Finger Lakes Wine Trail Update!

The wine trails throughout the Finger Lakes are committed to providing a safe and clean space for you to enjoy, and ask that you also make the commitment to adhere to the policies put in place at each winery! Many of the requirements the wineries have in place are mandated by the New York State Liquor Authority and the State of New York in order to be open.

It’s important to know that things may look different, but that same feeling of being in Finger Lakes Wine Country will persist. We truly believe these changes have made room for many positive experiences. All tastings are seated where you are able to select a flight or receive a tasting experience with a server. Wineries are also required by the state to serve food with any alcohol consumption. This is typically a light snack such as crackers, pretzels or cheese for example. (Which we think is great anyway while you’re sipping on wine!)

Explore the Finger Lakes Wine Region

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many wineries in the Finger Lakes, there’s an easy solution. Visit the wineries on a Finger Lakes wine trail! Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lake all have their own wine trail.

Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail

First, the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail. Features 30 miles of Finger Lakes wine and food experiences! Sip their world-class wines and enjoy beautiful vistas along the rolling hillsides of Canandaigua Lake.

Get exclusive tastings at each of their wineries, and a 25% savings, when you purchase their tasting passport. Passports are good for a year after purchase, so you can spend valuable time meeting with their tastemakers. The Passport provides complimentary tastings at each winery and also additional price discounts for the purchase of wine with the use of the passport. One passport is valid for one person, not valid for groups of more than eight. Please note, due to COVID-19, our wineries are now open, but reservations are required for tasting.

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

The Keuka Lake Wine Trail. While this trail may not be the longest running, Keuka Lake was home to the first bonded winery. This region specializes in Vinifera wines, as this area was where they were first planted.

“The Keuka Lake Wine Trail is a great option if you’re looking to slow down, immerse yourself in the local wine scene and enjoy the unique and breathtaking views Keuka Lake has to offer.

There are six wineries a part of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail who all have something different to offer with their own style, but all share important commonalities you’ll certainly appreciate.

Our wineries put a strong focus on:

  • Customer service
  • Education
  • Approachable experiences
  • Safe and comfortable environment to enjoy.

We look forward to welcoming visitors this year to the tasting rooms and are happy to be a resource for those who have questions to help them prepare for a memorable and safe experience to the Keuka Lake Wine Trail.” said Chelsea Race, Marketing Manager of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail.

For tips, resources, and information about the wineries please visit here. You’ll find everything you would want to know before visiting, current winery hours and offerings and who requires a reservation.

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Explore the largest wine trail in the state of New York! The Seneca Lake Wine Trail, formed in 1986, features 35 wineries, a distillery, two cider producers, two breweries, and a meadery on its path. This trail is known for its hearty grapes, though the wineries on the list have won plenty of awards for the delicate Rieslings.

“The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is planning to host two wine and food pairing events this spring. The first is Pasta and Wine on Friday, March 19 (THIS FRIDAY). The second is Spring Wine and Cheese on Friday, April 16. Of course, these dates are tentative and subject to change, but we are eager to get back to welcoming visitors to sample our fabulous wines with delicious food.

In terms of visiting our wineries, each winery on the Trail sets their own policies, but by and large, you either make a reservation or visit as a walk-in. About half of our member wineries require reservations and half simply take visitors on a walk-in basis. It’s important to do some research in advance of a visit and we provide a handy one-page guide on our website to help visitors do just that.” said Brittany Gibson, Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.

The key things to remember are:

  • Masks are required any time you’re not seated.
  • Please make reservations where recommended or required.
  • Keep it small. Traveling in large groups is discouraged for now. Most wineries cannot accommodate groups beyond 4 or 6 people. Please preview each winery’s policy on our website.

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail has the honor of being the first-organized and longest-running wine trail in the country! It was first established in 1983 and includes 14 dog-friendly member wineries, as well as cideries, a meadery, four distilleries, and a taproom.

“The wine trail itself is starting to see a bit more positivity and hope as far as the future goes. We’ve been working our tails off to reconfigure our spring events to be able to bring them to our guests in the safest way possible.” Says Katherine Chase, Executive Director of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. “Coming up on April 16, 17, and 18 is our ever-popular Bacon on the Lakein event. Again, this event has been adapted to meet all of the regulations and mandates that the tasting rooms must follow to remain compliant. It’s a bit different than seen in previous years but we think the new way will be even more enjoyable!

Though not officially launched quite yet, we’re also planning an event on the 2 weekends in May between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. We’re putting a fun new twist on a classic event and introducing “Flights and Florals.” This event will feature- you guessed it- wine and potted flowers for the guests to take home. Stay tuned for more information on that event, and visit cayugawinetrail.com for further event information.”

The wineries as individuals seem to be feeling the same positivity and hope, as they’re continuously rolling out new event and activities for everyone to do. Whether it’s special holiday food pairings or entire events, they’re starting to introduce more and more. Masks are still 100% required until guests are seated, and social distancing does remain in effect. Each winery is a bit different as far as groups and reservation policies go. The wine trail’s website has a comprehensive chart with all 14 wineries in one spot to help guests plan their day and see who’s open when and what their restrictions might be. Click below for all the details!

Stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties

While exploring the Finger Lakes wine region, rest each night at one of the most stunning homes in the area. Finger Lakes Premier Properties has the best selection socially distanced vacation rentals. We have over 260 vacation rentals on six of the 11 lakes, including Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lake. Plus, with our 24/7 customer service, you can rest knowing that you will be well taken care of!

Take a look at our full selection of homes and book today! We look forward to having you.

With so many wonderful things to do and see in the Finger Lakes wine region, we can’t possibly put it in just one blog. Download our free Vacation Guide to get a full list of local recommendations. From the best area restaurants to beautiful hiking trails, you’ll find everything you need to plan the ultimate Finger Lakes vacation! You’ll even get more recommendations for the best Finger Lakes wineries. Download it today to get started!

What is our September Secret?

It’s where September still feels like summer in the Finger Lakes, but offers “off season” rates. After Labor Day, vacation on your favorite Finger Lake while taking advantage of lower rates, property specials, and reduced traffic at parks, wineries, and restaurants.

Starting in September many of our homes begin to offer our ONE NIGHT FREE special. This offer is only available for select homes, so take advantage of it while availability remains.

The month of September typically features reduced traffic at favorite destinations. However, 2020 is the year of surprises so we cannot guarantee this will be true this fall.

BUT.. September is also the beginning of the wine harvest season. If you’re looking to experience Finger Lakes wine country, this is the time. During your exploration you’ll see grapes being harvested across our region in the early morning hours while it is still cool. You’ll smell the ripe grapes as you drive by vineyards and visit tasting rooms. Some wineries even offer tours of their production facility, but be sure to check ahead with COVID policies for 2020.

If you didn’t have a chance to visit the Finger Lakes this summer, don’t fear! September is still a wonderful option to take advantage of the last warm days of the year and create new adventures in the Finger Lakes.

BOOK NOW while availability remains. This secret won’t last long!

Where to Find the Best Finger Lakes Fall Foliage

The Finger Lakes region is famous for its incredible displays of orange, reds, yellows, and browns during the fall season. Leaf peepers and photographers come from all over the country to enjoy the amazing sights. Let Finger Lakes fall foliage become part of your annual tradition. Here are some of the best places to see the foliage! If you need help planning the rest of your trip to the Finger Lakes, download our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of our personal recommendations for everything in the region, from restaurants to hiking trails and more! It’s the perfect all-in-one guide to this area we call home, and we’re so excited to share it with you. Download it today!

Where to see Finger Lakes Fall Foliage

Canandaigua Lake

Start your leaf peeping adventure at the northernmost tip of Canandaigua Lake and head down West Lake Road. This drive is enough of an opportunity to see some incredible foliage, but it also conveniently takes us to our next stop on the tour of trees.

About 15 minutes into your drive south, you’ll come across Onanda Park. This quiet, lakefront park in the town of Canandaigua is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch or an easy stroll. One of our favorite things to do here is to sit in some of the available chairs and gaze out on the water. However, if you’re looking for a great hike, we’ve got the inside scoop. There are 73 acres of Uplands located across the road. You can hike two miles of hiking trail over the hillside and encounter gorgeous vistas.

After your hike, continue to explore on Route 21S towards Naples, you will discover a vast array of photo-worthy sights as you climb and descend the hills surrounding Canandaigua Lake. Along your ride grab a snack at one of the many fruit stands offering freshly picked grapes, or better yet, a grape pie from the infamous Monica’s Pies just outside Naples.  Fortunately, this area also neighbors many of our vacation rentals that fit the bill for the perfect foliage-oriented weekend. 

Seneca Lake

Another wonderful scenic drive begins in Geneva, near Seneca Lake. Drive along NY 14 South and look at the stunning views of the lake on the left and the trees on the right. This road continues to Watkins Glen, where you can explore the town or head to the state park, which has some of the best hiking trails in the Finger Lakes. Explore the Gorge Trail, which is famous for its winding staircases and views.

Cayuga Lake

Cayuga Lake State Park is ideal for families traveling with small kids. The little ones will love playing on the swing sets and other equipment, and you’ll love the priceless views!

If you’re in the mood for a glass of wine, the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is the perfect opportunity for another scenic drive. Wineries like Toro Run or Thirsty Owl are perfect places to stop and enjoy the view and a glass of wine!

Keuka Lake

The Keuka Outlet Trail is a rail-trail in the heart of the Finger Lakes. This path stretches between Keuka and Seneca Lake, with plenty of opportunities to see the vistas for which the Finger Lakes are famous, including waterfalls and historic buildings.

Stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Are you ready to experience the Finger Lakes fall foliage? We’ve got just the homes you need! Finger Lakes Premier Properties has the best selection of vacation rentals around, including many rentals that are just a short distance from the sites above! For example, Stone Crest, our gorgeous six-bathroom, four-bathroom estate is just two miles from the Keuka Outlet Trail. If you’d prefer to spend your time in Watkins Glen, book Dean Lake House, a four-bedroom, two-bathroom property which is less than a mile from town. The possibilities are endless!

Check out our full selection of rentals and book today! We look forward to having you.