When most people think of good US wine, they think of any wine that comes from Napa Valley, California. But many people do not know that the next best place for wine in the United States is the Finger Lakes Region. To be honest, I lived thinking that the Finger Lakes Wine was the best wine in the country, and it wasn’t until I got to college that I learned that Napa Valley was the more prestigious of the wine growing country. Napa Valley is definitely the more well-known of the two, but I definitely think that Finger Lakes wine can compete with wine from California. This website agrees with me and even ranks the Finger Lakes as the number one region for wine in the US.
Many of the hills surrounding the lakes are filled with beautiful vineyards with miles and miles of vines and numerous types of grapes. In fact, there are over 100 wineries in the area. Some have been making wine for years and years and have multiple tasting rooms and distributors, while others are very small and can only be purchased from their site. There is something offered for every palette.
Many of the wineries are located around the bigger, deeper lakes. This is because the deep lakes are able to create a microclimate that is great for growing grapes. With this being said, there are wineries scattered throughout the rest of the Finger Lakes as well. The major lakes for wineries are Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga as they are very suitable for growing grapes. There is a website that discusses Finger Lakes Wine Country as a whole, and then each of the lakes has their own wine trail that can be found in brochures or on each of their websites as well.
On each of their websites you can learn more about the wineries along the trail, their history, and their offerings. The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is the oldest wine trail in the United States. The Keuka Lake Wine Trail offers some spectacular views and is home to Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars, founded by Dr. Frank himself who proved that classic European variety wines could in fact be produced in the Finger Lakes. The Seneca Lake Wine Trail offers the largest number of wineries with over 30 on the trail. The Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail is slowly up and coming.
Wineries are popular year round but are especially popular in the fall as visitors to the region enjoy leaf peeping while wine touring. Wine touring is a popular activity in the Finger Lakes whether it be for a bachelorette party, birthday party, girls weekend, date night, or just a fun time with friends or family. There are also many events that are put on related to wine and the wineries and each of their websites can inform you of some of those
So, if you are a sommelier (or a wanna be sommelier) the Finger Lakes region is a great place for you to check out.
I hope there is a bottle of Finger Lakes wine somewhere nearby for you to open after reading this post!
Image retrieved from Finger Lakes Wine Country’s Website