Friday is the day when all of the fun begins for Grapehounds Weekend. The host Winery is where all the vendors are and where the guests can gather and hang out and shop. This year the host Winery is Atwater Estate Vineyards. We did some browsing in the vendor tent ad saw a few things we will go back for on Saturday. We both also enjoyed our first wine tasting of the weekend.
With our trusty map in hand we set out to explore a few more of the wineries on the list of those participating in the weekend. All that really means is they will accept the “tasting tickets” instead of cash for tastings, and they will allow the greyhounds in the tasting room. For most of the wineries the tasting room is pretty much the entire building on the property.
Our second stop of the day was Kings Garden Vineyard. They have a medieval theme to their wines, Wicked Wench, Sinister Sister, Red Knight, Royal Pain. A few bottles may have found there way into the car.
Emerita Winery was our 3rd choice for the day. This is a new winery both in being around and as part of the Grapehounds Weekend, and is Housed inside a former church. A couple more bottles and a Chili pepper hand towel mysteriously wound up in the backseat.
We had decided to drive as far north as we could go and work our way around Seneca Lake just to say we did it. By this time (3 tastings in) we were ready for some lunch. Ventosa Vineyards was on the list of dog friendly eating establishments. They were kind enough to allow the dogs out on their back deck which overlooked the grape vines and the lake. We sat and enjoyed a sandwich and the view before heading around rest of the lake.
Another new winery to us this year was our 4th stop of the day. Red Tail Ridge Vineyard participated last year but we never made it up that far. Then had some nice wines and the ladies there doing the tastings were very friendly. They have a white wine called Good Karma I will have to see if it is available locally once we get home.
The last stop of the day was Seneca Shores. This is another winery with a medieval theme to it. They offered a great sangria as well as a really good and very different Blueberry Wine. Another few bottles were added to the box in the car.
After a quick respite in the room and then we were ready to head out to dinner with a local podcasting celebrity ToppieSmellie of The Smellcast. He was kind enough to drive all the way over from Pickle Hollow (a bedroom community of Ithaca) to meet us for dinner. We had a fabulous time talking and laughing at the little diner I found. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it screamed small town life.
After dinner we grabbed some ice cream and chatted some more before heading back to the hotel and parting ways. I will say the day was a great start to our weekend of winery hopping. Stay tuned for more updates.