July 12, 2012 | Wendy Van Diver
Discovering the Finger Lakes Part 2: Seneca Lake Wine Trail (west side)
Thirty-two wineries grace the shores of Seneca Lake—and we only had time to visit a handful. My big brother Craig started with Seneca Lake because it’s home to Fox Run Vineyards (Craig’s own discovery). From Fox Run, we drove a short distance to Red Tail Ridge Winery. Craig wanted to stop there because he had recently tasted one of its Rieslings and was duly impressed.
We were greeted in the tasting room by Bobbie, who graciously accepted a copy of the Summer/Fall issue of Touring & Tasting and then poured Red Tail’s entire line-up including the delicate, tart-yet-balanced 2011 Estate Rosé, the crisp sans oak 2011 Chardonnay, three Rieslingsranging from dry to semi-sweet, the 2009 Blaufränkisch (Lemberger), and my favorite, the Good Karma. I was pleased, not only with the wine’s pungent aromas and mouth feel, but with the fact that 10% of the wine’s gross profit per bottle goes to Foodlink, the region’s food bank. Red Tail Ridge is a relative newcomer, but it is popular and the wines sell out quickly.
We made one other stop on the west side of Seneca Lake, at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard. What a find! The tasting bar stands just a few yards from the stainless steel barrels and there is a lovely patio with umbrellas for guests who want to linger a while. The winery is also a nursery and guests can purchase their own baby vines for $10 per plant, plus free tips for planting. Cheryl poured the wines of our choosing from the exquisite portfolio. We were joined shortly after our arrival by the winery’s co-owner Osckar Bynke who had just returned from Sweden that morning. We were delighted with the Riesling line up, the 2006 Cuvée Brut, and a decadent Select Late Harvest Chardonnay. Craig bought bottles of the sparkling and the dessert wines, and I snagged a bottle of the 2010 Semi-dry Riesling. Yum.