Page 37 - The Valley Table - Fall 2021
P. 37

                                  ALTHOUGH I’VE LIVED IN NEW YORK for decades, I’d never visited the Finger Lakes. I somehow imagined it would be touristy and had also heard the wines were less than stellar. My recent trip proved that even travel writers can be completely wrong
about a destination, because not only did I find a bucolic and truly beautiful area, I also found many excellent wines.
Here, Riesling rules. While sweet Rieslings were long the order of the day, things have changed. Today, some very talented winemakers are offering award-winning Rieslings that are dry, delicious, and appeal to sophisticated palates.
While all very different in feel, the four wineries we visited had several things in common, all good. Every one had lovely tasting rooms and impressive settings. At the smaller wineries, the owners were pouring the wine.
Our tastings were informative, with insights and history added to the pours. As a lasting result of
the pandemic, our visits were all reservation only which we easily booked online. The owners and employees we met said that this practice would continue even if health concerns subside. The smaller tasting rooms have very limited hours, so be sure to check before planning a trip.
In addition to thriving wineries, the Finger Lakes area is a visual treat. Picture-perfect farms abound, complete with gorgeous green fields, red barns, aged silos, and white farmhouses.
And of course, lakes are everywhere. Because of the long finger-like shapes, the 11 lakes go on forever — so much of the area is surrounded by water. Big box stores were concentrated along certain stretches of busier roads but most drives took us past farmlands, wineries and yes, water.

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