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Red Wine Drinkers - Which Wine Trail for 3 day vaca?

Bristol, Connecticut
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Red Wine Drinkers - Which Wine Trail for 3 day vaca?

I'm interested in a cozy 3 day weekend up in the Finger Lakes with my wife. I'd be driving up from CT for Memorial Day Weekend. We are advernturers and avid red wine drinkers. I'm still not sure where to stay up there and which wine trail to choose. We would like to travel to top vineyards for reds (yes, I know this area is known for their whites), but also see a few vineyards with amazing views. I would plan to see 4 vineyards a day with dinner in the vicinity 2 nights as well. Any help in the right direction would be much appreciated.

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1. Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Which Wine Trail for 3 day vaca?

Shalestone Winery on Seneca Lake does red wines exclusively. And Seneca also has a good number of other wineries you can visit, like Red Newt, which also has some good reds, IMO. There are a number of B&Bs on the eastern side of Seneca, within easy drives to great restaurants like Suzanne's Fine Regional Cuisine, Stone Cat Care and Red Newt Bistro. We've stayed at the Fox & Grapes and Seneca Springs Inn and enjoyed both.

Lodi, New York
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2. Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Which Wine Trail for 3 day vaca?

You may have difficulty finding accommodations on the east side of Seneca as Memorial Day weekend is also Cornell graduation weekend and most places book up months in advance. I do agree with the winery and restaurant suggestions though!

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3. Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Which Wine Trail for 3 day vaca?

Another thought is Keuka Lake known both for beauty and quality. Spend one day on the west side at Dr. Frank's, Heron Hill, Keuka Lake Vineyards, and Hunt Country and finish with dinner at union block bistro in hammondsport. The next day make sure you cover the east side notably Keuka Spring, McGregor's, Ravines, and possibly Rooster Hill. Eat at the Switz on the lake for a lake experience. Among these wineries you will find beautiful views of the lake and countryside and some great dry red wines.This would leave you a day to visit a few of the Seneca wineries mentioned as well.

New Jersey
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4. Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Which Wine Trail for 3 day vaca?

In the Finger Lakes, the red wine quality often suffers in a cool, rainy year beacuse of the short growing season. So, unlike California or Australia, vintages are more important. Look for 2010 in reds, as it was an exceptional year (and acutally less so for grapes like Riesling, which may have lost their razor edge). The east side of Seneca Lake between Ovid and Watkins Glen is known as the "bannana belt" due to its relatively warm microclimate, so many of the wineries along that strip do a good job with reds. Recently, Damiani has been doing great things with their reds, but several others are worth visiting (including the above mentioned Shalestone).

Because it ripens early, I think there is great promise for Pinot Noir, but since it is a very difficult grape to make a good wine from, it remains a work in progress. Cab Franc seems to be the other red of note, and seems more forgiving. Make sure and try the whites anyway, some are delicious.

5. Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Which Wine Trail for 3 day vaca?

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