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

Finger Lakes Wineries (Part XII)

“Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.” -Joan Collins

We have our favorite wineries we love to visit, but we do make an effort to try a few new ones each year. Here are the ones we made it to in 2023. Some were better than others and a few we might even visit again.

Cayuga Ridge Estate - As one of the oldest wineries in the Finger Lakes Cayuga Ridge invites you to tour and taste their bounty. Through the practice of sustainable vineyard cultivation they attain consistent grape quality and optimal fruit production. The wines of Cayuga Ridge Estate are straightforward and honest in their presentation.
Our picnic didn't come with a lake view, but the wine and the food was very good. We had their 2020 Dry Riesling. It was a summer Riesling, light and zippy, comparable to a sauvignon blanc.
Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard – the vineyard is a pioneer of viticulture and winemaking in the Finger Lakes. It was founded in 1979 by German-born winemaker Hermann J. Wiemer, the estate has gained national and international attention for the quality of its wines and the soundness of its growing practices. Located on the western slope of Seneca Lake and housed in a 19th century scissor-truss barn.
We celebrated the Captain's birthday at the vineyard and enjoyed their Riesling Dry. It's their signature wine. Sourced from each of their three distinct vineyard sites It has layers of citrus, stone, and tropical fruit with a clean mineral finish.
Miles Wine Cellars - the winery is located in a Greek revival mansion that overlooks Seneca Lake, the home was originally built in 1802, and has a haunting history. Strange happenings such as slamming doors, footsteps, and unexplained sounds have manifested on the property for years. The first grapes were planted in the spring of 1979. When the grapes began producing, the grapes were sold to neighboring wineries. Their first vintage was in 1997 and it was bottled in 1998.
This was actually our second visit to this Miles Wine Cellars. Our first visit was back in 2012. This time we took our runabout up the lake from our rental and enjoyed a beautiful picnic on their lawn. It was extra special because we were joined by our family. We enjoyed a bottle of their Dry Riesling that was loaded with lemon and lime zest with finishes of fresh pear and apple. Our second bottle Ghost a light, semi-dry Chardonnay blend that was light, crisp and refreshing.
Our view of the lake from the lawn of Miles Wine Cellars.
Hillick & Hobbs - After years of searching around the Finger Lakes to fulfill the dream of creating site-specific estate riesling, Paul Hobbs concentrated his efforts on Seneca Lake and found a property with similar attributes to those found in the famed Mosel region in Germany. This winery is situated on the southeastern banks of the lake. They only produce a dry riesling each year and we could choose between three years. 
We enjoyed a bottle of their 2020 Dry Riesling. That season was warm and dry; however, cool lake breezes contribute to the estate's ability to slowly ripen the fruit. The result was a Riesling with early spring bloom aromas and lush stone fruit flavors.
Silver Springs Winery - Following a 700-year history of traditional winemaking, the Zuccarino family opened its winery’s doors in June 2004. Silver Springs Winery is a deeply rooted winery, maintaining a rich history for full-bodied, handcrafted reds and refreshingly fruity, rich aromatic white wines. They are located on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. It was our least favorite winery of the year. They seemed overpriced and we were not impressed with the wine we tried.
We tried their Dry Riesling "Pink Stripe. It's a complex wine with a nose of apricot, honeydew, honeysuckle, hints of white peach, and finishes with a citrus tangerine and grapefruit crisp snappy twang. Definitely nice but not our favorite.
You can read about other wineries we've visited in the Finger Lake area at the following links.

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