Finger Lakes wineries greet Spring with March events

Check out my latest article posted on  Finger Lakes wineries greet Spring with March events!  Tons of fun events around the Lakes in March! Enjoy Trail events on Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga Lakes plus lots of event on the wineries.    Check it out!


Relaxing at the Wine Salon

Each January my husband and I plan a trip up to the Finger Lakes – typically Seneca and/or Cayuga Lakes – to do some wine tasting and shopping.  The trip originally started out as an Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event, since it was a holiday for both of us.  This year, however, it was not a holiday for me, so we decided to go on Sunday.

It was Bargain Bash Week and Pasta & Wine Weekend along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, but it was still a relatively quiet day in most of the tasting rooms.  We started out at Silver Springs Winery, then headed on to J.R. Dill Winery, Atwater Vineyards, Red Newt Cellars, Kings Garden Vineyards, Wagner Vineyards, and Damiani Wine Cellars.  Our main mission for the day was to take advantage of the quiet tasting rooms and Bargain Bash specials, but I was also set on having lunch at the Red Newt Bistro and trying their Wine Salon, which I had heard so much about.

We did a quick tasting at Red Newt with a very pleasant and knowledgeable staff member (whom we kept staring at because he could’ve been my nephew’s twin; they even have the same name!) before heading in to the Bistro.

We ordered the Wine Salon menu option and our server, Emma, walked us through the choices of food for the Tasting Plate and wine selections.  It was a simple process: choose 3 entrees from a list on the blackboard, then choose three wines from a list of 20 Red Newt reds and whites.  The meal also came with a signature salon salad, crostini and concord chèvre.  If you’re not sure what to pair with what, don’t worry.  We relied on Emma for some suggestions and she did a great job.

For my three food items, I chose the Maple Smoked Trout, Flat Bread Pizza (with roasted garlic spread, artichokes, spinach and “Dilly Girl” Cheddar) and the Fresh Pasta (crab, chèvre, and carmelized shallot ravioli with roasted garlic cream sauce).  My wines were 2008 Pinot Gris – Curry Creek Vineyard, Red Eft, and 2010 Pinot Noir.

Kip, who loves to fish but isn’t a big fan of trout as a food, chose the Manchego, Flat Bread Pizza, and Fresh Pasta.  His wines were the 2007 Gewürztraminer – Curry Creek Vineyards, Red Eft and the 2010 Pinot Noir.

Combined with the Signature Salon Salad (hydroponic greens, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, white beans, and balsamic vinaigrette), the crostini and concord chèvre, it was a very filling meal in a very relaxed atmosphere.   And keeping with Red Newt’s focus on local, many of the items in our meal were sourced from local growers and producers: 

We talked, shared food and wine samples, and enjoyed the fantastic view of Seneca Lake.   It was the perfect meal for a great day on the lake.  I highly recommend stopping in and giving the Wine Salon at Red Newt Bistro a try.  Or, if you’d like a full meal, try their Winternet Cafe or dinner at the Bistro (serving again for the season beginning February 9th).

Finger Lakes Wineries Gear Up for January Events

Check out my latest article posted on  Finger Lakes Wineries Gear Up for January Events!  Tons of fun events around the Lakes in January!  And, in my mind, one of the best times to visit the wineries.  My husband and I will be headed up this coming weekend for our annual Bargain Bash trip to Seneca Lake.  Another of our favorite events is Between the Lakes.  Check it out!

Sheldrake Point on Seneca

What a crazy fall it has been.  September brought not only cooler temperatures, but also torrential downpours and flooding throughout the area.  Everyday life was pushed to the back burner as families, organizations, businesses and communities throughout the Twin Tiers struggled to deal with the damage left by the flood.  Many are still dealing with the aftermath.

Thankfully my family was not severely affected, but the community and organizations that I work with did sustain damage.  So, it was a bit of a break when I traveled to Seneca Lake on Thursday, October 20th for the latest meeting of the Academy of Wine Communications – Finger Lakes Chapter.  And of particular interest – the meeting was being held at Sheldrake Point Winery’s new Seneca Lake Tasting Room.

Sheldrake Point Winery & Simply Red Bistro are located along the shores of Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes.  Founded in 1998, Sheldrake Point’s vineyards and original tasting room sit on a 155-acre farm about 100 yards up from the edge of Cayuga Lake.  With 43 acres of grapes planted, the Winery offers a wide variety of Estate wines including award-winning Rieslings, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Dry Rose, and Ice Wines.

Sheldrake Point on Seneca Tasting Room

On September 26, 2011, the Winery opened a tasting room along the east side of Seneca Lake in Hector.  The entrance to the tasting room can be accessed via State Route 414 or Fauswold Road.  Outside the tasting room building, visitors are greeted with plenty of parking, drive-up access (for loading in those cases of wine!), and a building-long porch overlooking Seneca Lake.  Inside, the new space includes a tasting bar, a small meeting space, restrooms, gift shop and of course, a generous supply of Sheldrake Point wines.

“Since Simply Red Bistro will be closing its doors to customers on Cayuga lake the decision was made to add a second tasting room location on Seneca Lake which is a much busier wine trail,” states Christine McAfee, Sheldrake Point on Seneca Tasting Room Manager.    “The opportunity arose with Busca Books on Route 414 in Hector to establish a second tasting room location and with the help of Schickel Architecture in Ithaca, NY, construction began in Spring 2011. “

Visitors have a large selection of Sheldrake Point wines to choose from at the new tasting room.

According to McAfee, the same Sheldrake Point wines will be available at both locations, although currently, the Seneca Lake Tasting Room has Cabernet Sauvignon and Gewurztraminer, which the Cayuga Lake Tasting Room no longer has in stock.

The Winery will celebrate the opening of its new tasting room with a Grand Opening Party on Thursday, November 17th from 6-8pm.  The evening will feature work by local artist Helena Cooper, music by Richie Stern and food catered by Sam of Simply Red Events.  Tasting Room staff will also be pouring a pre-released 2010 Gamay Noir.

The tasting room along Seneca is open Daily from 10am-5:30pm, April-October and Daily from 11am-5pm, November-March.  The tasting room is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  For more information, visit, email:, or call 866-743-5372.