Oh, but we can associate the Finger Lakes with red wine. It’s unique. It’s a rather odd combination, what with the constant ice wine and white wine we see in the cold climate of the Finger Lakes in New York, but it’s true — many wineries love their Pinot like they love the pull of the cold temperature and quiet of this frosty area, and here’s the list to prove it:
As you think beyond the Reisling and forego the Chardonnay for something fruitier and somber to the palate, you begin to wonder if there’s anything the Finger Lakes can’t appreciate. Probably not. Without a doubt, you could’ve scoffed at the idea that you’d be impressed by any winery in Finger Lakes, because you’re a Gris or Grigio guy or gal.
It just so happens, though, that these wineries are a cut above the rest with some demure, room-temperature champs of red wine:
Shalestone Vineyards — You’ll go with Merlot and only that, plus any other red wine thanks to the Shalestone Vineyards. And why? Because this establishment on the east side of Seneca Lake only deals in red wine. And they do it well.
Bully Hill Vineyards — Part of what makes red wine so spectacular is its ability to go with everything gritty about food like steak. You know you like steak. Well, so do the Bully Hill Vineyards with their Meat Market Red. See them overlooking Keuka Lake on the southwestern hill. And don’t forget the A1 sauce.
Keuka Overlook Wine Cellars — We’ll stick around Keuka Lake for some more fabulous red wine as we get to these cellars on three private reserves. Try a succulent Cabernet Saubignon, or a Franc. But don’t miss the Triumph, a Meritage Blend. These red wines are so unique, they’ll blow you away.
Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars — If there’s one thing Dr. Konstantin knows, it’s a great dry red wine, and these cellars have quite possibly the best Cabernet Franc ever with its rich, bold and heavy red, robust like it should be, strangely not indicative of the Finger Lakes at all, but we welcome that.
Miles Wine Cellars — What can be better than sipping a sweet red wine? Try sipping it on a boat on the west side of Seneca Lake at the Miles Wine Cellars. That’s right: they have a dock for touring the lake by boat, and you can have a smooth Cabernet to go along with your ride.
Heart and Hands — That’s what it takes to make a fine French oak barrel of red wine, don’t you think? Thomas and Susan Higgings think so with their Pinot Noir and some expertise under their belts originally hailing from California where vintage red wine is king. Their vineyards here at Heart and Hands at Cayuga Lake has brought the king to his new throne.
Bloomer Creek — This vineyard knows their Reisling like it knows their deep reds with some complex notes of multiple identities and flavors of herbs, blueberries, tea leaves and other aromas tickling taste buds. Meet Kim Engle and Debra Bermingham yourself right here and experience the flavor personally.
Ravines Vineyards — Hybrids take red wine to a whole other level here at the Ravines Vineyards. And how so? Ask Morten and Lisa Hallgren, and you’ll find that the Keuka Village Red they have is a special one: 40% Cabernet Franc and 60% Noiret. Very interesting. And quite tasty.
Damiani Wine Cellars — Lastly, Phil Davis wants you to check out the Pinot Noir and Syrah barrel samples they have, because he knows you won’t be disappointed. Red grapes are happy to be crushed here.
Just check out any one of these wineries. These are the ones especially loving red wine, if not solely dedicated to it. You may like the cold of the Finger Lakes, mind you — but you definitely want to be warmed up a bit with the red wines you’ll get here in these places. Cheers.