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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.*
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)
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.
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!
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.
More Finger Lakes Wine Tasting Experiences:
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