An Afternoon at Anyela’s


One thing I can always count on in my wine experimentation is my mom. She is MORE than willing to come along for the experience. And, best of all, she shares my love of dry reds. Well, she is kind of the reason and enabler for it too.


Our most recent endeavor took us to a town just outside of Syracuse, Skaneateles, New York. My mom grew up in Skaneateles and became excited to take the 30-minute drive back to her roots. Disclaimer: thank you, dad, for driving.

Along the west side of the lake where there are million dollar homes and gorgeous scenery, sits a charming winery atop a hill called Anyela’s Vineyards. Even though we visited on a rather cloudy day, the views and the vineyard were still striking. The rows and acres of vines and grapes provided a setting that was, in one word, breathtaking. I would soon find out that there was a reason for placing the vines along the drive up to the winery.

Before we ventured out into the rows of vines and grapes, we stopped into the winery purchasing a bottle of Overlay (mom’s favorite) and cheese and crackers (dad’s favorite). Overlay, according to Anyela’s website, is described as, “A blend of 50 percent Cabernet Franc, 25 percent Pinot Noir, 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is very smooth with berry characteristics and a bit of spiciness.” The “bit of spiciness” is what I really enjoy. The horseradish cheese acted as a perfect counterpart to the smooth wine, especially because we were able to snag a corner table outside overlooking the lake.

Anyela’s Vineyards opened in the early 2000s by Patti and Jim Nocek, preserves its wines a little differently than other wineries across the Finger Lake region.  Its story dates back three generations to Eastern Europe to the land that is now spread out along Skaneateles Lake. Patti Nocek speaks of the uniqueness of the vineyard. “Jim and I are very hands-on, even after 10 years. We like to be involved because of our passion and the knowledge that goes into wine production,” says Patti. Their passion trickles down to their staff, which is evident in the welcoming and knowledgeable atmosphere present at Anyela’s. Upon entering the property, they immediately wanted to grab the attention of patrons, provoking curiosity, by lining the drive up with vines of grapes. Well, this tactic works.

According to the website, Anyela’s works to preserve the vines from the fall and winter cold by removing each vine from its designated trellis and burying them in the earth, “to insulate the sensitive primary buds, which eventually become the fruit. In spring, we re-trellis the vine for maximum sun exposure.” This provides for a riper and more flavorful fruit come springtime.

I can say with certainty, this technique is working! 10/10 would recommend taking the trip to Skaneateles and stopping in town to shop and play.

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