North & South America

The Finger Lakes Revisited

The Finger Lakes Revisited

Waking up at the Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles, NY is not the worst way to start a day. For one thing, I’m just across the street from the beautiful Skaneateles Lake. For another, I’m just minutes from another wonderful breakfast on the inn’s porch and for yet another, I’m starting another day of checking out some new wineries as well as some old favorites.

After breakfast, my designated driver wife and I head a few miles down the west side of the lake to Anyela’s Vineyards, one of the area’s newer wineries. I became a fan of Anyela’s after sampling a couple of their red Overlay blends a couple of years ago. The region has long been known for their impressive white wines (especially Rieslings) but, quite a few reds are starting to raise an eyebrow or two.

We reluctantly leave Anyela’s but also look forward to stopping by some wineries along Cayuga Lake to the west. As we ride along it dawns on me that half the fun of visiting wineries lies in getting from one to another. The low traffic combined with the sweeping vistas of the lakes make for a relaxing afternoon and the prospect of tasting new wines is always a big part of the day.

We pull into the unassuming Cobblestone Farm Winery that looks just like what a farmhouse should be. We were both pleasantly surprised to find an expansive layout of complimentary dips and sauces all around the tasting room. When the pouring started, I quickly became a fan of Cobblestones Cabernet Franc, a red grape that grows well in the region. I also fell in love with their dry Riesling and realized why the Finger Lakes region is so well known for the fruity white. It’s like a wonderful blend of strawberry and citrus with just a touch of mineral underneath it all that gives it that unique flavor profile that’s remembered long after the last sip.  I’m sure this won’t be our last visit to Cobblestone.

Just down the road, we stop in at Hosmer. I started off my tasting with their version of Cabernet Franc that was wonderful.  I then tried Lemberger, a new red wine for me. Lemberger has its origins in Austria and the presenter told me the vines hold up well in the challenging climate of the Finger Lakes. As soon as I take a sip, I’m convinced it works very well as a wine too; very full bodied and flavorful that could be savored by itself or alongside a good cut of beef. As much as I loved the reds, the Riesling was just on another level. This is the kind of wine that could fit in at a formal dinner or a barbeque and everywhere in between. The intense flavors are a reminder of all the good things about wine making and can instantly transport you from black and white to technicolor. 

As we head back toward Skaneateles, I’m already thinking about returning to Cobblestone, Anyela’s and Hosmer and wonder how I’ll ever make it to all the other wineries of the Finger Lakes.