagley’s experience was less than wonderful, the other eight wineries have more than made up for two tastings that didn’t meet expectations.

More Finger Lakes Wine Tasting Experiences:

West Side of Seneca Lake

Wine Tasting On Canandaigua Lake

Wine Tasting On Cayuga Lake

12 New York State Wineries Offering Free Wine Tastings


Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• For more Cocktails on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

• If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for the Ann’s Entitled Life weekly newsletter, and never miss another article!



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