New York’s Finger Lakes are a must-see in the fall. The colorful leaves, roadside produce stands, sparkling lakes and vineyards make it a beautiful destination this time of year.
I was fortunate enough to spend a wonderful weekend camping, visiting wineries and enjoying the outdoors with my husband and some of his family members. It was a weekend full of fun and excellent food and wine.
We explored several wineries around Cayuga Lake; one of the eleven Finger Lakes. The area is well-known for riesling wines and is also becoming a popular place to explore craft beers, and hard ciders. There is also a cheese trail for those that want to explore local creameries.
During our stay we visited five different wineries:
Thirsty Owl Wine Company & Bistro
Try: Buying a bottle of your favorite wine and sitting on the patio to enjoy the gorgeous view of the lake.
Cayuga Ridge Winery
Try: Cranberry Frost and Cranberry Essence Wine. Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.
Buttonwood Grove Winery
Try: Staying at Buttonwood Grove Winery cabins. We didn’t stay there during our visit this time but the grounds are gorgeous and it looks like it might be a neat experience.
Goose Watch Winery
Try: The October Chestnut Festival. The 17 acres of nut groves at Goose Watch Winery provides the chestnuts for the festival and the chestnut ice cream that is served.
Swedish Hill Winery
Try: Finding the winery’s mascot Doobie, the miniature donkey.
On our drive home we passed a sign for grape pies. I had never tasted this regional speciality before and, I have to say, I was intrigued. So, needless to say, my sweet tooth didn’t allow me to pass up the opportunity to try something new. It was definitely worth the stop and the extra calories from the slice (or two) of pie I consumed when I arrived home.
The grape pie I enjoyed was made by Toni and Carole of the Beers Sisters Pie Baking Company. I purchased a pie from the farmhouse inn, which Carole and her husband Rich own, called Tall Pines (just a stone’s throw from Seneca Lake in Dundee, New York). They offer different grape pies each made with various combinations of Lakemont, Mars, Poppe Grapa and Vanessa grape varieties that grow around Tall Pines. These grapes are small, seedless and taste so much more flavorful than any grapes I’ve ever purchased in the grocery store. When these little beauties are incorporated into a pie the end result is delicious. It is the sweeter side of pie, but a subtle sweetness balanced with a slight tartness and encased in a flaky crust. A slice of pie, especially shared with loved ones, is certainly a nice way to end a fall weekend and celebrate the fact that the simple moments can be some of the best moments of our life.