"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

Finger Lakes Wineries (Part VI)

The Finger Lake region has wine trails, beer trails and cheese trails. All these places do tastings and many offer entertainment on weekends, so it's fun to explore different places. But after spending three seasons in the Finger Lakes we have our favorite wineries we like to visit to enjoy a picnic and a bottle of wine. It's getting hard to find time to check out new places. Here are a few we found this summer.

The Muranda Cheese Company is located in Waterloo, N.Y. They produce the finest cows milk raw and pasteurized cheeses. Their most sought after varieties include British Cheddar, Red Buddy, and Gouda, as well as 10 other varieties not commonly found in the Finger Lakes.

The tasting room is in a barn that was built in 1891. The Murray family used this barn to house animals, farm equipment and hay until its use became obsolete in its old age. It was then refurbished and 2016 reintroduced it to the public in 2017 as, The Dairy at Muranda. It was definitely a fun and tasting place to visit.  
Ravines Wine Cellars is a small, family-owned boutique winery that shows a strong French influence. They offer dry, European-styled Rieslings and other vinifera wines. They were established in 2002  and have been named among the world's top 100 wineries by Wine Spectator magazine four times in the last ten year. It's noted for its Alsatian-style Rieslings, but has also been heralded for their red and sparkling wines. Their tasting room, featuring a timeless barrel decor, in the little hamlet of Keuka Village with breathtaking views of Keuka Lake.
Varick Winery is a large operation that not only sells wines, but all kind of other things like salsas, spreads, fruit butters, preserves, salad dressings, honeys, picked items, BBQ sauces, olive oils and cheeses. It's not the kind of place we usual visit, but we stopped by to check them out during their Cherry Festival. The festival was small and we were not impressed, but it was a beautiful day and we had fun with our friends picking our own cherries.
Friends recommended Shepherdess Cellars, so this weekend we finally had a chance to check them out. They're located about half way up the west side of Cayuga Lake. It was a wonderful fall day...we enjoyed the wine, the view and a picnic lunch. The Cellar was launched in 2014 with the intention of making great wine, representative of the Finger Lakes area. At the moment they don't grow their own grapes, but they buy from local growers who share the passion of producing an exquisite product. We enjoyed there 2016 Chardonnay - Medium bodied and supple. This vintage carries notes of pineapple and Cortland apple. True to the varietal, a perfect pair with poultry and seafood dishes.
We like visiting small wineries...the ones that large buses and limos can't get into. On Saturday I think we found the smallest one on Cayuga Lake. Randolph O’Neill Vineyard is run by the husband and wife team of Angela (née Randolph) and Kelley O’Neill. It grew from their mutual love for great wine. They produce limited quantity wines using estate grown Riesling and Cabernet Franc grapes from a small vineyard a few hundred yards from Cayuga Lake. They don't have a fancy tasting room yet, but the wine was good and it was fun visiting with the owner.
You can read about other wineries we've visited in the Finger Lake area at the following links.

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