Our trip out to the Watkins Glen area also included a day and a half of wine and beer tasting around Seneca Lake. I had never been to Seneca, only Cayuga — my boyfriend hadn’t been to either so I decided it was about time. We both enjoy wine and beer, so I thought why not? Let’s get away for a weekend and stock up our wine table. Here’s a quick 101 on where to go, where to eat and where to stay.
Where to Stay
We wanted to do an affordable weekend so we did Airbnb. It’s not the only option though, there are hotels in Watkins Glen (the South portion of the lake), around the lake and in Waterloo (the north portion of the lake). There are some breweries and wineries that also host their own lodging. We hadn’t researched a lot in cases of places to stay because we knew right off the bat that we wanted to rent a space.
Where to Eat:
We went to two places for meals (then just did snack things later on). We had lunch at Ginny Lee Cafe and dinner at Scale House. Both were really good and really affordable. I really loved Scale House’s beer, they had so many varieties and the tasting was really cheap. We got dinner that gave us enough for leftovers the next night. If you get to Scale House please get their Peanut Butter Beer and then thank me for it. It was delicious!
We went to a lot of different vineyards while we were there. What I love about wine tasting in the Fingerlakes is that it’s really affordable. The most expensive tasting was $5 a person but almost every place you go will give you some type of coupon — whether it be $2 off a bottle or free tasting if you buy some wine, there’s always a way to stay on a budget. Tastings were at least 5 samples while some wineries gave you more than that. While I might have spent more than I meant to. It just means I won’t be needing to buy wine around home any time soon. I’ll take that as a win. Here are some places we went.
- Boundary Breaks Vineyard: The first winery we went to and the first where we found a bottle we both like (I like sweet, he likes dry). It had a picturesque scene but other than that it was only okay. The place wasn’t as friendly as some of the others but it was still a good first place. Also- can we appreciate the saying on top of their door? Love it.
- Wagner Wine and Beer: The cool thing about Wagner is that you can get wine or beer and it’s next to Ginny Lee’s Cafe. The bad news? The beer tasting was expensive for what you got and the beer was not as good as Scale House.
- Penguin Bay Winery: I had to go here just because of the name. I then found out that it’s the sister winery of Swedish Hill (Cayuga Lake and in Saratoga). This was one of those places where the wine was delicious and you got a coupon when you did a tasting.
- Lakewood Vineyards: One of the best views of Seneca Lake. Here you got a tasting for $3 plus $2 off a bottle of wine. You cannot beat that. We were lucky enough to get the outdoor bar for the tasting too.
- Rock Stream Vineyards: $5 a tasting, no coupon — but a lot of variety and the bartender was so nice and funny. You could also do a beer tasting there too if you weren’t feeling wine.
- Glenora: The oldest winery on Seneca Lake. You can tell they know what their doing. They have a restaurant, hotel and during tastings you also get some food tastings. Which is perfect when you’re drinking. The tasting was $5 a tasting plus $2 off a bottle of wine. They also had port. I bought some, and drank it thinking about being Demelza from Poldark…it was a good day.
- Damiani: Mostly reds, but good reds, wait did I just say that?
- Standing Stone: Cute setup inside (but hot). Wine was pretty good and the view is fantastic.
- Caywood Vineyards: $2 samples, I repeat $2 samples. It was so good too. I got two bottles there, but they also had some liquor/cherry type stuff that was amazing. I felt so sophisticated!
- Lamoreaux: This was all Francis, I unfortunately can’t tell you guys anything about this except he bought a bottle so he must have enjoyed the wine.
Honestly, the easier way to find these places is just by driving, they are everywhere. Francis couldn’t believe how close they were to each other but they really are neighbors. Everyone is so nice and always trying to help you to know where to go next best on your style. I would definitely recommend picking up a map though, it will give you some more information. Information not just on wine but beer, cider, food and distilleries. Need even more info? Click here and enjoy!