Finger Lakes Trip Day 2: Seneca Lake Rental and Cayuga Wine Trail

After such a busy first day of our trip to the Finger Lakes, waking up at our vacation cottage Saturday morning to a beautiful view of Seneca Lake was such a great way to start the second full day of our trip.
 
I rented a house right on Seneca Lake called "Caywood Cottage" from VRBO and it ended up being the perfect spot for us.  It felt nice and private because it was tucked away back in the woods, but after just a short three minute drive through a winding back road full of grape vines, you hit the main highway and so many other local wineries were close by.
The setting sun casts intricate shadows on the cottage.

Our cottage actually shared a drive with a winery called Silver Thread Winery.  We did not end up getting a chance to visit this winery due to our busy schedule, but luckily the VRBO owner had a bottle of wine from Silver Thread waiting for us at the cottage upon our arrival the day before! We took the bottle home with us - so we will still get a chance to try this wine at some point :)

The cottage had a full kitchen which was convenient, but we decided to drive up to Geneva for breakfast on our second day.  We ate at the Pier House and I have to say - the food and service was terrible. I would NOT recommend going there!!! The only good thing they had going for them was their location right at the top of Seneca Lake: after breakfast we spent some time just walking around the park at the lake soaking in the sunshine and it was a nice and relaxing way to start the day.

After a little dilly dadiling though...it was time to get back to THE WINE! Our first stop on Saturday was to Three Brothers Winery. This place is HUGE and a must stop if you ever go to the Finger Lakes!


The nice thing about the winery is that they actually have three different wineries AND a brewery all at the same location.  You can purchase a tasting passport and then go around to each individual spot to do a different tasting.

Since it was early when we arrived (they open at 10AM!) we decided to stop in and try the War Horse Brewery first.  I do not like beer at all, but luckily they also brew two different kinds of hard cider AND made a hard cider slushie, so I was still able to enjoy tasting the ciders while my boyfriend tried the beer.

Next we hit up the different wineries! Each winery was in a separate building on the same grounds and had a slightly different theme.  I liked the first winery best: Stony Lonesome Wine Cellars.  They had three different versions of Riesling wine and then my FAVORITE wine of theirs is their Chambourcin: typically chambourcin's are more dryer reds but theirs has a slightly sweeter finish which I LOVED. It's the only wine I bought three bottles of during the whole trip! I also made sure to grab some of their raspberry hard cider.

 We did tastings at the other two wineries (check out some of these funny wine names!) but the wines were REALLY sweet.  I like sweet wine, but a lot of these were even too sweet for me to enjoy.  It was still fun to do the tasting, but beware what you are getting yourself into if you do not like sweet wine!

 I think the best part of visiting this winery though was just sitting out in the sunshine and relaxing with some cider for me and beer for my boyfriend after finishing our tastings and moving onto the next location. The winery really is HUGE - there were SO many people there that day! They had over 800 reservations for group tastings that day.  And that was just groups! It doesn't count the random couples that just pop in for a tasting.  It was fun to just sit and do some people watching before heading off to the next spot.

The next three wineries we went to were just ok.  We drove over to Cayuga Lake after three brothers and started at the top of Cayuga Lake at Montezuma Winery.  They are known for having a lot of different fruit wines.  It could be my own fault for what I picked to taste, but again I felt like I tasted too many sweet wines which I did not enjoy as much. I did end up buying their "Pink Swan" wine which was a raspberry wine which I really enjoyed though!

Next up was Goose Watch winery which again was only ok.  They did have beautiful views of the lake from their deck but it was SO BUSY when we visited we just paid for our tasting...waited forever to be served...did the tasting...and then left.  It was too crazy to wait in line to buy anything and none of the wines really stood out to me here either.  One thing to take note of if you plan a trip to the Finger Lakes: weekends will be MUCH more busy at the different wineries than week days.  It was much more slow everywhere we visited on Friday versus the wineries we went to on Saturday.

We headed to Thirsty Owl Winery next as a recommendation from my sister. She had been here before and requested that I bring her back a bottle of their Gewurztraminer wine. I bought that for her and a "tailspin" for me: a raspberry pomegranate wine that was DELICIOUS! I liked the views and vibes from this winery and the wine (it was pretty cheap too!)  They also have a bistro attached we were maybe going to visit after our tasting - but again it was PACKED and we didn't feel like waiting so we decided to pass.

We were able to stop before leaving to grab a few photos here before leaving though :) The views really were stunning!


The last winery we visited on Saturday was Lucas Vineyards.  After having a few so-so tastings earlier on in the day, this was a WINNER for both of us! They have four different signature wines that they pour for you for a tasting and then you get to pick your last three.  The was such a friendly vibe in this tasting room and we really liked the wine so we decided to buy a bottle and hang out for awhile with some cheese and crackers and sat outside sipping and snacking and again - enjoying the views of the gorgeous lake!


Our last tasting spot of the day was at the Finger Lakes Cider House.  After trying a sample of this cider at a different winery the day before, I knew I wanted to make sure we fit in a stop to their actual location! They stay open to 6PM which is nice since a lot of places close at 5 - this gave us a little extra time to stop in.

It was crazy busy again - but we still enjoyed doing a tasting and then finishing with one last glass out on their deck with some views of the lake.  A really fun part of this trip was getting to meet other couples and friends who were out doing tastings as well - we enjoyed talking to a lot of different people while tasting or relaxing with a beverage outside just like on this deck here.  We met young couples, old couples, friends, and even a couple doing a long distance relationship from the US to Australia visiting the Finger Lakes with two kids.  The couple went inside the winery to do their tasting and we ended up hanging out with the kids for over half an hour racing them and playing.  It was actually really fun and a nice memory from the trip ;)

We ended our day at Scale House Brewery for dinner.  After being out drinking all day - we were ready for some PIZZA!!! We sat outside eating some pizza, salad and meatballs while watching the sunset before heading back to the cottage for an early night in.  Sunday morning we got up and started out on the 4.5 hour drive home.  Unfortunately the Finger Lakes are not right around the corner from us, but we brought home a ton of souvenirs of the best kind!


It was an amazing trip filled with time with my love, beautiful views and hiking and of course lots and lots of wine! If you ever have a chance to go to the Finger Lakes: TAKE IT! I already cannot wait to go back!

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