In 1983 the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail was the first wine trail established in NY State and currently consists of 16 wineries. When looking at the map, Cayuga Lake is represented as the index finger to the east of Seneca Lake. Ithaca is located on the southern shore and Seneca Falls on the northern end with the wineries dispersed on either shore. There's also a brewery, cider house and a few distilleries.
Our bus left Corning accompanied by Hosmer Winery winemaker Aaron Roisen and Lucas Vineyards winemaker Jeff Houck. Inexplicably, at least to us spoiled bloggers, they forgot to bring wine to share; but our friends from Cider Brothers came packed with William Tell Cider - a wine like cider produced using three strains of yeast and containing 15% Pinot Grigio. With our plastic glasses filled, we listened as Rosien and Houck gave an overview of the wine trail and their respective operations.
|Cayuga Lake from Goose Watch Winery|
|Goose Watch Winery|
The food on this excursion was fantastic, starting with the cheese plates donated from members of the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail. Yes, there is such an organization. And our dinner at Knapp featured three area chefs who provided a very delicious and diverse array of food. The brisket over miniature pancakes opened my eyes to unorthodox pairings. Here's the entire menu as provided by the wine trail:
Chef John McNabb of Knapp Vineyard Restaurant served Smoked beef brisket with johnny cakes and Hoisin Poblano, Limoncello Chimichurri an Cabernet & Caramelized Onion demi sauces accompanied by fingerling potato and quinoa salads. Also served were the Calabacitas with corn tortilla ships, Cayuga Caviar and sour cream. The chocolate chunk cookie to go was also provided courtesy of Chef John.Cheers to the wineries on Cayuga Lake and in the Finger Lakes in general. Check out theCompass Winery, Brewery, Distillery Locator Mobile App to make future trips to the area easier to plan.
Chef Lindsay of Crystal Lake Café at Americana Vineyards offered a house-made sausage, pan-fried chicken and deviled eggs. Jennifer, the resident baker, provided the baguette during the tasting session and the lemon bars and pecan squares for dessert.
Chef Scott of The Bistro at Thirsty Owl Wine Co. served smoked pulled pork with coleslaw and barbeque beans. Scott also provided the Peanut Butter Corn Flake cookie.