Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
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Where I stayed
Cayuga Lake State Park

Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday, September 30th

We weren't sure where we wanted to spend the night and were debating between the Cayuga Lake State Park and the Waterloo Harbor Campground.  They were about the same price, but the main difference is that there is internet at the Waterloo Harbor Campground.  We already decided that we are going to try to do a wine tour tomorrow, which leaves from downtown Seneca Falls.  We would have to ride our bikes to the start of the wine tour though so we drove both routes to see which one we thought would be a better bike route.  The Cayuga Lake State Park is about a mile closer to downtown Seneca Falls and seems like a much safer bike ride so we decided to stay in the Cayuga Lake State Park. 

We headed to the state park and booked it for 2 nights so that we could stay tomorrow night after the wine tour and so that we could go in to downtown Seneca Falls tomorrow night to watch the Phillies 1st game of the NLDS

After getting set up in the campground it started to rain so we just hung out in the RV and relaxed.

Saturday, October 1st

We got up early so that we could bike in to downtown Seneca Falls to see if we could get two seats on a wine tour.  We found the Seneca Wine Tour, which is a bus that takes you to 5 different wineries on the Cayuga Lake for $20/person.  This was the best deal we could find, but it was too late to reserve seats online.   The woman who runs the wine tour operates out of the lobby in the Hotel Clarence in downtown Seneca Falls.  There is no phone number listed for her online so we had to ride to the hotel in the hopes that there would be available seats left on the bus.  I called the visitor’s center yesterday and they had a little bit of information about it and basically told me that the lady gets to the lobby around 9am and the first bus leaves at 10am.  So if we wanted to try to get seats it would be better for us to get there earlier rather than later.  We rode our bike the 3.5 miles in to downtown Seneca Falls in a light drizzle and were there by 9:30am. 

We were in luck and there were available seats on the 10am bus so we paid the fee and locked up our bikes to get ready for the 10am bus.  There actually were tons of seats on the 10am bus and we only had 2 other people with us.  They happened to be from outside of Philly in Bucks County.  We all had our Phillies gear on so it was easy to tell they were from the Philadelphia area.  We chatted with them throughout the day. 

The way the bus worked was that it would drop us off at a winery and give us a half hour to do our tastings and check out the winery and then it would pick us back up to drive us to the next winery.  At the third winery they allotted an hour for us so that we could get some food for lunch.  The five wineries we went to in order were the Sheldrake Point Vineyard, Buttonwood Grove Winery, Knapp Winery & Restaurant, Cobblestone Farm Winery & Vineyard, and Montezuma Winery.  Each winery charged either a $2 or $3 tasting fee and you got to sample about 6 wines of your choice from each.

We ended up buying two wines from the Buttonwood Grove Winery and one bottle of mead from the Montezuma Winery.  We liked some of the wines we tried at pretty much all the wineries except for at Cobblestone Farm Winery & Vineyard.  The wines here were all pretty sweet and not really what we like to drink.  All the other wineries had sweet wines too, but they had a good amount of dry wines we could try.  We ate lunch at the Knapp Winery & Restaurant.  You could do a box lunch which included a turkey wrap or you could have a sit down meal in the restaurant.  The turkey wrap didn’t sound all that appealing to me since I am not a big turkey fan so we opted to do a sit down lunch.  Jared ordered a pasta dish with scallops in it, which he enjoyed and I had fantastic grilled pork medallions.  They had some awesome sauce on them with corn and beans in the sauce.  It was very delicious and I ate every single thing on my plate.

After finishing up at the last winery the bus dropped us back off at the Hotel Clarence.  We retrieved our bikes and tried to figure out how we were going to get our three bottles of wine home.  We didn’t think in advance and didn’t bring a back pack with us or anyway to strap the bottles on to our bikes.  Jared ended up being able to fit one bottle of wine in each of his rain coat pockets and then he had the last bottle in a brown paper bag hanging from his bike handle.  It was raining pretty good on the bike ride home though so he ended up having to hold the bottle in his hand after a while since the bottom of the bag got pretty soaked and he didn’t want the bottle ripping through.  We made it home all in one piece and pretty wet.  We got changed in to some dry clothes and relaxed before heading out again later for the Phillies game. 

It was raining out again so we decided to call a cab to take us in to downtown Seneca Falls to find a bar to watch the game in.  We tried to set up a cab for earlier today so we weren’t biking in the rain, but they couldn’t pick us up as early as we wanted to go.  So anyway we got dropped off on the main street in Seneca Falls and checked out some of the bars around to decide which one we wanted to watch the game in.  We ended up picking Red’s Place, which was suggested to us by a guy in Ithaca at the Apple Harvest Festival.  It looked a little shady on the outside, but we headed in anyway.  It ended up being a really nice bar inside and not the dump it looked like from the outside.  There were 2 other guys in the bar, when we came in and we were able to get the one big screen tv right in front of us changed to the Phillies game. 

The other two guys left a little bit after we got there and it ended up being us and the bartender for most of the game.  He said they would get crowded later, but not until like 10 or 11pm.  By the end of the game there were 4 more people in the bar with us.  After watching the Phillies win we played a game of cricket, which I won and finished up our last beers before calling a cab to take us back to the campground.  When we got back we just relaxed and then headed to bed. 

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