Rainy Day = Wine & Cheese Tastings

By on June 28, 2018

Sometimes we love to hike in the rain, other times we love to just hang out indoors, but most of the time we are off finding some local fun. When you are in the Finger Lakes region the best thing to do when it’s raining is find a few wineries. This is our third vacation in the Finger Lakes region so we have a few favorite wineries that we have been excited to visit for one reason or another. When we have the time, we like to visit our favorites while sprinkling in a few new wineries.
This day started with a favorite winery for us and one that is known for its port at Ports of New York in Ithaca. We keep coming back to this winery for a couple of reasons, the story of how the winery started and the delicious port wine! Frédéric Bouché has been making wine in New York for about 10 years. Every year we visit the winery we get to see it evolve and grow.
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Next stop was the Lively Run Goat Dairy Farm, established in 1982. This was the most impressive stop of the day. It was new to us but we will definitely be back! The visit started with “playing” with the goats, chickens, and the horses while our cheese tasting was being prepared. We did a lot more talking to them than actually playing with them, but oh my goodness they were adorable!
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As if that wasn’t enough fun, our cheese tasting was ready. For only $5 a person you get to taste 10 types of cheese and 2 jams. We also had a few more tastes of cheese and jam once she realized how much we loved cheese! LOL The cheese was really that good! The flavors were rich, creamy, and a good variety to meet everyone’s cheese needs!
When we were in Spain last summer, we fell in love with quince paste jelly (tastes a bit like combination of apple butter and pumpkin pie filling). We were pleasantly surprised when she had quince paste and quince jam!! Needless to say, we left with 4 packages of cheese and some quince paste.
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Next stop was another familiar winery. Lucas Vineyards has been in the Finger Lakes region since 1980. The founder, Ruth Lucas, not only started this family business but she also co-founded the Cayuga Wine Trail, noted as America’s first wine trail.
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Brian was in a hurry to get inside because it rained all. day. long! 🙁 Lucas Vineyards is a beautiful place to listen to great music on the patio on Thursday nights, meander through their shop, and of course, taste good wine! We purchased Lucas Blues, a blend of Seyval and Cayuga grapes, to enjoy on a summer evening. We also purchased a couple of sweet bottles for our sweet wine loving friends. The wine looks good, tastes good, and is reasonably priced – this is a trifecta for us! We really love the Nautie line for a nice gift with a bit of attitude!
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The last stop of the day was another new winery, J.R. Dill Winery. We stopped here because (1) they had wines that interested our taste buds,(2) they had a great view of Seneca Lake, (3) had a nice patio to enjoy their wine while looking at the lake.
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This was a great find! If you enjoy looking at the character of a winery, you will love this place. They had an antique bar back from an old soda fountain shop and sea glass collected by the owner in the bar, just to name a couple bits of the character in this shop.
There is usually more to enjoy in a winery than just wine, which is great for a person who doesn’t drink or is the designated driver but still wants enjoy the experience. J.R. Dill Winery had cheese and are you ready for this? Riesling Garlic Dill Pickles! If you love garlic and pickles, you will be in heaven with this combination! Your friends may not love your breath, but if that is the case, they are not real friends! LOL
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We ended our winery and cheese day with a nice glass of Cabernet Franc Rosé and a bit of cheese. I would love to show you the cheese but we inhaled it faster than I could take a picture. Now that is good cheese!
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We have just a couple more wineries to visit before our time comes to an end in Watkins Glen, NY., including Shalestone Winery who has the best tagline ever, “All we do is Reds!” Check out their website to read their philosophy. If you love them, you love us! 🙂
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