“Over 30 different varieties and at least 64 ounces of wine consumed…”
That’s pretty much how my Saturday went! There was so much going on this weekend, that I’m going to have to break it into more than one part. So…here goes Part 1!
Late Saturday morning, we arrived at our resort in Ithaca, NY. We were lucky enough to be staying in the large suite located on the premises, known as “The Yellow Barn.” I really didn’t know that it was going to be an actual barn, but the inside was incredibly cute and rustic looking.
Shortly after unloading all of our stuff, our van had arrived and was ready to get our day started. Woooo!
Water, to stay hydrated, of course.
The wine tour that we had was booked through Experience! the Finger Lakes, and I honestly cannot say enough good things about them. Everything about our tour was amazing, which you’ll get to throughout this post.
While Experience! offers many different packages, our package tour featured a Food & Wine Pairing component, along with a fun scavenger hunt that we could complete throughout the day. I started off strong with the scavenger hunt, but the wines eventually peaked my interest more than the hunt…
So our tour brought us to four different wineries throughout the day, our first stop being at Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery.
Out of all the wineries for the day, I’d say that this winery did the best job of really giving us a thorough overview of just how the wine is made. Luckily, the rain held up a bit and we were able to walk out to the field and see some of the grapes on the vines. It was so cool to actually see them like this!
After a tour to the vines and through the basement where the wine is actually produced, we headed up to start our first tasting of the day.
Cayuga Ridge is home of the Cayuga Ridge Estate Riesling, which recently won Germany’s Best Riesling of the New World 2010 award. I will have to agree…it was pretty delicious!
At Cayuga Ridge, they also have what is known as “their version of fast food on the wine trails,” called The Copper Oven. The Copper Oven cooks wood-fired pizza using homegrown and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
We were given the opportunity to try both of the pizzas paired with different wines, and while they were both delicious,
I will say that the “26 Mile” was probably THE best wood fired pizza I’ve ever had.
The caramelized onions on this thing were to die for. Wholly cow.
Once we finished noshing on our pizza, we headed to winery #2 for the day, Hosmer Winery.
Hosmer is known for many of their Rieslings (yum!) so we tried a few different varieties of them, along with a
few lot of others.
Our food pairing here was a delicious piece of dark chocolate, made with dried cherries and pistachios. Honestly, I don’t remember which particular wine we were supposed to pair this with, but the chocolate was totally delicious.
After a few of us finished making a couple purchases (I ended up buying a bottle of their Raspberry Rhapsody wine), we were on our way to winery #3, Goose Watch Winery. We may or may not have let the rest of the room know we were coming in.
After a short wait downstairs, which was thoroughly amusing thanks to the other bachelorette party that arrived (and was on their SIXTH winery of the day…’nuff said), we headed up to our private tasting room to get things started once again.
Me and the Bachelorette
Our group tried a number of different wines at Goose, ranging from dry whites, to sweet reds, to a Classic Cream Sherry which tasted like straight alcohol and was totally not for my taste buds. WOW.
Luckily, we had already had some tasty ones, including their Pinot Noir Brut Rosé, which has actually won Best Sparkling Wine in NY! Pair that with a fresh strawberry and I’m good to go.
Finally, we were headed to our fourth and final winery of the day, Lucas Vineyards.
While we waited for our tasting area to be set up, we were free to roam around their adorable gift shop, which was filled with some of the cutest stuff.
And some pretty amusing stuff, too.
By this tasting, I think we were all feeling pretty good, and were ready to keep the tastings going.
Our “wine expert,” whose name I don’t remember, was quite personable and a super good time. Sarah and I were in love with the fact that he talked as fast, if not faster than an auctioneer, which was totally making us laugh.
We tried a lot of wines here. Actually…we tried a lot of wines everywhere. Because even though we were provided with about 4-6 wines at each tasting, everyone was more than willing to let us try anything else that was on the list…which we took full advantage of!
Our food & wine pairing here at Lucas was their double gold medal winning Vidal Blanc ICE, which we enjoyed with a white chocolate coated peach, handmade by our tour guide.
If it looks a little blurry…well, sorry ‘bout that one.
I ended up buying two bottles of wine here (their Tug Boat White & Reds) before calling it a day. WHEW! I had never been on a wine tour like this before, but I will say that it was one of the most fun times ever.
Once we got back into the van, I really didn’t think that the tour could have gotten any better; that is, until our tour guide broke out these…
Finishing off a full day wine tour with some homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches?
Stay tuned for Part 2!