The Finger Lakes: More Than Just A Pretty Face
A Land of Wine Pioneers, Innovative Craft Beverage Producers, and Exceptional Culinary Options
by Dave DeGolyer
While a spectacular landscape of rolling forested hills, dramatic gorges, breathtaking waterfalls, and long, slender lakes which are also some of the deepest in the country set the Finger Lakes region apart, the exceptional wine, delicious craft beverages, and ridiculously good food have been garnering people’s attention of late.
Named the “World’s Most Beautiful Wine Region” (Budget Travel), the “Best Wine Travel Destination” and “Wine Region of the Year” (Wine Enthusiast), and ranked #1 in Thrillist’s “America’s Best Wine Regions to Visit, ranked by Sommeliers,” the Finger Lakes is still, surprisingly, one of those best keep secrets.
Wine has been a big deal there for nearly 160 years—from the first bonded winery in the country, founded in 1860, to the Vinifera Revolution started by Dr. Konstantin Frank in the 1960s. Wine lovers will want to stop by Dr. Frank’s for incomparable history and award-winning wines, but save time for boutique wineries like Ravines Wine Cellars, known for exquisite food-friendly, French-style wines, and Keuka Lake Vineyards, making wonderful Riesling’s and wines you won’t find at other Finger Lakes wineries, like delicious Vignoles, Orange Wine, and Leon Millot.
Not to be outdone, the Craft Your Adventure Trail (featuring 30 craft beverage producers) includes breweries named Best in New York State, the most awarded farm cidery in the US in 2017, and a small-batch distiller who just won double-gold at the 50 Best World Gin Competition. And the food scene is quickly catching up! With restaurants like Hand + Foot (a creative bar serving craveable food in an environment focused on craft and community), The Cellar, Pleasant Valley Inn, Union Block Italian Bistro, and Lakeside Restaurant, you could create a getaway completely built around incredible food.
Visit Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes for an exceptional culinary getaway.