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Great Finger Lakes Wineries in New York State to Visit

Finger Lakes wineries: Dr. Konstantin Frank's, Keuka Lake, Hammonsport

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

Fun Vineyards on Seneca and Keuka Lake, NY… 

As the weather warms, summer travel schemes bubble in my brain, and my thoughts turn to our fantastic Finger Lakes, New York trip. A huge highlight of that week was touring two of the famous wineries of the region: Dr. Frank’s and Wagner Vineyards.

These two spots were immensely family-friendly (we were with kids and grandparents), and even enjoyable to visit for non-drinkers since the grounds are so beautiful.

Giant barrels of wine aging at Wagner Vineyards.

Giant barrels of wine aging at Wagner Vineyards.

Wineries: Still Enjoyable to Visit for Non-Drinkers

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.

Wagner Vineyards, Finger Lakes wineries

Artisanal grape juice at Wagner Vineyards.

Finger Lakes: One of the Best Wine Destinations

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.

Seneca Lake Wineries

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.

Wagner Vineyards Seneca Lake wineries, Finger Lakes, NY

I love these bottle decorations at Wagner Vineyards!

Wagner Vineyards in Lodi, NY

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 room at Wagner Vineyards, Seneca Lake wineries, Finger Lakes, NY

Tasting rooms inside Wagner Vineyards.

Good Grape Juice for Non-Drinkers

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.

Wagner Vineyards Seneca Lake wineries, Finger Lakes, NY

Isn’t Wagner Vineyards a stunning place to wander?

Barrels in the Wine Cellar

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.

Keuka Lake Wineries

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.

Keuka Lake wineries: Dr. Frank's Vineyard in Hammondsport, NY Finger Lakes

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

Dr. Konstantin Frank’s in Hammondsport, NY

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.

Keuka Lake wineries: Hammondsport, New York earns its title of America's Coolest Small Town!

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

Wineries are Beautiful for Greenspace and Nature

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.

What are YOUR Favorite Finger Lakes Wineries?

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 Wagner Vineyards and Dr. Frank’s appeal? Do share!

Keuka Lake wineries: view from Dr. Frank's vineyard

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

More Things to Do in the Finger Lakes, NY

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? Click here for Finger Lakes hotel deals, and here for beautiful Finger Lakes vacation rentals. These affiliates provide a small commission at no extra cost to you, so thanks in advance, and happy travels!

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Lydia

Sunday 10th of March 2019

I think this s a very enjoyable experience Lillie. I really need to try this kind of travel soon.

Lillie Marshall

Monday 11th of March 2019

Great!

Penny Sadler

Monday 21st of March 2016

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.

Mar Pages

Monday 21st of March 2016

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.

Lillie

Monday 21st of March 2016

Yes! I love the barrel kiss, too. :)

victoria

Sunday 20th of March 2016

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

Lillie

Monday 21st of March 2016

Do it! It's right nearby!

Travelwith2ofus

Sunday 20th of March 2016

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.

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