I took a break from blogging during the long winter months — it the worst winter I have experienced in NYC! But gladly I am back and, having emerged from my winter hibernation, I can continue sharing my adventures here.
This past weekend I was part of a celebration for one of my best friends who is getting married. A group of 13 girls rented a beautiful house on Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York for the weekend. It was a magical few days, and my favorite part was visiting the local wineries. So, I’ll share my experience with you!
I always wanted to visit a winery but never had before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a low-key and wonderful day that was surprisingly inexpensive. We chartered a van from a company in Ithaca which was only $45 for 5 hours per person, including gratuity. It was essential to get a driver so everyone could enjoy the wine with no worries about transportation. Here’s the run-down of the wineries we visited.
- Bellweather Hard Cider: Our first stop of the day was the only spot we visited located on Cayuga Lake. It was actually a cidery which was a nice way to start out day. We sampled 6 different ciders ranging from extremely dry Champagne-style cider to richer-bodied traditional cider. I was amazed at how inexpensive tastings and bottles were throughout the day. Of course I bought the Original Cider to bring home for later. http://www.cidery.com/
- Leidenfrost Vineyards: Our second stop had a beautiful view of Seneca Lake featuring both red and white wines. It was my favorite one of the day due to the view and super friendly staff. The Finger Lakes wineries are traditionally known for Riesling and other white wine but Leidenfrost has a broad range of both red and white. My favorite tasting was the Cayuga White Wine. I bought a full class and sipped it on the patio while enjoying the beautiful lake view. http://www.leidenfrostwine.com/
- Finger Lakes Distilling: Our third stop was a distillery. Most of the group enjoyed vodka, gin, whiskey, brandy and liqueur samples but I opted to skip this one; I wanted more wine!! But it was neat to see the big copper stills where the actual distillation takes place. Who knew that making booze was such an art! http://www.fingerlakesdistilling.com/
- Ryan William Winery: Our last stop was a small winery located in a peaceful farm setting. We enjoyed a casual tasting in a rustic tasting room. We tasted Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabarnet Franc. http://www.ryanwilliam.com/
We ended the day with a delicious backyard picnic of gourmet appetizers at Stonecat Café. It is one of the most well-known restaurants in the Finger Lakes area, and everything was delicious. A perfect ending to a perfect day!