Finger Lakes New York – part 4, Keuka Lake

Keuka Lake

It was another wonderful day in the beautiful Finger Lake region of New York and I had a packed itinerary, visiting four of the important wineries around Keuka Lake. This is actually a Y shaped lake and has beautiful scenery on its shores as well as some attractive little towns that would repay a leisurely visit. Hammondsport, in particular, looked a lovely place to spend a little time. Continue reading

Finger Lakes New York – part 3, Senaca & Cayuga

This is a great trip, the countryside of the Finger Lakes region is lovely, I keep passing the most perfect looking American white clapperboard houses with rocking chairs on their porches. It is a very agricultural area of farms punctuated by incredibly attractive little towns with wide streets of grand houses, some larger versions of the white clapperboard and some looking for all the world like Georgian mansions. I think the area would make a super holiday destination.

Yesterday was a day packed with exciting experiences on my trip, so I will grab a few minutes to share some of them with you.

My first port of call was Swedish Hill Vineyard in Romulus near Cayuga Lake, where I was given a tasting by Ian Barry, the head winemaker. This was fascinating as this winery grows native grapes and hybrids as well as Vitis Vinifera, so I was able to try some things that so far had eluded me. Continue reading

Finger Lakes New York – part 2, Canandaigua to Geneva

It was a great day yesterday, very interesting and full of information that I will have to assess properly before I pass it on.

I spent the morning in Canandaigua at the lovely New York Wine & Culinary Centre where I enjoyed a presenttion and tasting of wines from the other regions of New York: Hudson River, Long Island, the Niagra Escarpment and Lake Eirie.

Remember, if you want to follow my journey you can refer to my piece about the region hereUncork New York and my two maps – New York’s wine regions and the Finger Lakes region. Continue reading

Finger Lakes New York – part 1, Canandaigua

Well, I arrived in Canandaigua early Saturday morning or late Friday depending on your point of view and am looking forward to getting to know the wine regions of New York State and in particular the Finger Lakes AVA.

Canandaigua is a very beautiful place, very peaceful and easygoing. The lake is lovely to look at and it is very relaxing to watch all the boat activity, while the surrounding countryside is idyllic – do visit this far flung corner of the state, you will like it.

It all kicks off properly tomorrow with a seminar at the New York Wine & Culinary Centre in Canandaigua, followed by a visit to the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva where they have an experimental winery and grape growing programme.

So, I will have lots to report back tomorrow. In the meantime here are some photographs: Continue reading

New York – wines to inspire you

Canandaigua Lake

Amazingly most UK consumer’s concept of wine from the United States of America starts and stops with California. Certainly California is the most important of the wine producing states, but there are some superb wines made elsewhere in the US too.

Some consumers are aware of wines from Oregon and possibly Washington State, but usually my students are astonished when I tell them about wines from Virginia, Texas, Utah or New York state.

Wine is actually made from freshly gathered grapes in all 48 of the continental states as well as in Hawaii, only Alaska misses out by being too cold. Continue reading