Wining & Dining In Upstate New York

Top picks for a weekend at The Finger Lakes.


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Once called a "culinary wasteland," the Finger Lakes now attract millions for fun, countrified weekends spent "wine trailing" and munching at wholesome organic bistros, trendy coffee shops and Internet cafes.

The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is comprised of 11 glacially formed lakes. Their long, narrow shapes

 Glenora sign
are reminiscent of fingers, hence the name. The rolling land between the lakes is occupied with dairy farms that also raise maize, corn, hay, wheat, oats, barley and soybeans. Maple syrup, honey and wine are also local products.

Iroquois legend says, "The Creator looked upon this land with special favor and reached down to bless it, leaving the imprint of His hand…the Finger Lakes."

Armed with a decent map and a sense of adventure, wine and food lovers will find ample opportunity to savor local delicacies on a jaunt through the region. Here are some top picks for a day or two ambling around the Lakes:

 

Cayuga Lake

Drinks

Eats

Long Point: For Merlot and Syrah.

Simply Red Village Bistro: Everything is made from scratch.

Knapp Winery & Restaurant: East Coast's first grappa, brandy.

Gimme! Coffee: Tasty biscotti, streudel, free WiFi, rockin' java.

Goose Watch: Diversely different; savor Traminette, nutty Classic Cream Sherry.

Sheldrake Point Vineyard and Café: Eggs Niagara, lobster ravioli, wild salmon.

Hosmer Winery: The best place for sangria.

Lucas Vineyards: Family-run, they're Cayuga's oldest winery.

 
 

 Seneca Lake

Drinks

Eats

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards: Big, robust flavors of Red Cat, Schooner. Jerlando's Ristorante Pizzeria: Queue up for authentic Italian. 400 N. Franklin St, Watkins Glen, 607.532.4254
Atwater Estate Vineyard: Outstanding view to sip Vidal Blanc, hearty Meritage. Stonecat Café: Local winemakers' hangout for jazz, folk music, fine smoked meats and organic, vegetarian dishes.
Miles Wine Cellars: Reputedly haunted Greek Revival-style mansion, once part of the Underground Railroad. Fox Run Vineyards & Café: Zesty deli fare.
Madderlake Café: A 48-seat local favorite. 5286 West Lake Road (Route 14), Geneva, 315.781.2424

Julie Botteri is a fulltime freelance writer living in the Florida Keys. She specializes in travel, wine country, health and animal health topics.


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