Finger Lakes is the home to more than one hundred vineyards and wineries spread over the regions of Seneca, Cayuga, Keuka, Hemlock, Canandaigua, and Conesus. This region is considered the largest wine-producing region in New York state. This area is suitable for wineries due to the lakes that provide the ‘lake effect’ to the lush vineyards. The lakes retain warmth from the summer in winter and cold from the winter in spring thus making the weather ideal for the grapes to grow. The grape shoots are shielded from the winter snow and frost during the harvest. This allows grapes to reach full growth without wilting prematurely.
The main grape varieties grown are Pinot noir, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Vidal Blanc, Riesling, Seyval Blanc, Chardonnay, and Vitis labrusca. The winery tour is one of the major attractions of Finger Lakes and most visitors come here throughout the year to taste and savor the wine from the region.
The wineries in the region offer wine tours and tasting throughout the year but the best time would be anytime between April and October. This is the time when you would get the best weather. Consider visiting the wineries at Seneca, Conesus, Cayuga, and Geneva during this time.
Even though the summer months are considered ideal for winery visits, if you are a budget traveler then the summer may not be a good idea as prices are too high. The time between June and August is really busy here and rates of hotels skyrocket. The fall is another season when the region gets too crowded and busy. However, if budget is not a concern and you enjoy being in a crowd then summer is indeed the best season to visit Finger Lakes.
Why Summer Is the Best Season to Visit Finger Lakes
Summer is undoubtedly the best time to visit the Finger Lakes. The temperature varies throughout the day in the summer months. Mornings are usually cool but the afternoon tends to get warmer. The average temperature during the day is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The nights again tend to get chilly. It is a good idea to layer with long-sleeved shirts, light sweaters, and jackets. In the summer months, many festivals also take place in the Finger Lakes region that you may want to visit and enjoy. The wineries also offer special discounts and events in the summer months.
In the Months of March-April, the region is thawing after the cold and snowy winter. The morning temperature is usually 20F but by afternoon the temperature rises to 70. It would be a good idea to check the online weather forecast before visiting if you do not want the weather to ruin your trip.
The 5 Wineries to Visit in Summer
If you visit Finger Lakes in Summer, then do not miss out on the wine tours. Here are a few wineries that should be on your itinerary.
Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery: Hammondsport
Wine tasting is offered at $10/per person on weekdays and $25/per person on weekends. It includes four wines for tasting, complimentary cheese, and an awesome view of the vineyard from the rooftop. There is another exclusive tour for wine connoisseurs at $40. If you want to experience any of the tours then make the reservations in advance. Available only between May and October.
Eagle Crest and O-Neh-Da Vineyards: Conesus
You will enjoy the winery’s historic building and cellar. The rural setting is enjoyable and the staff is well informed. Five varieties of wine cost only $3 and are available on all weekends between Friday and Sunday.
Element Winery, F.L.X. Provisions: Geneva
This winery belongs to star winemaker Mr. Christopher Bates. Here visitors can sample four varieties of wine at $10. This place also has an amazing restaurant called FLX Winery that provides fast food and wine. A great place to hang out with friends.
Fox Run Vineyards: Penn Yan
Here they offer various options for wine tasting. You can choose the basic $5 for five wines or wine paired with classic New York cheese at $22. This place also offers a five-course luncheon with six wines on Fridays at $45. The tour of the vineyard costs $100 per person and needs to be booked two weeks in advance. You can also taste riesling made by female winemaker Nova Cadamatre.
Glenora Wine Cellars: Dundee
This Seneca winery is a must-visit. Call ahead to make a reservation. $6 is charged for a glass of wine that comes with a complimentary view of the lake and vineyard. You can book a room at the wineries inn or enjoy a meal at the Veraisons restaurant located within the property.