The Finger Lakes region is known for its wineries. The steep sloping sunny hillsides around the deep cool lakes offer the perfect growing temperatures and good drainage, providing ideal ground moisture levels for vineyards. Of the eleven lakes in the region, three of them offer a “wine trail.” Never one to pass up an adult beverage, I drove two out of the three, the Cayuga and Seneca Wine Trails.
It’s funny, last time I toured a wine region, you actually went through the winery, learned how the wine was made, saw the aging process in the giant oak barrels, and then got to have a taste at the end. Seems like nowadays, the “tour” involves leaving your SUV Limo idling in the circular driveway while the group goes straight to the tasting room and slams down five shooters for three bucks. Pay an extra two, and you get to keep the souvenir glass. “Speed tasting!”
It was harvest time in the vineyards while I was there. I had visions of Lucille Ball in her bare feet, stomping grapes in the barrel, but in fact, the only human intervention that appears to come into play is driving one of these “tractors on stilts,” and stacking the crates to await pick-up for market.
The region is most known for their sweet white wines like Riesling and Gewürztraminer, with a few light-bodied reds. Most of the Finger Lakes wines were way too sweet for my taste, each with a high amount of residual sugar, or the amount of sugar that remains after fermentation. None are the “muscular” reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec that I typically prefer. I also find the higher the residual sugar level, the worse the hangover. 😉
Of course, the fact that I bought a bottle had nothing to do with the name of the winery…