Finger Lakes Guide

This past December, I had an amazing opportunity to visit the Finger Lakes — we were hosted at Glen Hollow, a magical place that boasts amazing amenities, invites relaxation, and has *so* much charm. Glen Hollow is an English-style cottage located just off Canandaigua Lake on the Canandaigua Wine Trail. The cottage was built in the early 1900s and has recently been renovated — it is now part of the National Register of Historic Places! Glen Hollow consists of the Main House with two bedrooms suits, a grand fireplace, an indoor garden, and a designer kitchen. The Guest House with a cozy downstairs stable bedroom, a romantic hayloft, and a waterfall shower. Behind the guest house is my favorite part — the hot tub, sauna, and tranquility room!

The Finger Lakes AVA is located in Upstate New York, south of Lake Ontario. It was established in 1982 and encompasses the eleven Finger Lakes, but the area around Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lakes contain the vast majority of vineyard plantings in the AVA.

Travel

  • From Richmond, the drive is about eight hours to Glen Hollow
  • We spent most of our time near Keuka Lake, a quick 45-minute drive from Glen Hollow
  • Book your stay here

Day 1

Dr. Konstantin Frank: Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery pioneered the Eastern United States vinifera movement. Situated on the southwestern hills of Keuka Lake, it was here in 1957 that Dr. Konstantin Frank planted the first vinifera vines in the Eastern United States and ignited the “Vinifera Revolution.” Dr. Frank is now a four-generation winery that produces outstanding wine — you’ll also learn that this winery is a gateway winery for all the other wineries in the Finger Lakes region. Several winemakers start at Dr. Frank’s and then open their own spaces.

Lunch at Timberstone Grill

Pleasant Valley Wine Co.: The Pleasant Valley Wine Company, located near the village of Hammondsport, New York, is the oldest winery in the Finger Lakes region. Established in 1860, the winery proudly displays the designation U.S. Bonded Winery No. 1 and has eight remarkable stone buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Pleasant Valley has over 14 million gallons of capacity at its 425,000-square-foot facility and 500 acres of vineyards. 

Domaine LeSeurre: Originally from Champagne, France, Domaine LeSeurre has handcrafted wine for six generations. After passionately enjoying 15 vintages worldwide, the owners fell in love with the beautiful Finger Lakes region and terroir. They have a stunning portfolio of wine — a few of my favorites were their Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Rosé of Cabernet Franc. The star of the show was their newest release, Sparkling Heritage. After years in the making, their first of four sparkling wines was released to Wine Club. Chris was generous enough to open one of his so we could enjoy it! This wine was fantastic — it is a blend of all three Champagne grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. It was a special moment to finally have something in the making since 2012!

The Lake House, Rose Tavern: Rose Tavern is a New American restaurant serving a rustic, seasonal menu inspired by the Finger Lakes region. We ended the night the best way possible, with a bottle of Red Tail Ridge, Coulotte, Hearth Charred Local Fingerlings, Sticky Brussel Sprouts, Espresso Martinis, and more!

Day 2

Brunch at Roots Cafe

Inspire Moore Winery: Founded in 2007, Inspire Moore’s winemaking is focused on premium vineyard-driven Finger Lakes wines. Inspire Moore produces over 12 wines, including Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Traminette, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Blaufrankisch to name a few. Formally Imagine Moore, they changed their name in 2010 to Inspire Moore‚ more love, joy, and happiness. It just so happens that the owner’s last name is Moore! My favorite wine here was Rythm — their delicious Gruner Veltliner.

Weis Vineyard: Weis is a boutique winery specializing in German varietals with a beautiful tasting room with views overlooking Kuka Lake. Established by a husband and wife team, Hans Peter (native of Zell Mosel, Germany) and Ashlee Weis. They embrace Peter’s family winemaking traditions and techniques, accompanied by the terroir of the Finger Lakes region, to create delicious wines! I was a big fan of their red wines — the Cabernet Franc and Blaufränkisch were my favorites.

Ravines Wine Cellars: Ravines Wine Cellars is a boutique winery crafting elegant wines using Old World winemaking practices. Owners Morten & Lisa Hallgren, a European Winemaker/Oenologist, and his Chef wife started Ravines in 2001 and, at the time, were the only winery in the Finger Lakes with a Winemaker holding a formal degree training from Europe and a winery pursuing a traditional winemaking approach – making exclusively dry, vinifera wines. Morten also pioneered the bone-dry, mineral-tinged Riesling style that has since become the flagship Finger Lakes wine. Ravines own 130 acres of estate vineyards and operate two tasting rooms. This winery was by far my favorite — I think I brought home six bottles plus a magnum of their fantastic Dry Riesling.

I am already looking forward to my next adventure to the Finger Lakes region! Thanks to Chris and Lisa for hosting us and Becca and MJ for the fun memories!

Cheers, Paige


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