Happy Sunday, wine lovers! We are excited to share our Finger Lakes (FLX) vacation experiences with you.
We visited the FLX from December 5 – December 9, 2018. Although it is a snowy and cold time of year to visit anywhere in upstate NY, we are so happy with our choice. If you love a nice, calm experience during your wine tastings, this is the best time of year to vacation in the FLX. We visited a total of 24 wineries during our trip and 90% of those tastings consisted of just us and the wine tasting associate. Having the time to chat one-on-one with the experts at each winery made our vacation much more educational and engaging.
If you do decide to vacation in the FLX during this time of year, pay close attention to off-season hours for the wineries. We received recommendations to do the same, but still experienced a few locations that were not open and their hours were not 100% accurate on their website.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Penn Yan, NY during our trip. The hotel seems to be on the newer side and the staff were all friendly. There were only a few couples/families staying at the hotel as well, so the experience was very relaxing and calm. For anyone unfamiliar with a Hampton Inn, the breakfast is complimentary and we enjoyed the offerings that were available. Staying in Penn Yan was somewhat convenient for visiting the wineries at each lake. The one lake that was more difficult to get to from Penn Yan was Cayuga Lake. There does not seem to be a convenient route, unfortunately.
As mentioned above, we were able to visit and experience a total of 24 wineries during our trip. We did not get to visit all of the wineries on our wish list, unfortunately. The one winery that we wish we could have visited was Heart and Hands. This was at the top of our wish list, but we ran out of time on our last day. We will definitely visit on our next trip!
See below for our notes from each winery. Please keep in mind that our experiences may differ from your own if you have visited or plan to visit in the future. Experiences will vary greatly depending on the associate working, other customers, palate, etc. Those marked with a ‘Yes’ under ‘Recommend?’ are considered our favorites. If one has a ‘Maybe,’ we we would revisit if we have extra time available. If a winery has a ‘No,’ that means we would not revisit on our next trip to the FLX.
Some great food options we experienced during our trip were Ports Cafe, FLX Wienery, Silverbird Woodfired (great and quick bar food in Penn Yan, bit of a dive bar atmosphere), and Top of the Lake (right next to our hotel).
All in all, we enjoyed our vacation to the FLX very much. We came home with a total of 60 bottles (yes, 60!). We highly recommend you visit if you have not done so before. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any recommendations. We have made a few friends that are much more experienced with the FLX winery trails that may be a helpful resource as well! A huge shout out to both Terroir Twosome and Wino_Dino_ on Instagram who were helpful in us planning our trip!
Have you been to the FLX before? Have any favorites not mentioned on our list? Let us know!
Wine is calling, we must go!
Nick & Ed