My boyfriend, Jordan’s, family and I share loathsome feelings toward the hustle bustle of Black Friday. We decided to optimize our day off by visiting wineries along Keuka and Canandaigua Lakes and, my oh my, it was such a good decision! Instead of a shopping-filled and overcrowded Black Friday, we enjoyed a calm and relaxing Red & White Friday throughout some of the Finger Lake’s wine trails.
Our tour stops included:
- Hunt Country
- Bully Hill
- Heron Hill Winery
- Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars
- Hazlitt’s Red Cat Cellars
- Stever Hill
The view at Heron Hill was mesmerizing. Jordan and I were able to snag a picture, and, yes, he really is that tall of a human.
What a view, right?
Ahem, I meant the vineyard…
Here are some photos from inside Heron Hill:
Disclaimer: A glass was shattered here, but that’s good luck, right?
One of my favorite things about doing tastings is that you have the ability to open up your palate to a variety of wines for a low, low price. If you don’t prefer one of the wines you’re tasting, you are welcome to dump the wine (without being judged) into a wine spittoon.
While I generally don’t sample whites at restaurants and, who am I kidding, I don’t really do it at home either – I can sample a small portion at the wineries offering white wine. And, I have the spittoon just in case I need it.
At Hunt Country, we enjoyed one of our samples so much that we took two home with us. The Alchemy red wine on the website is described as, “…the medieval predecessor to chemistry: a search to perfect certain substances and to create a magical ‘elixir of life.’ The closest thing we’ve found to a universal cure is a phenomenal wine… Our Alchemy is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This dry red wine has black cherry notes, firm oak and hints of pepper. Enjoy a glass on its own or with a wide variety of hearty meat dishes, rich cheeses, and tomato-based Italian cuisine.”
Various sites have also given Alchemy good reviews where it is commonly priced very reasonably at $15.99/bottle.
We appreciated the goofy decor and the warm and welcoming atmosphere at Hunt Country. The bathroom signs especially provided us with a laugh.
After a humorous discussion with the group, we decided our favorite winery stop was Dr. Konstantin Frank. Unlike most winery stops, you don’t select the wines you will be tasting at Dr. Konstantin Frank. You go by the suggestions of the wine sampler. Ours was a gentleman named Bill. He was both goofy and knowledgeable and had lots to tell us about the history of wine. We appreciated his input. But more importantly, we appreciated his quick pouring abilities. 🙂
Bill has been recommending the 2015 Saperavi, which we were all eager to sample. With Bill’s accurate description and chronological detailing of the history of Saperavi, we understood it as having one of the oldest wine grapes known to man. A Saperavi grape, “…originated in Georgia (the country) – is one of the only grape varieties in the world with red pulp and red skin. As a wine, Saperavi is complex, and heavy bodied with leather, red berry, earthy and spicy notes,” according to Dr. Konstantin Frank’s website. A red wine we all loved… I am guilty again of favoring a red wine.
Here is Jordan modeling a $430 bottle of wine… in case you were wondering how expensive some bottles can get.
Our final stop was Stever Hill. This was a fan favorite because we paired the wines with some delectable cheeses… YUM! If I had to pick a diet that I didn’t gain any weight from for the rest of my life, it would be one of wine and cheese. It is samplings like the one at Stever Hill that remind me how much I appreciate pairings.
With national recognition of the Finger Lakes, we are fortunate to be a short drive away. We have the ability to access them and their surrounding vineyards year-round! I hope to continue my explorations along Seneca Lake next time – hopefully before next year’s Black Friday!