Living in Upstate has its benefits. Beautiful views, relaxed vibes, and alcohol. A lot of alcohol. We have wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries up the wa-zoo in Upstate. And if you haven’t been to any of them, well, you’re missing out. Big Time.
This weekend my main adventure included drinking
some wine a lot of wine
My family, friends and I ventured out to the Finger Lakes, as we do each year, and participate in a “Holiday Shopping Spree” event on Cayuga Lake. The event is hosted twice a year and on two specific weekends.
The breathtaking views are almost as good as the wine. With 16 wineries, there is so much to choose from. Located directly on the lake, Cayuga Wine Trail is the first organized and longest running Wine Trail in the Country. And it is in our very own state, now ain’t that impressive?!
The best part of the weekend are the ugly Christmas sweaters. People by the car-loads pull up to taste the wine and show off the ugliest sweater they could find. (This year I chose to wear a garland vest, which everyone was obsessed with.)
After purchasing a ticket you are free to enjoy some of the best wine Upstate has to offer. Price ranges for tickets vary depending on if it is a single’s, couple’s, or Designated Driver’s ticket. Each a different color, your ticket is stamped at every winery you have sampled at.
A food pairing is handed out along with specialized ornaments for that year’s event from every winery, and a grapevine wreath to hang the ornaments on. This years’ ornament was cork stoppers, the winery’s name is on the top of each cork.
Over the course of the weekend, you can visit all or only some of the wineries participating in the event. At each winery, you are given four wine samples of whichever wine you would like to try. Sweet, semi-sweet, dry; they have it all.
Tasters are also given a wine glass to carry from winery to winery, which they are able to take home after the tour. Glasses are a way for employee’s to decipher who is part of the event and who is not.
Well, you tasted all the wine. Now, what?
You get to buy all the wine you liked or loved or think you loved but you were just too many buttons deep to remember.
And what about those Designated Drivers? The event takes care of them too. Given a coffee mug stamped with “You wine, I drive..,” DD’s have a choice of coffee, mulled cider or juice at each winery to quench their thirst as a thank you for being responsible over the weekend.
Wineries are open year-round, 11-6 and Monday-Sunday (with some exceptions). So, if drinking around the lake in the winter isn’t your thing check out the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail in the summer or fall or whenever. But, damn it, you better check it out.