With the Stonecat Café next door to Bloomer Creek winery, it was easy to decide on my lunch spot on my second day of visits in the Finger Lakes. It remains one of the best dining spots around, with an eclectic menu (orange fennel sausage) that relies heavily on locally sourced ingredients. After lunch, I continued up Route 414, popping my head in at the new Hector Wine Company and Standing Stone, and then it was off to Red Newt Cellars to taste the 2010 reds and whites followed by dinner at Red Newt Bistro.
In most wine regions, the older generation is typically the one holding onto tradition while the younger generation employs new ideas or techniques. In the Finger Lakes, though, the older generation is just as apt to be the one pushing as the younger one—since the older generation is basically the first one to break from the old Finger Lakes model of growing large quantities of hybrids and natives, rather than cutting yields and growing vinifera. I visited two such wineries on the morning of my second day here, Damiani and Bloomer Creek.
I made the drive up to the Finger Lakes yesterday morning, heading all the way over to Keuka Lake's west side for a stop at Keuka Lake Vineyards.
I'm heading upstate again, for another quick tour of the Finger Lakes. They're about halfway through the growing season so far this year, which has been on the cool and rainy side. Though there's a ways to go of course before we really know what 2011 has in store for the wines, it's a good time to check in on the vineyards and see some new and familiar faces.
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth reports that Red Newt Bistro chef and owner Debra Whiting has died in a car accident. Her husband, Dave, winemaker and owner for Red Newt Cellars, was also in the car and is listed in stable condition.
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