John, great synopsis of your trip. I used to teach in the Finger Lake region and lived then in Auburn and a little one blinking light town called Cayuga. I used to drive to the wineries to buy the wine. On Cayuga’s east side is a gem of a winery call King Ferry Winery that bottles under the name Trealeven. IMO, they make one of the best Chardonnays in NY.
Recently, in Hammondport we stumbled upon a great little restaurant called The Village Tavern. We really enjoyed out meals and they had a nice selection of NY beers from the area.
In the summer, there’s a quaint little roadside stand on the East side of the lake just north of Union Springs. It’s a hamburger/hotdog kind of stand, but it’s cheap and a nice stop when rounding the top of the lake heading from Swedish Hill down towards King Ferry Winery.
I have plenty of other places in that area if your every in the need. As I said, I lived in Auburn and Cayuga when I was teaching there and worked summers at a YMCA camp in Penn Yan, so I’ve explored all around Seneca and Cayuga lakes – Auburn, Waterloo, Geneva, Bath, Hammondport, Watkins Glen, Ithaca, Lansing, Interlaken, Tumansburg, Newark, Union Springs, Aurora, Seneca Falls, Ovid, Romulus, Gorham, …well, you get the idea. A group of us teachers used to pile in a car on Fridays and hit a couple wineries and grab dinner. On Wednesdays we headed to Ithaca for dinner and a round or two at The Chapter House.
This past summer when my wife and I did our Erie Canal boating trip (from Tonowanda to Fairport and back), we bookended the week with stays in Hammondsport and Corning. I was amazed to see just how many new wineries there are even from just a few years ago. And I agree that just about everyone is making a good Reisling now, not just Hermann J. Weimer and Dr. Frank.
I wished I had saw your original post to offer these places up, but from your report, it sounded like you did just fine.