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Hawk

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Holy cow that was quite the write up on the subject. I am going to make it out there sometime and will look those places up. I generally do not drink a lot of whites except in the summer and typically nothing that is on the sweeter side. I like reds. Pinots, cab, blends and lots of French or Italian. Especially Piedmont, Rhone Valley and Bordeaux. I also have a really good friend that quit the busy life and Moved to Healdsburg, CA. He has taken up and learned the wine business through working at vinyards and also studied to be a sommelier. He recently turned me on to the Dry Creek area Pinot's like Pappapietro-Perry and Holdredge. I have traveled through Napa-Sonoma extensively with my wife and him and have visited an obscene amount of vineyards through the years. It is sad that most places now charge you for tasting. That was never the case when I went.
 

cdskier

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Holy cow that was quite the write up on the subject. I am going to make it out there sometime and will look those places up. I generally do not drink a lot of whites except in the summer and typically nothing that is on the sweeter side. I like reds. Pinots, cab, blends and lots of French or Italian. Especially Piedmont, Rhone Valley and Bordeaux. I also have a really good friend that quit the busy life and Moved to Healdsburg, CA. He has taken up and learned the wine business through working at vinyards and also studied to be a sommelier. He recently turned me on to the Dry Creek area Pinot's like Pappapietro-Perry and Holdredge. I have traveled through Napa-Sonoma extensively with my wife and him and have visited an obscene amount of vineyards through the years. It is sad that most places now charge you for tasting. That was never the case when I went.

Hah! I did warn that it would be long!

If you ever go and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

For reds some of my top recommended places in the Finger Lakes that haven't already been mentioned would be:
Damiani - My only complaint here is they're starting to release some of their reds a little too young IMO...but I think this is a combination of increased demand along with lower yields in some recent vintages
Shaw - The owner here holds his reds back quite a while before releasing. "Current" releases include a 2010 "Bordeaux style" blend, 2011 Merlot, and 2013 Pinot
Ravines - Their Pinot routinely reminds me of Burgundy. Their blends are excellent too.
Hector Wine Company - One of the handful of places that makes a Syrah
Heart & Hands - Pinots are routinely excellent (they focused only on Pinot and Riesling up until 2 years ago when they added Chardonnay as well)

Tasting fees for the most part are pretty reasonable (usually in the $5-10 range). Even here though this has crept up over the years. It still varies quite a bit. Some places will refund the fee entirely or partially with a certain purchase which I think is the right way to do it.

And for a few photos:
DSC_0094.jpg
DSC_0562.jpg
DSC_0872.jpg
DSC_0916.jpg

And there's a ton of fun hikes through gorges and numerous waterfalls in the area around the Finger Lakes as well:
DSC_0335_6_7.jpg
 

Cornhead

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Hah! I did warn that it would be long!

If you ever go and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

For reds some of my top recommended places in the Finger Lakes that haven't already been mentioned would be:
Damiani - My only complaint here is they're starting to release some of their reds a little too young IMO...but I think this is a combination of increased demand along with lower yields in some recent vintages
Shaw - The owner here holds his reds back quite a while before releasing. "Current" releases include a 2010 "Bordeaux style" blend, 2011 Merlot, and 2013 Pinot
Ravines - Their Pinot routinely reminds me of Burgundy. Their blends are excellent too.
Hector Wine Company - One of the handful of places that makes a Syrah
Heart & Hands - Pinots are routinely excellent (they focused only on Pinot and Riesling up until 2 years ago when they added Chardonnay as well)

Tasting fees for the most part are pretty reasonable (usually in the $5-10 range). Even here though this has crept up over the years. It still varies quite a bit. Some places will refund the fee entirely or partially with a certain purchase which I think is the right way to do it.

And for a few photos:
View attachment 26764
View attachment 26765
View attachment 26766
View attachment 26767

And there's a ton of fun hikes through gorges and numerous waterfalls in the area around the Finger Lakes as well:
View attachment 26768
Ha, I lost 70lbs hiking the Ithaca gorges, mostly Robert Treman, sadly I've found most of it. Beautiful area.

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using AlpineZone mobile app
 

jimmywilson69

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Dillsburg, PA
the finger lakes region is really a cool place to visit. In my opinion there is plenty to do without the wineries but they are nice bonus.

Damiani - I like their wine as well. We also had a really nice experience there during our last trip with all of our friends. The let us hang in their downstairs room, and eat our own snacks (since it was April and not very nice out we couldn't picnic)with the only request that each couple buy a bottle to drink onsite. We happily obliged and then the owner came down to hang out with us and brought a few more down to share.

the Distillery next door is doing a great job with their spirits. Their whiskey/bourbon is starting to age nicely and I'm a big fan of both gins they make.
 

cdskier

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NJ
Ha, I lost 70lbs hiking the Ithaca gorges, mostly Robert Treman, sadly I've found most of it. Beautiful area.

Did a quick hike through Robert Treman last summer finally. Really beautiful as well for sure.

DSC_0023.jpg
DSC_0044_5_6.jpg
 

kendo

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Hah! I did warn that it would be long!


For reds some of my top recommended places in the Finger Lakes that haven't already been mentioned would be:
Damiani - My only complaint here is they're starting to release some of their reds a little too young IMO...but I think this is a combination of increased demand along with lower yields in some recent vintages
Shaw - The owner here holds his reds back quite a while before releasing. "Current" releases include a 2010 "Bordeaux style" blend, 2011 Merlot, and 2013 Pinot
Ravines - Their Pinot routinely reminds me of Burgundy. Their blends are excellent too.
Hector Wine Company - One of the handful of places that makes a Syrah
Heart & Hands - Pinots are routinely excellent (they focused only on Pinot and Riesling up until 2 years ago when they added Chardonnay as well)


Grew up in the Finger Lakes and return often. Have seen the wine making greatly improve from the late 70's early 80's when Coke owned the Pleasant Valley / Great Western / Taylor wine companies and produced fermented grape juice, jug wines. Then a lot of growers became producers with little care for quality (Bully Hill thru spite and the like) and more interest in the weekend limo and bus traffic of bachelorettes and retirees.

Now, after years of improvement we finally have a 'Quality' vrs quantity culture taking over in the Finger Lakes. Cornell has done a lot to help the local growers, along with the decades of work by Dr. Frank and others.

An increasing amount of investment from industry greats (Paul Hobbs, Louis Barruol and others) has also brought more awareness to the Riesling potential of the region as well.

https://www.paulhobbswines.com/hillick-hobbs

We enjoy dry reds and searched for years to find them in the Finger Lakes. After sampling a lot of thin and fruity reds we finally came across Shalestone about 10 yrs ago - at the BBQ place on Franklin in WG. Really have found none better. Great consistency year to year. Almost every time we've stopped by the vineyard, the owners daughter has been in the tasting room. Always nice and has gifted us a bottle or two as we usually end up buying a couple cases. Their tasting room is open limited hours, they will not host busses and really don't promote themselves much. That's fine with us!

I'd put Shalestone at the top of your excellent list. Also like Ravines and Damiani. Agree with you on the recent young releases at Damiani. They're getting a ton of traffic from Finger Lakes Distilling.

Love the Grappa and Seneca Drums Gin at FLD and always make an excuse to stop by when we're in the area.
 

cdskier

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Now, after years of improvement we finally have a 'Quality' vrs quantity culture taking over in the Finger Lakes. Cornell has done a lot to help the local growers, along with the decades of work by Dr. Frank and others.

An increasing amount of investment from industry greats (Paul Hobbs, Louis Barruol and others) has also brought more awareness to the Riesling potential of the region as well.

https://www.paulhobbswines.com/hillick-hobbs

I was wondering what was going on with that Paul Hobbs venture. I heard a few years ago he was working on something but then it kind of got quiet recently so I wasn't sure if he changed his mind or hit some sort of roadblock. Nice to see it is still moving forward apparently.

For anyone bored out there that wants to read a good book on the wine industry in the Finger Lakes...I'd highly recommend Evan Dawson's "Summer in a Glass: The coming of age of winemaking in the Finger Lakes". Some great stories about some of the pioneers that got the "Quality" culture going as well as some of the newer blood that's continuing to push that forward (at least "new" as of 9 years ago when it was published). Very enjoyable read.
 

Bumpsis

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Question for cdskier: how busy do the roads around the Finger Lakes get if you were to look at it from a perspective of a road cyclist?

Constant traffic of cars ahead of you and oncoming or just an occasional, typical rural area frequency of cars/trucks? Time of year, let's say, late summer. Which roads (around which lake) are least busy? I thought I pick your brain about since you have traveled out there a lot.
I always thought that cranking out some 50-70 mile rides in bucolic surroundings would be a fun adventure for as long as some pickup truck driver is not aiming to make you his new hood ornament. Oh, is pot legal now in NY? Yeah, it's another (danger) factor to consider. Here in Mass there is a lot more stoned drivers since the fun stuff got legal.
 

ScottySkis

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. Oh said:
No it's not legal here
Check legalized thread in miscellaneous thread lol
Lots of people drive under influence in NY
Some amazing drives to
Much better drivers then lots of drunks or even sober adults just depends on people experience
And lots of other factors to
 

kendo

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cdskier - thanks for the recommendation on the book. Will seek it out.

I've been watching the Hobbs start up since learning of the venture from his original partner Johannes Selbach. Was at a wine dinner here in NJ, sat next to and had a great conversation with Johannes. He had great expectations as the steep slopes of the Seneca Lake vineyard has a lot in common with his Mosel vineyards. It's taken a lot to get the land cleared and the vines to mature. Not sure if/when Selbach pulled out of the project. Paul's brother was to be the vineyard manager. Not much new on Google. Here's an interview with Selbach in 2017. Scroll down to last 3 paragraphs for his comments on the Hobbs Seneca Lake project.

https://grapecollective.com/article...-why-riesling-is-the-best-white-wine-on-earth
 

Bumpsis

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No it's not legal here
Check legalized thread in miscellaneous thread lol
Lots of people drive under influence in NY
Some amazing drives to
Much better drivers then lots of drunks or even sober adults just depends on people experience
And lots of other factors to

I'm sure we'll agree that stoned drivers are less of a hazard than drunks or idiots that just HAVE to check their texts. Still, buzzed drivers regardless of intoxicant is a serious consideration for a cyclist.
 

kendo

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Question for cdskier: how busy do the roads around the Finger Lakes get if you were to look at it from a perspective of a road cyclist?

Constant traffic of cars ahead of you and oncoming or just an occasional, typical rural area frequency of cars/trucks? Time of year, let's say, late summer. Which roads (around which lake) are least busy? I thought I pick your brain about since you have traveled out there a lot.
I always thought that cranking out some 50-70 mile rides in bucolic surroundings would be a fun adventure for as long as some pickup truck driver is not aiming to make you his new hood ornament. Oh, is pot legal now in NY? Yeah, it's another (danger) factor to consider. Here in Mass there is a lot more stoned drivers since the fun stuff got legal.

Roads in the area are generally great to bike on. Seneca lake and Keuka lakes are most popular. There's north south running state roads that parallel both lakes and access most of the vineyards. Would be cautious on these main roads. East west roads between the lakes are rural, constantly going up or down, little or no shoulder - but lightly traveled. Only concern would be early or late in the day sun glare putting you at risk. I'd also check the schedule for racing at Watkins Glen. NASCAR and other series will add a lot of visitors to the area.
 

cdskier

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Roads in the area are generally great to bike on. Seneca lake and Keuka lakes are most popular. There's north south running state roads that parallel both lakes and access most of the vineyards. Would be cautious on these main roads. East west roads between the lakes are rural, constantly going up or down, little or no shoulder - but lightly traveled. Only concern would be early or late in the day sun glare putting you at risk. I'd also check the schedule for racing at Watkins Glen. NASCAR and other series will add a lot of visitors to the area.

Certainly agree with this. Seneca is the busiest, but even there I don't think the main north/south roads (414 and 14) are really that busy. Somewhere between "constant traffic of cars" and "typical rural frequency" would be my rating based on what I've seen. The top half of the eastern side of Seneca sees a lot less traffic as the area is home to an old Army Depot and very few wineries north of Lodi/Ovid until you get almost all the way to Geneva. Cayuga is a pretty nice and quiet lake. Then there are some other smaller lakes that I'm not as familiar with as well. Most lakes are the most crowded at either the northern or southern ends since that's where you find the bigger towns (i.e. Geneva, Watkins Glen, Ithaca, Hammondsport, Penn Yan).
 

cdskier

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cdskier - thanks for the recommendation on the book. Will seek it out.

I've been watching the Hobbs start up since learning of the venture from his original partner Johannes Selbach. Was at a wine dinner here in NJ, sat next to and had a great conversation with Johannes. He had great expectations as the steep slopes of the Seneca Lake vineyard has a lot in common with his Mosel vineyards. It's taken a lot to get the land cleared and the vines to mature. Not sure if/when Selbach pulled out of the project. Paul's brother was to be the vineyard manager. Not much new on Google. Here's an interview with Selbach in 2017. Scroll down to last 3 paragraphs for his comments on the Hobbs Seneca Lake project.

https://grapecollective.com/article...-why-riesling-is-the-best-white-wine-on-earth

I actually thought about going to a wine dinner with Johannes Selbach back in January here in NJ hosted by a local wine shop but didn't jump on it for some reason (don't quite remember why). I completely forgot he was originally involved in that Paul Hobbs project. I'd really be curious to know what happened (especially since that article made it sound like they were coming up on their first harvest).
 

Bumpsis

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Thanks kendo and cdskier - this is really helpful I have not though about the east-west directionality. Great idea. Very long time ago I took a leisurely drive from Albany to Buffalo on Rt 20 and it was something like taking a trip in a way-back machine. Late August, sunny warm day and rolling through the hills into all of these (then) small towns was a really neat experience. Stopped in Skaneateles, took a swim in the lake, had some food and just enjoyed the slow passage of summer time being at the lake.
Ever since then I wanted to take a bike tour through some of that terrain. I'm sure it's much busier now, but the area still has charm and unique beauty.
 

cdskier

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And tonight's dinner...Pasta with sausage, tomatoes, spinach, some chili paste, and fresh mozzarella. And a Damiani Pinot Noir.

93648332_4324155624276491_5986524823906418688_n.jpg
 
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