Are you thinking about planning a Finger Lakes getaway and want to include some of best wine-tasting experiences? With hundreds of the best Finger Lake vineyards, breweries, and cider houses to choose from, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start. So here we have compiled a list of the 37 best Finger Lakes wineries to visit.
Please note – they are listed in no particular order except categorized by lake region. This is the best way to plan all the things to do in the Finger Lakes. Choose a lake region or two, and stick to all the gems that area has to offer. The Finger Lakes is expansive and offers something for everyone, so try not to get Finger Lakes FOMO (fear of missing out) like I do every time I go!
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Cayuga Lake is one of the most popular Finger Lakes winery regions to consider. This lake is the longest of all of the Finger Lakes at almost thirty-nine miles long. And at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake is one of our favorite and best towns in New York to visit: Ithaca! Home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. This progressive town is a cultural epicenter and a great place to consider when planning your Finger Lakes getaway. It’s also home to some of the best waterfalls in the USA.
In addition to the college town vibes, Cayuga Lake offers the incredible Cayuga Lake Wine Trail which you can follow around the lake, mostly on the western banks. They say this is the United State’s first wine trial which has set the standard for all others since. You can check out these amazing Cayuga Lake wine tours, if you want to sit back and enjoy the experience!
1. Americana Vineyards
For a very small-town feel, visit Americana Vineyards near Cayuga Lake. They are very proud of their tasting room and gift shop, a barn from the 1820s that was moved from its original spot five miles away.
If you have a sweet tooth for wine, be sure to try Sweet Rosie, a dessert-style red perfect for after dinner. Or, try the Barn Raisin’ Semi-Sweet.
When you are done drinking, grab a light meal from the Crystal Lake Cafe. They have delicious offerings, like a lobster roll, charcuterie tray, or light sandwiches.
2. Bright Leaf Vineyard
If you are touring wineries around Cayuga Lake, make sure you stop by Bright Leaf Vineyard. This small winery has won numerous awards, including a gold medal for their 2017 Cabernet Franc at the 2021 NY Wine Classic, and a double gold medal at the 2021 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition for their Semi-dry Riesling.
This boutique winery only accepts groups of six people or less, so it’s the perfect place for couples or small groups. Enjoy a regular wine flight, or spend two dollars more for a preselected chocolate and wine flight. The featured chocolates come from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates based out of Rochester.
3. Buttonwood Grove Winery
If you want to make sampling wine your main attraction during your trip to the Finger Lakes, make sure you visit Buttonwood Grove Winery. This vineyard has a wonderful multi-level deck, where you can sip wine with a view of the lake and grounds.
This winery won the Governor’s Cup at the annual New York Wine and Food Classic in 2017 for its 2016 Riesling. Their Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir won 91 points according to NY Wine Classic, so you will have distinguished flavors to indulge in.
If you don’t want to drive home after trying these amazing wines, book a log cabin, located on the property. These cabins are available from April through November. See other amazing places to stay in the Finger Lakes here.
5. Heart and Hands Wine Company
Another great winery to try near Cayuga Lake is Heart and Hands Wine Company. When you visit, you will receive a signature tasting that includes your choice of one of several wine flights. Your flight will have five wines included for your sampling. If you feel like munching, you can also purchase a small cheese and charcuterie board. In warm months, tastings are held outside, while November hosts seated tasting in the winery cellar.
We love the 2015 Ratafia wine, which is unlike any other wine we have tried. It’s creamy and has nutty notes. We also enjoy the sparkling Riesling, a welcome respite from all of the classic Rieslings found around the Finger Lakes.
6. Sheldrake Point Winery
The Sheldrake Point Winery is another wonderful option if you are visiting the Finger Lakes region. This winery consists of 155 acres atop Sheldrake Point, overlooking Cayuga below. Enjoy a fun outdoor tasting room, where dogs are allowed with you.
You may choose to visit this winery in a variety of ways. Of course, you may drive-in. Or, you can boat in. By taking the Cayuga Lake Wine-Tasting Cruise, you will be whisked here on a six-hour boat tour that also visited Treleaven Winery, Long Point Winery, Goose Watch Winery, and the Thirsty Owl Wine Company.
7. Thirsty Owl Wine Company
When you visit Thirsty Owl Wine Company, you will be able to enjoy your wine inside or outside. There is a large deck area here where your dogs are also allowed. You can also arrive at Thirsty Owl by boat, and guests doing so may use the winery’s dock. This is a personal favorite of ours not just because of the wine, the views, the space… but also because they offer lunch! So you can balance your wine tasting with a filling meal.
Many Finger Lakes wine tours can take you to Thirsty Owl. For instance, the Cayuga Lake Wine-Tasting Cruise uses that dock to take guests to the Thirsty Owl and four other wineries. Water to Wine Tours does the same, with different boat styles to choose from. Captain Jim’s Wine Tour also takes you there on a twenty-six-foot boat.
8. Treleaven Wines
In the summers, the Treleaven Wines’ courtyard is almost reminiscent of an outdoor festival. When you visit, you can sip Treleaven wines while sitting at a wooden picnic table, or under picturesque lights. Your whole family is welcome to come along, including children and dogs. Lawn games are also available, and you will have a blast while drinking award-winning wines.
Treleaven has five gold medals from the World Wine Championships. These medals were awarded to their 2011 Late Harvest Riesling, their 2012 Dry Rose, their Apple Mystique, the 2011 Gewurztraminer, and the 2012 Semi-dry Riesling.
Keuka Lake is the Y-shaped Finger Lake. The small town of Penn Yan is on its northernmost banks. This town is one of our favorite places for an upstate New York getaway. With lovely places to stay, restaurants, attractions, trails, and lake access, you may want to consider basing your Finger Lakes trip out of Penn Yan. Especially if you love more low-key vibes, the less-visited outdoors, and a quainter experience.
The town of Hammondsport is on the other end of Keuka Lake. This is an even smaller town than Penn Yan and may be one of the quietest spots to choose when planning a Finger Lakes wine trail vacation. I loved staying at Hammondsport for the antique shopping! But no matter which Keuka Lake town you choose, you will be within a short drive from many wineries on Keuka Lake.
9. Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery (One of the best wineries in the Finger Lakes!)
You simply can’t take a trip to the Finger Lakes without visiting Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery. Only about fifteen minutes from Hammondsport, this winery has a tasting experience, retail shop, beautiful gardens, and a large deck called Konstantin’s Overlook. Many tours offer access to this winery, like the Keuka Lake Winery Tour.
This winery has been distinguished since 1962 when it became New York’s most award-winning winery. In 2013, they won a total of 129 gold medals. To try an award-winning vintage, choose between dozens of options. No matter what you pick, it will have world-class flavor. Our favorites include the 2016 Saperavi and the 2017 Rkatsiteli.
Basing your vacation in Geneva or Watkins Glen? There is a second Dr. Konstantin Frank location near Seneca Lake.
10. Heron Hill Winery
Heron Hill Winery is a favorite of many visitors near Keuka Lake. This beautiful venue is tucked into thick trees growing on rolling hills. A tower, built to harken back to a classic farming silo, sets this Greek Revival-style building apart.
Heron Hill Winery has won many awards from Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, and more. Its 2017 Classic Cabernet Franc won the Silver Medal at the NY Wine Classic.
It’s worth noting that there is a Heron Hill Tasting Room loathed on Canandaigua Lake as well. One way to visit this room is to book the Canandaigua Wine Trail Experience.
11. Keuka Spring Vineyards
Are you and your guests hoping to sip locally made wines as you gaze upon the beautiful Keuka Lake? Keuka Spring Vineyards is a wonderful place to visit, especially if you are staying in Penn Yan. This winery is only two miles south of the town.
Enjoy a sampling of lovely wines, like the semi-dry Celebrate! or Clara’s Red. Keuka Springs also has vegan wines, in which no animal or animal-derived product was used in the winemaking process. These wines include the 2019 Blaufrankisch, 2020 Cabernet Franc, and many more.
12. McGregor Vineyard
McGregor Vineyard has been in operation for over fifty years. The winery sits on a hillside that looks down the eastern banks of Keuka Lake. We recommend making a reservation, especially if you have a group above six people.
For those who like dry wines, try McGregor’s 2019 Dry Gewurztraminer. While dry, it remains light. If sweeter wines are more your style, try their 2020 Unoaked Chardonnay.
Regardless of your taste preferences, you simply can’t leave McGregor’s without trying their specialty- the Black Russian Red. The grapes for this wine are historically grown around the Black and Caspian Seas in Ukraine, Armenia, and Romania. McGregor’s may be the only place in the entire Western Hemisphere to make this wine.
13. Vineyard View Winery
You will absolutely adore the atmosphere at Vineyard View Winery. This winery is in a gorgeous house, sitting atop a hill overlooking the vineyard and Keuka Lake. A very large patio wraps around the house, which has big windows for cooler months.
Tastings are available year-round, and other events are offered, too. These events include live, local music, and fresh pizza nights. When you’re here, we suggest trying the sweet Family Red or the spicy Traminette. This last wine sells out every year, so you know it is delicious and unique.
14. Weis Vineyards
Weis Vineyards is another one of the best Finger Lakes wineries around. These wines are handcrafted in the German style, so you know that Riesling will be a big offering here. The tasting room is in a rustic-looking barn, the perfect backdrop for great pictures. We also recommend trying the wines Perle and Heart of the Lake.
Experience! Keuka Lake Wine Tour is our favorite tour to Weis Vineyards. Along with Weis, you will also visit Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, Heron Hill Winery, and Bully Hill Vineyards, depending on the season of your trip.
Hands down, Seneca Lake is the most popular Finger Lakes region for wine tasting and offers some of the top attractions in all of the Finger Lakes. The sweet, historical town of Geneva is on its northernmost banks, as well as Seneca Lake State Park. Geneva is a wonderful town to stroll through and enjoy the unique architecture, which includes an 18th-century castle. Also, the famous Watkins Glen town is located on the southernmost tip. This town is home to the magnificent Watkins Glen State Park where you can hike through a ravine of waterfalls. And there are many other amazing New York State Parks in the Seneca Lake region!
Fun fact: Seneca Lake is also the deepest of all of the Finger Lakes!
15. Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery
Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery has been in operation since 1979 and was voted Winery of the Year in the 2019 New York Wine Classic. You will love tasting their Riesling, which comes in dry, semi-dry, Single Vineyard, and Select varieties. Their Gewurztraminer Weiner is uniquely special here too, with a dry and semi-dry option available.
If you would like to try something other than wine, just walk over to the Wagner Valley Brewing Company for a sampling of at least nine craft beers. Then, go to the Ginny Lee Cafe, which has original recipes to fill your stomach.
16. Zugibe Vineyards
Zugibe Vineyards is also on Seneca Lake, just a bit north of Hector Wine Co. and close to Geneva. This winery won Best Riesling at the 11th Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, which included wines from around the globe.
Zugibe offers live music every Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. So, consider visiting during those times for a fun ambiance to your experience. While you listen, pick and choose from a full selection of wine tastings, glasses, and bottles. Is there someone in your party who prefers another drink besides wine? Zugibe also serves mimosas (made from their bubbly Riesling) and local beers.
17. Chateau LaFayette Reneau Winery and Inn
Want to sip local Finger Lakes wines against a dramatic view of Seneca Lake in a unique venue? Chateau LaFayette Reneau Winery and Inn holds its tastings in a one-hundred-year-old barn that has been fully restored. Their Niagara wine is our favorite sweet wine, and the 2017 Syrah is our favorite dry.
If you visit in warmer months, you may purchase a Vineyard Picnic Experience, which includes a private picnic location with fresh food, a bottle of wine, picnic blanket, pillows, and more.
You can also rent the Inn guest House, which has a wraparound deck that faces the lake. The house has five bedrooms with three Jacuzzis, making this a great trip for a group of couples to get away, or perhaps a large wedding party get-together.
18. Damiani Wine Cellars
Damiani, on the east side of Seneca Lake, has a beautiful venue for wine tasting. The vineyard itself was hand-planted along a dramatic slope in the direction of the lake. When you visit, do not try to make a reservation, unless you would like a private tasting. These are available for an additional cost, otherwise tastings are first come, first served. Try the 2011 Gem, 2020 Sole e Terra, and the Dolce Bianco, if available when you visit.
Damiani works with Experience! Finger Lakes wine tours, so consider taking an entire wine trail road trip to other wineries on your way to Damiani.
19. Fox Run Vineyards
While Fox Run Vineyards technically has a Penn Yan address, it is actually located on the shores of Seneca Lake. One of the best wines to try here is the 2019 Reserve Riesling. This wine won Best of Show at the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association’s 16th wine competition. USA Today also named it the third-best winery in the entire US in 2018.
Flights of wine are only $10 here, and they include five wines. Your tasting will be done in their tasting room, but more sampling can be done in Fox Run’s Wine Barn. Just a few short steps away, you will be able to purchase glasses or bottles of wine and snacks. Consider visiting this winery via Seneca Lake Wine Tasting and Tour.
20. Glenora Wine Cellars
Glenora Wine Cellars is also on the shores of Seneca Lake, And, it is not only a winery but also a great restaurant and inn. This makes Glenora a one-stop-fits-all for many travelers. Book a room at the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars, and you will stay in a cozy room that feels like a lakeside cabin. Then, grab lunch at Veraisons, where you will eat regional cuisine while also, of course, drinking Glenora Wines.
These wines have won many awards, going all the way back to 2008. We recommend the 2017 Riesling Reserve Semi-Dry, which won gold at the 2018 Jefferson Cup International Wine Competition.
21. Hector Wine Co.
Hector Wine Co. has a history. In fact, the grapes are produced out of a farm that has been operated for centuries. This farm is called Sawmill Creek Vineyards. For each harvest, they handpick the grapes and then hard sort them before beginning the wine-making process. You
will find small productions of long-fermented reds and whites here, available in flights, glasses, or bottles.
When you visit Hector Wine Co., you will enjoy views of Seneca Lake, gorgeous landscaping, and outdoor picnic tables when the weather is perfect. While you sip, be sure to try a taste of the 2019 Pinot Blanc, if they have it in stock. This wine received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast in April of 2021.
22. Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard
On the western shores of Seneca Lake, Herman J. Wiemer Vineyard is one of Wine and Spirits Magazines’ Top 100 Wineries of 2021. This isn’t their first time winning such an award, but rather the eleventh time, making them one of the best wineries in the Finger Lakes.
When you visit Hermann J. Wiemer, you may want to consider making a reservation. Specialty tastings may be available, as well as custom flights. Note that if you arrive in a limousine or other specialty vehicle, you will not be able to park on the property.
One more thing we love about Hermann J Wiemer Vineyard? They have not used herbicides in their farming for almost ten years. They also handpick their crop and use cover crops in and near their fields that benefit the vines.
23. J.R. Dill Winery
When you visit J.R. Dill Winery, you will enjoy your wine along with the feel of a cozy log cabin. Each wine is made in small batches and hand-crafted. Try to sample the Cabernet Franc Rose or the 2018 DeChaun. If you really enjoy the sweeter options, sample the flavors of their Jabber Waulkie varieties, which have a lower alcohol percentage.
J.R. Dill is only a few miles north of Watkins Glen, so you may want to consider stopping here after a refreshing hike in Watkins Glen State Park.
24. Kemmeter Wines
Another great Finger Lakes vineyard near Seneca Lake is Kemmeter Wines. If you would like to visit the tasting room, you must first make a reservation. Note that this location is closed on Sundays, and closed to limousines and bus groups. This provides an intimate experience for guests.
Kemmeter has wonderful wines to try. The 2018 Kemmeter Estate Pinot Cuvee is sweet with notes of vanilla, lemon zest, and caramelized pear. They also have many different kinds of Riesling, including one with melon, ginger, and pineapple notes. Another has flavors of grapefruit and lime zest.
25. Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars
Another wonderful winery in the Finger Lakes is Lamoreaux Landing. Here, you are encouraged to pack your own favorite foods in a sweet picnic to enjoy after your tasting. Each picnic table harbors a marvelous view of Seneca Lake, and you will be able to enjoy glasses or bottles there.
But first, you will need to decide on a favorite. Tastings are the best way to do this and are by reservation only at Lamoreaux. Be sure to try the 2019 Dry Rose, which won 90 points, and the Editors Choice award from Wine Enthusiast.
26. Miles Wine Cellars
Miles Wine Cellars is another exciting Finger Lakes winery experience. Here, you can pull right up to the boathouse in your pontoon or speedboat, and enjoy a glass of delicious wine. You can also stay at the Inn at Miles, which is housed within the beautiful white columns of the winery’s main building.
One exciting aspect of this location is its haunted history, with many thrilling stories of ghost sightings. This has inspired the owners to make a special blend of Chardonnay and Cayuga wines, which they have named Ghost. Be sure to try this around Halloween.
27. Ravines Wine Cellars
Ravines Wine Cellars has two tasting room locations, one on Keuka Lake and the other on Seneca Lake. The main winery for Ravines is located near Seneca Lake, in Geneva, NY. The main Ravines tasting room is here, settled into an old barn with hardwood all around.
The Keuka Lake tasting room is located in Hammondsport and has seasonal hours. You will need to make a reservation to attend a tasting. The decor in the tasting room is white, bright, and almost cafe-like.
Ravines’ largest accolade comes from their Riesling grapes, which ranked them among the top 100 Wines in the World by Wine Spectator in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016. Some of these vintages are still available, so be sure to inquire when you visit.
28. Red Newt Cellars Winery and Bistro
Next, head to Red Newt Cellars for elegant food and delightful wines. Seating is available inside, and outside on the deck. The food is light, and of course, pairs well with the wines offered here. This winery is a great stop for lunch, with live music artists performing on Sundays during this time of day.
You will not only be able to enjoy unique wines like Hellbender, Tango Oaks Ice Wine, and more, but you may also choose to enjoy a beer or coffee. So, bring your entire party along, as there is something for everyone to enjoy.
29. Red Tail Ridge Winery
Red Tail Ridge Winery is one of the best wineries in the Finger Lakes. Tastings must be booked online. When you arrive, you will be able to try distinctive wines like Pinot Noir Rose Pet Nat, Frost Smoke, Dornfelder, and Rebel with a Cause.
Red Tail Ridge is also the only LEED-gold certified winery in the entirety of New York state. This means that it is committed to the environment as well as great wine. It has also been nominated for the prestigious James Beard award two years in a row, and is the only New York state wine producer to earn the nomination so far.
30. Silver Springs
Silver Springs Winery does not require reservations and allows children and dogs. So, enjoy this cool spot with whomever you choose. Flowing with hippie vibes, there is an art gallery that makes this place really special, featuring and celebrating local artists’ works.
The family that owns this winery has 700 years of Italian tradition behind them, dating back to the year 1320. Now, all of that heritage is put into their truly amazing wines by following the same traditions that have followed the family through the centuries. We love the Strawberry Molly Surprise wine, and their White Cabernet Sauvignon.
31. Tabora Farm & Winery
Hoping for a very unique farm-to-table winery experience? Head to Tabora Farm and Winery. Here, you will be able to sample local wines and try locally grown ingredients at the deli, bakery, and market.
To visit, you must first book a tasting. Ask about trying the 2018 Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Sparkel, which all won awards at the 2020 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. These wines are made with South African heritage in mind.
Then, soak up the wine with a delicious meal from the deli, where your options include salads, sandwiches, quiche, and even seasonal pasta and casseroles.
32. Three Brothers Wineries and Estates
Three Brothers Wineries and Estates is just a block away from Zugibe Vineyards. This winery is huge- with three distinct wineries, a microbrewery, and a cafe all on the same property.
Stony Lonesome Wine Cellars is the first, where you will sip an award-winning Bourbon-aged Barbera under a beautiful wooden ceiling. Passion Feet Wine Barn is your next stop, with seasonal wine spritzers and wines ranging from semi-dry to sweet. Finally, Bagg Darte Wine Company is in the back of the estate and is the most unique of all the properties here. Follow a dirt walking path to arrive, listen to local live music near the pond, and bring along your sense of humor.
33. Billsboro Winery
Are you a connoisseur of the finest dry wines? Make sure you stop at Billsboro Winery, as dry wines are their specialty. It’s 2013 Syrah won the Governor’s Cup in 2016. You will love sipping 2020 Saluti or 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon in their cozy tasting room, which features exposed rustic wood and stone.
Continue your experience by grabbing a wood-fired pizza, made right on Billsboro’s patio. They also have Geneva Gelato available for a sweet dessert. Reservations are necessary in order to visit Billsboro during a Pizza on the Patio event.
34. Boundary Breaks Vineyard
Boundary Breaks is on the eastern shores of Seneca Lake. No prior reservation is needed to stop by this excellent Finger Lakes winery. It offers seated wine tastings on an outside patio during warmer months, which include five wines for ten dollars. Boundary Breaks also hosts Sunset Saturdays, where live music occurs as the sun sets over the banks of the lake. You should book ahead for this event.
If you enjoy dry wine, be sure to try this vineyard’s Merlot. And if you like something sweeter, make sure you try their Riesling.
The entire Finger lakes region is very beautiful, but Canandaigua Lake is especially breathtaking. The water from this lake is so clean that it provides drinking water for 70,000 people that live nearby.
If you are planning to visit Canandaigua Lake, you may choose to stay in the town of Canandaigua. This little town has great restaurants and beautiful accommodations on the water. It also has a quaint historic district, perfect for visiting local shops. The buildings here are old, making it an interesting place to stroll and take pictures.
35. Raymor Estate Cellars Winery
Raymor Estate Cellars is a unique stop near Canandaigua Lake. Here, they make wine, craft beers, and still hard ciders (hard cider without the bubbles). It is open Thursdays through Saturdays, so be sure to check hours before heading here on your Finger Lakes vacation.
Choose between three types of tastings. The Basic includes a flight for twelve dollars a person. The Deluxe package includes the same, plus a full glass of wine, cider, fusion, or beer in a glass you may keep for twenty dollars. The premiere tasting for two includes two deluxe tastings and a charcuterie board.