'Road Trip Experience' in one NY county

Visitors gather lakeside at Long Point Winery.

Fresh local cuisine.
Merchants and facilities in the Cayuga County area of Upstate New York have come up with an interesting marketing push to promote tourism -- a fusion of wine tasting, dining and leisure experiences reminiscent of bygone times.

Visitors to this slice of the Finger Lakes region can be involved in a wide range of wine and culinary events and experiences being promoted as an "American Road Trip Experience."

Here is a checklist of of recommended sites:

Where to Wine Taste:

Heart & Hands Wine Company offers a hands-on winemaking opportunity during the harvest season. Participants discover winemaking activities including picking fruit, sorting grapes, daily punchdowns, lab analysis, pressing grapes and equipment cleaning. Their limited production, currently under 1,500 cases, allows for an intense focus on quality. Committed to producing cool climate wines which authentically express the character of the Finger Lakes, Heart & Hands Wine Company is located in a serene setting overlooking the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake.

Bet the Farm features a farm winery, regional wine shop and gourmet market. Their wines are sold alongside a premier selection of other Finger Lakes wines at their shop in the village of Aurora. In addition to wine, they offer gourmet foods produced throughout the state.

King Ferry Winery -focuses on Chardonnay and Riesling varieties. It offers "Taste the Artistry," a series of of Treleaven wines in the company of works by local artists in the Tasting Room gallery and gift shop.

Long Point Winery winemaker Gary Barletta focuses his attention on dry reds such as Merlot and Syrah.  Wife Rosemary serves up her specialty sandwiches in Amelia's Deli. Located just off scenic State Route 90 the winery overlooka Cayuga Lake.

Insider Winery Tips:

• Most wineries have a small tasting fee which often is refunded with a purchase of wine.

• Cheeses can be found between wine tastings along the Cayuga Scenic Byway. Go to the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail website for details.

• Escorted wine tours are a safe way to indulge while letting someone else do the driving. You can get information on rates and hours from Big D's Limo Service in Auburn, Experience! The Finger Lakes in Ithaca, or Quality Wine Tours in Pittsford.

Where to Eat:

Aurora Inn -- Seasonal American cuisine made with fresh regional products and paired with a large list of  Finger Lakes wine. Indoor dining room as well as lakeside dining.
on their spacious veranda, perfect for taking in Finger Lakes sunsets.

Moro’s Table -- Finger Lakes ingredients are used to create American-style cuisine.

Pumpkin Hill Bistro -- Comfort food "with a twist" in a unpretentious atmosphere. Cayuga Lake wines can be paired with the dishes, and diners can take advantage of the antiques and gifts at the Country Store.

Where to Pick & Buy Local:

Long Point Orchard -- Fruit enthusiasts can pick their locally grown produce or purchase it from the farm stand located at 2007 State Rte 90 in Aurora. Closed on Mondays.

Grisamore Farms -- Featuring an array of fruit crops from strawberries to sweet cherries to blueberries. Want to bypass the picking process? The farm store is located in a 19th Century dairy barn and equipped with an array of delectable items for sale.

The Produce Place -- Specializing in fresh, local produce as it ripens -- sweet corn, tomatoes, etc. -- plus pies and custards.

King Ferry Farmer's Market -- This pop-up marketplace located just off of Route 90 sells farmstead cheese, organic flour, organic vegetables, plants and flowers, fiber art, pottery and jewelry among many other locally grown and produced items.

Where to Stay:

Aurora Inn, set on the shores of Cayuga Lake in a heritage village, has a pedigree dating to 1833. The original Finger Lakes inn, built in Federal style with red brick and wide columned balconies, has been restored as a bed and breakfast.

E.B. Morgan House, formerly the home of Colonel Edwin Barber Morgan, co-founder of The New York Times and American Express. The house offers seven guest rooms, living spaces, porches that overlook the lake and lawns and a collection of original modern art.

Dill’s Run Bed & Breakfast and Vineyard is located on the east side of Cayuga Lake on State  Route 90 in the Town of Ledyard. The Italianate Victorian house was built in the late 1830s and has recently been restored. It sits on a 15-acre plot four miles north of Aurora. It also has a vineyard that produces grapes for its own wines.

Cayuga Marina and Campground is located on the north end of Cayuga Lake, a short distance from Lock One, Seneca Canal, and the Montezuma Wildlife Preserve. Good for an overnight, weekend or week-long stay for outdoor sports enthusiasts and those who just appreciate the countryside and lakeside atmosphere. Seasonal guest accommodations and marina services for patrons.

Cayuga County Tourism
Finger Lakes Travel
Dowd's Guides home page

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