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How to Taste Your Way Through the Finger Lakes Wineries



It’s the group of lakes in the middle of New York people are starting to pay more attention to.

“The Finger Lakes I think has always been a best kept secret and maybe we’re not a secret anymore,” said Dave Peterson, Goose Watch Winery co-owner.

“It’s kind of a hidden gem, but it’s gaining a little bit more popularity which is really nice,” said Kaitlynn Winkleblack, Hosmer Winery Tasting Room manager.

Pennsylvania’s Jana Aumn and her new husband are honeymooning by the shores of Cayuga Lake; stopping at Goose Watch Winery to try a glass.

“Even though its three and a half hours away from where we live, many people didn’t know what I meant when I said we were going to the Finger Lakes, so I think it’s a hidden gem,” Aumn said. “We both really like dry reds so we’re trying to expand. I tasted some whites today and it’s just a fun activity to do together and to talk about.”

“Rowdy crowds, there’s none of that. This is people who are really interested in wine, interested in the serenity, the views, the relaxation, and, in a safe manner, we can offer all that to people as far as wine tastings,” said Peterson.

Goose Watch has been on Cayuga Lake for 23 years and they say their wine varieties are on the path less traveled.

“The wine experts, the owners, are typically on site, so they’re really happy to talk to us and tell us what they have and what they grow and they’re really proud of it,” said Linnette Pousley from Pennsylvania.

Pandemic restrictions mean wineries aren’t doing tastings at the bar, so everyone is spread out, enjoying their reds and whites with the view of the blue lake.

“They already had their tasting sheets prearranged for us. You just packed which flight that you wanted, from the drys to the sweet, and they all have something in the middle,” said Pousley.

A few miles down the road is Hosmer Winery. 35 years in, they’re one of the oldest wineries on Cayuga Lake.

“Thus far the wines have been delicious. It was hard to limit it to five,” said Leslie Latham from Buffalo.

The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is the first wine trail in the country. Leslie and her husband traveled from Buffalo for a getaway to the lake.

“Cab franc is my favorite grape and it grows here, it’s a micro climate for it,” said Latham.

“This climate that we have here, this cooler climate, makes it really ideal for growing German varieties especially Riesling, this is kind of like the Riesling region here,” said Winkleblack.

Whether you have a favorite grape, or don’t know the difference between a Riesling and a rosé, there’s a wine for everyone in the Finger Lakes. Just take the trip on a tankful to find yours.