Oenologists, people who study wine and oenophile, people who love wine from around the world are eager to visit New York Finger Lakes and participate in New York Finger Lakes festival to be held on June 15-17 2011. But, New York Finger Lakes cannot be limited to visiting the ninety plus Finger Lakes wineries and wine tasting. Breathtaking views of the lakes and countryside, leaf peeping, harvest festivals, skiing, snow shoeing are many other attractions and activities that draw tourists and boosts Finger Lakes tourism.
Be it a Finger Lakes romantic getaway, a luxury wine package or a weekend family getaway from New York City, Finger Lakes qualifies to be a perfect getaway destination. There is so much to see, do and taste, all at one place. It's a perfect place that lets you enjoy, relax and feel rejuvenated at your own pace.
New York Finger Lakes
The name is attributed to the fact that the series of large lakes on a map resemble finger bones. New York Finger Lakes is located midway between New York City and Niagara Falls in west central New York State. The region includes a collection of naturally formed lakes. It is believed that the Finger Lakes are a series of cirque lakes, an aftereffect when a massive glacier literally gouged through the land at the end of the last ice age, over 10,000 years ago. Water collected in this area and the Finger Lakes were formed.
The names of the eleven lakes denote the appearance, location and significance of the lakes. Conesus (Always Beautiful), Canadice (Long Lake), Honeoye (Finger Lying), Canandaigua (Chosen Place), Keuka (Canoe Landing), Seneca (Stoney Place), Cayuga (Boat Landing), Owasco (Floating Bridge), Skaneateles (Long Lake), Otisco (Waters Dried Away) and Onondaga (People of the Hills) are the eleven long narrow lakes that lie side-by-side with wide valleys and deep gorges with rushing waterfalls. The favorable location and climate have contributed to dozens of award-winning vineyards surrounding many of the lakes spread across 4,452 ha of vineyards.
New York Finger Lakes Wine Festival
New York Finger Lakes Wine festival is held annually. Finger Lakes Wine Festival offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world. The salient features of the Finger Lakes Festival are:
- Festival aims to provide wine enthusiasts with the best introduction to the Finger Lakes region and its many wineries and vineyard.
- Will feature more than 90 wineries. Participants can enjoy one-stop sipping and shopping, pouring over 600 wines and even a visit to beer garden.
- Wine producers offer a sample size, usually 15-30 ml of their product to consumers to enable consumers purchase wine.
- Every producer has 5-15 wines available for tasting.
- A nominal fee is collected from participants to taste a range of wines, which is refunded upon purchase of a wine.
- Besides wine, other items include food, microbrew craft beers, fireworks, culinary classes and cooking demos, pace car rides, camping, live music by 25 bands and comedy shows, one-stop wine purchasing, toga parties and much more.
- The Festival also features a variety of arts and crafts vendors, jewelers, gourmet foods, live music and pace car rides around the historic racetracks.
- Classes conducted by region's finest chefs, including cooking demonstrations and wine pairing from the New York Wine and Culinary Center.
- New York Wine and Grape Foundation will conduct free educational seminars.
- Yancey's Fancy Cheese will be on hand with free samples of cheese.
- On the concluding day there is likely to be a spectacular fireworks show.
New York Finger lakes tourism
New York Finger Lakes is not limited to vineyards and wine tasting. The Finger Lakes region is filled with events, festivals and a variety of year-round recreation opportunities for the young and the elderly. It's a combination of inland and outdoor activities, on the lush green parks as well in the cool waters in the lakes. Perfect climate all through the year, abundant natural beauty and many other amazing attractions make it a perfect getaway destination. Major attractions besides the eleven slender lakes include 25 state parks, 1063 gorgeous waterfalls, magnificent parks, charming villages, unique shopping opportunities, museums, numerous outdoor activities, and gourmet dining.
Where to stay: Places for accommodations are mostly located near the wineries. Bed and breakfast accommodations, inns, resorts, deluxe hotels, moderately priced hotels for families, dog-friendly hotels, motels that don't necessarily require reservations, guest houses for tourists planning long vacation, haunted houses with history of being haunted, homes for rent for tourists who wish to extend period of stay, vacation rooms or cottages for rent, tenting and sleeping on bare ground in the forest, lean-toes accommodation, there are a plethora of choice of accommodation.
Finger Lakes wine trail: Finger Lakes region is New York's major wine producing area. A visit to New York Finger Lakes is incomplete without going on a Finger Lakes wine trail. Wine trails are made up of several wineries that offer customers/visitors/tourists the local wine experience and also educate about New York's rich wine, food and culinary traditions.
Finger Lakes Wine trail gives you an opportunity to visit and enjoy the beauty of vineyards as well as get a taste of award winning wines like Riesling, Finger Lakes Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc Wines. The two longest lakes, Cayuga and Seneca have their own wine trails. Other wine trails are in and around Canandaigua Lake and Keuka Lake.
How to go? Options are a self-guided tour or taking professional drivers who can guide you through one of their standard tours with an option to customize wine trails. You can choose from a luxury sedan, limousine, van or mine bus.
When to go: In the summer and fall most of the wineries in the Finger Lakes are open seven days a week. During late/fall early winter and spring check each winery's hours as some have more limited tasting room hours, especially during the week.
What to do? All wine trails seem like a trip back in time. The location of the wineries, the buildings extend a feeling of going to another era. While on the trail, you can spend time learning about the tradition of growing grapes and making fine wine. The vineyards give you a chance to see how grapes are turned into fine vintages. Be very particular to tour the cellar and fermenting rooms and sample varieties in the tasting room. This is important to have a full-filling winery experience. You can also buy wine after tasting.
Many wineries have on-site restaurants. Award-winning chefs in these restaurants prepare dishes mostly with locally grown produce, farm-raised meats and organic, homemade breads. The key point is the dishes are prepared to match the wines.
There is an array of opportunities all along the Finger Lakes wine trail.
- Dine in restaurants while enjoying breathtaking views of the lake.
- Delight in ice cream shops, bakeries located in scenic surroundings of the Finger Lakes.
- Explore traveling options by land or water in and around the trails.
Tips for an ideal New York Finger Lakes Wine trail:
You can customize your own tour and choose which winery or wine trail you wish to visit.
- Before your day of wine tasting, be sure to have a full breakfast, for energy and it will make wine tasting easier and more enjoyable.
- Take a notebook. Each time you taste wine, jot down points about the wine. It helps to understand your favorite flavor.
- Do not hesitate to ask questions.
- Try as many wines as possible.
- Do not eat or munch while on the trail. Your wine tasting experience is likely to be influenced by candy, mints and gums.
- Don't drink wine on empty stomach. Have breakfast or lunch before embarking on wine trail.
- Taste is a personal preference. The best wine is the one you like most.
- Experience the Essence of Wine with the Seven S's of Wine Tasting.
Popular Finger Lake Wine trails
Canandaigua Wine Trail: The Canandaigua Wine Trail offers seven unique and historical wineries to choose from coupled with beautiful scenery along the way. Allot a day to cover this trail. The wine trail stretches 41 scenic miles and is one of the smaller and most scenic of the Finger Lakes. The Canandaigua Wine Trail (CWT) comprises a diverse group of wineries (large and small), restaurants, wine tasting centers and unique shops, providing visitors with a full Finger Lakes experience. 5 wineries and 2 wine centers, along with restaurants, hotels, B & Bs, attractions, shopping and golf is what await visitors during a day trip.
For those who wish to spend more time in Canandaigua wine trail, there are enough attractions to keep them hooked on for unlimited hours.
Bristol Mountain: Experience the beauty of the Bristol Hill from the summit of the tallest ski resort between the Adirondack and Rocky Mountain ranges. Fall foliage chairlift rides from September through October will enhance your Canandaigua Wine Trail Tour.
Destination Victor: It's a small town founded in the 18th century, which provides visitors with 21st century amenities.
You can attend summer concerts and a farmer's market. Late noon is time to go biking, skiing and hiking. Visit the state parks and dine in nearby restaurants and savor delicacies. Shop in the first ever shopping mall built in 1878. Explore the local historical attractions including Valentown Museum.
Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack: Probably you have heard it and have never had an opportunity to try your luck! Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack offers nearly 1,200 slot machines. The spacious, 30,000 square foot gaming floor allows you to move around in comfort. From 10am - 4am daily, there is ample time to play all of your favorite games, including video poker, progressive jackpots, penny machines, and more. Visit the 'All you can eat' Vineyard Buffet where you can taste Mediterranean, Southwest, regional favorites, All-American, fresh carved selections, seafood, and the finest salad and dessert bars. There is also live musical entertainment during the weekends.
Reservoir Creeks' Pub: If you happen to be there during the golfing season which usually begins mid April every year, you can visit the Reservoir Creeks's pub. It's an acclaimed restaurant and bar.
Shopping: From pottery to glasswork, metal paintings, jewelry, candles, soaps and sundries, food confections, there is so much to choose and shop.
Cayuga wine trail: It's the largest of New York's Finger Lakes and faces the deep-blue waters of the Cayuga Lake. There are 15 wineries and 4 distilleries along the trail. Besides enjoying the breathtaking scenic beauty at every nook and corner, check out Taughannock Falls, a waterfall taller than Niagara, hike in one of the many spectacular gorges, taste great wine, attend shows, visit museums, indulge in exciting fun-filled outdoor activities, dine in restaurants located right across the lake and enjoy the bounty of Cayuga wine trail.
Seneca Lake wine trail: Seneca Lake is 632 feet deep- the deepest lake amongst the eleven lakes. The Seneca Lake Wineries are the largest collection of wineries in New York. Beautiful hillsides & valleys surround the lake. It is home to more than 55 wineries. Seneca Lake has some of the most beautiful vineyards that stretch for hundreds of acres on the sloping hills that ring the lake. Often times, wine and cheese festival is held combining the classic tastes of wine and cheese. The place provides a great opportunity for people to experience a vast array of food/wine combinations.
Keuka Lake wine trail: It was here, in 1860, that the first bonded winery was established. It was also here that the first Vinifera vines were planted. The wines are sure to please every palate, be it dry or sweet, fruity or austere. You can choose to spend a day, a weekend or an entire week. The Y-shaped Keuka Lake has enough attractions to keep you engaged. Visit the eight wineries of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail; participate in events organized throughout the year, check the perfect food the best wine, explore a range of outdoor adventure activities like fishing and hunting, golf, hiking, biking and horseback riding, water and boating activities.
Finger Lakes tourism
Each year thousands of tourists from across the world visit New York Finger Lakes. It's the growing popularity that attracts tourists to make it a weekend getaway destination, a family getaway or a romantic getaway destination.
Favorable weather, picturesque landscapes with waterfalls dotted across its landscapes, scenic surroundings, historical villages to explore, finger lakes winery, finger lakes wine festival, Finger Lakes wine trails that stretch though parks, forests, and converted rails to trail, events, food, the parks, flowing rivers, streams and lakes, great recreation, outdoor adventure activities- New York Finger Lakes has unlimited attractions that appeal and satisfy all types of tourists; be it the allocentric tourists, adventurer, explorer, nature lover, history buffs, water sports lover, the leisure and recreation seekers and the drifter.