Mar 182016
A dreamy vineyard in the Finger Lakes: Dr. Konstantin Frank's.

A dreamy vineyard in the Finger Lakes: Dr. Konstantin Frank’s.

As the weather warms, summer travel schemes bubble in my brain, and my thoughts turn to our fantastic Finger Lakes, New York escapades last summer. A huge highlight of that week was touring the famous vineyards of the region.

Giant barrels of wine aging at Wagner Vineyards.

Giant barrels of wine aging at Wagner Vineyards.

Now, before you slam shut the computer because you aren’t a wine fan, know that I was secretly pregnant the whole trip, and thus never once imbibed — but still had a fabulous time! This is to say, the vineyards of Finger Lakes Wine Country have something for everyone… even a grouchy pregnant lady and her frisky and highly energetic traveling toddler.

Artisanal grape juice at Wagner Vineyards.

Artisanal grape juice at Wagner Vineyards.

The Finger Lakes region has been voted the best wine destination in the U.S. by TripAdvisor and a top 10 wine region in the world by Wine Enthusiast, so picking which of the 120 vineyards to visit is a challenge! Never fear, however, because you can start with these two.

Devi loved running around the vineyards!

Devi loved running around the vineyards.

Our first stop was the highly-recommended Wagner Vineyards in Lodi, New York. What a picturesque spot! Perched atop a luscious green hill overlooking Seneca Lake, this vineyard is a perfect place to spend hours sipping and eating on the outdoor picnic benches or inside in the tasting rooms.

I love these bottle decorations at Wagner Vineyards!

I love these bottle decorations at Wagner Vineyards!

As an architecture buff, I delighted in the design of the place, from its brightly-colored glass bottle window decorations to its soaring wood ceilings. Devi guffawed with glee as he sprinted around the grounds, halting only to stare down a giant swan in the pond behind the vineyard.

Tasting rooms inside Wagner Vineyards.

Tasting rooms inside Wagner Vineyards.

After sampling the award-winning wine and beer in the tasting rooms (I had artisanal grape juice, which was mighty tasty), we took a tour of the wine and beer-making apparatus on site.

Isn't Wagner Vineyards a stunning place to wander?

Isn’t Wagner Vineyards a stunning place to wander?

My favorite part of the tour was the cavernous basement in which 8-foot-tall barrels of wine loomed, left, right, and center. I’ve always marveled at the patience that wine-making requires. Those beverages can spend years in those barrels… like finicky divas insistent on getting their outfits perfect before emerging!

A smooch with Nana in the wine barrels.

A smooch with Nana in the wine barrels.

The second winery we explored has a fabulous name: Dr. Konstantin Frank’s! “Dr. Frank’s,” as it’s affectionately called, is in the delightful town of Hammondsport, NY, which was voted “America’s coolest small town” by Budget Travel.

A heavenly porch view from Dr. Frank's Vineyard.

A heavenly porch view from Dr. Frank’s Vineyard.

Dr. Frank’s boasts a large indoor tasting space that overlooks a lush green vineyard rolling down to Keuka Lake. I was so enamored with the place from the moment we pulled up that I abandoned Colin and Devi in the car to race down through the grapevines and photograph everything in sight, grinning rapturously.

Hammondsport, New York earns its title of America's Coolest Small Town!

Hammondsport, New York earns its title of America’s Coolest Small Town!

The lesson I learned during our Finger Lakes vineyard tour was that vineyards are only slightly about wine. Rather, vineyards are also about beauty, nature, and reveling in the fruits of the earth! I want more vineyard wandering in my life in the years to come.

Happy running around Wagner Vineyards.

Happy running around Wagner Vineyards.

So what about you? Have you checked out any good vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of New York, or anywhere else in this world? Do these two spots appeal? Do share!

The view from Dr. Frank's vineyard to Keuka Lake. Wow!

The view from Dr. Frank’s Vineyard to Keuka Lake. Wow!

Want more Finger Lakes, NY fun? Click for photo-filled articles on Finger Lakes Food (yum!), Watkins Glen State Park (my new favorite nature spot), the Corning Museum of Glass (unbelievable exhibits), and Make Your Own Glass (molten glass in the hands of amateurs like me)!

More beautiful bottle decorations at Wagner.

More beautiful bottle decorations at Wagner Vineyards. Such a good idea!

Enjoy this article? Trip planning? To save you time, I did the search already, so just click here for Finger Lakes hotel deals, and here for beautiful Finger Lakes vacation rentalsA small commission goes to support this site at no extra cost to you, so thanks in advance, and happy travels!

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  17 Responses to “Lovely Vineyards of the Finger Lakes, New York”

  1. I agree, love the architecture. I skirted the Finger Lakes region about a year ago. Was in upstate, Cazenovia and then Hudson Valley. I do still want to make it to the Finger lakes.

  2. What a different side to New York! No less beautiful, the kiss amongst the barrels was the sweetest thing. I have to get myself to Hammondsport, the view is stunning! Can imagine looking out with a glass of wine in my hand, bliss.

  3. I want to see if i can get myself some Finger Lakes prettiness as we go on a college tour this April (Syracuse-Rochester)

  4. Those are two really beautiful vineyards. I love wine, but I have never visited a vineyard before and if they look like the ones you have highlighted then, I have to start looking into vineyard tours.

  5. Your photos are beautiful. I feel like I never really heard about the Finger Lakes as a wine region and then all of a sudden over the past few months I’ve started hearing such great things! Maybe it’s the universe telling me I need to visit.

  6. Beautiful photography! I have never thought about going to the vineyards there, until now.

  7. The Finger Lakes were never on my radar until my first WITS conference in Boston last year and they had reps from there for all us travel bloggers. I most recently saw them at the NY Times Travel Show and your post is most detailed and really highlights so many of the beautiful sites and activities it has to offer. Looks like you had a very fun time.

  8. Your visit is interesting! Your photos say family trip there is enjoyable.
    There are few vineyards in south of India, I am tempted to explore them now. 🙂

  9. That little guy is soooo cute!!! He seemed to enjoy the vineyard at a very young age! I didn’t know there is a vineyard in new york! Appreciate this post because if I go back I know there would other places to see in NY.

  10. I loved seeing your little guy run around the vineyard and it’s great to know this is just as much a family trip. Thanks for sharing what you can do at a vineyard!

  11. Your exquisite photos of the vineyards bring the Finger Lakes region alive for travelers like me who have longed to travel upstate New York. Hammondsport’s title makes a trip to the region enticing, as well. Salud!

  12. I had no idea that there were vineyards in New York. I grew up near a wine growing region in Australia so I know how wonderful it can be to tour the wineries. These two look wonderful, and especially the lake at Dr Frank’s.

  13. Wow, I never really thought of NY as wine country. Thanks for opening my eyes to the beauty of the Finger Lakes!

  14. We visited a few years ago for a wedding. It was autumn and the surrounding hills were decked out in fall colors. We had a great time visiting a few vineyards, sipping wine, and eating out in Hammondsport. The Finger Lakes are such a pretty spot in New York State! Definitely worth a visit!

  15. I can’t believe I lived in NY for 2 years and never visited the Finger Lakes. Looks like a lovely escape from the city, even though I’m not a drinker (can’t argue with some artisanal grape juice)

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