Honestly, it’s a combination of short on words and short on time. The muses must have taken a trip without me, although we had a fun weekend wine touring 2 weeks ago, the words just haven’t been able to be put out there to recap it.
So here goes nothing.
Grapehounds 2013 was another successful trip. The doggies had just as good a time as we did, well maybe we enjoyed it more because of the wine. Guess I will do my best to sum up what we did, besides eat and drink, and drink, and drink.
Thursday was the travel day to start the trip and then the following Monday was the travel day to end the the trip. Both days we stopped in this cute town in NY called Owego for lunch. Last year we found this fancy little Mexican Restaurant called Las Chicas Taqueria, and when planning this years trip I knew a stop was in order.
On the way up we both had Tacos as we only wanted a light lunch, and on the way home The Hubby opted for the Burrito and I went with the Enchiladas. Both were just as good as the tacos.
Thursday night the Host Winery for the Welcome Reception was Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards. We have grown to enjoy this vineyard and every year I look forward to getting a Brambleberry Slush. They take 2 of their red Wines, Red Cat and Brambleberry Wine and turn them into the most delicious frozen wine drinks imaginable. I was good and only had 2 and even reused my cup. After we checked in, got our goodie bag, and visited with some people, we headed back to drop the pups off at the hotel and grab some dinner. We finally decided to try a new BBQ place that opened up in an old Firehouse in downtown Watkins Glen. We sat outside and filled up on some pretty good food.
Friday was the first full day of Winery hopping and tastings. We started at the Host Winery for the weekend Atwater Estates. They are one of our favorites and this year as always this didn’t disappoint. We did some shopping at the vendors, then headed into the tasting room for the first round. From here on out we had already decided that our game plan was to start at the furthest winery up the lake and work our way back towards home base (which we considered the hotel room), and we would go as long Sandy would allow us to keep her out.
We managed to make it to 4 more wineries, King’s Vineyard, Standing Stone, Bagley’s Poplar Ridge, and Sheldrake Point, which was the first of 2 new wineries this year, before we called it a day and headed back to the room to freshen up for dinner. Dinner was extra special because not only were we going to a fabulous place, Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca, but we were meeting the famous Podcaster Toppie Smellie from the Smellcast. He lives in the area where we were spending the weekend so I naturally reached out and planned a dinner date for the 3 of us. He is funny, charming, and just an all around nice guy. After dinner we parted ways and headed back to the hotel for a good nights sleep so we could do it all over again on Saturday.
The biggest challenge to where we stay for our winery weekend is finding places to eat breakfast. This year we found a new Diner to try to start our Saturday called The Crossing Diner. The place is right out of Small Town USA. It seems like everyone knew everyone and the the train motif was kinda cute. The food was delicious which just added to the small town feel.
Saturday along with the wineries we were to visit we also made a trip a few towns over to Sunset Creamery to the 2nd Annual Finger Lakes Cheese Festival. Last year it was close to the hotel, and a good effort for the first year. This year the size nearly tripled for those with booths. We picked up some cheese, checked out the booths, then headed on out for more wine.
From the Cheese festival we headed back over to pick up where we left off on the side of the lake we were on Friday and hit the last 3 that were on our list, Hector Wine Company, JR Dill, and the only non winery on the list Finger Lakes Distilling. The first year we went on this trip we made the mistake of starting at the Distillery, and learned very quickly not to do that again. Shots Anyone?! So with the right side of the lake finished we headed over to the left side of the lake (which is the side our hotel is on) and started up at the top and hit 2 more Wineries Earle Estates Meadery and Seneca Shores. At this point a rain storm had moved in so it was back to the hotel for a nap before dinner.
Dinner Saturday was on the beach patio of Seneca Harbor Station, I made the reservation for those of us from our local Greyhound group to just get together and have dinner and catch up. All was well there with the dogs and the beach and food, until the rain started. Thankfully we were just about done so we proceeded to get the bill paid and the dogs to the cars before the downpour hit. The hubby and I headed over for some ice cream before heading back to the hotel.
Sunday we decided would be our Fancy Breakfast day. There is a winery that also has an Inn with a restaurant on the property called Veraisons. We had a wonderful breakfast there last year and wanted to go back again this year. The Hubby splurged for the French Toast and I ordered an omelet with Andouille Sausage. Once breakfast on the patio overlooking the vineyards, watching it rain, was complete it was onward and upward to start the final day of winery hopping.
The first stop was the 2nd of the 2 new wineries for this year Bella Angelo. They are a new winery in that they just renovated and opened the tasting rooms a few months ago. After we finished there we hit 7 more wineries, some with the dogs and some without as the others were not participants in the Grapehounds weekend. We hit Lakewood Vineyards (which is one of our absolute favorites), Fulkerson Winery (Sunday host winery for Grapehounds), Fruit Yard winery, Miles Wine Cellars, Magnus Ridge, Rock Stream Vineyards, and finally Hickory Hollow.
Our final dinner was at Seneca Lodge, we have heard of this place, it’s a rustic Motel with A Frame and Cabin rooms and a restaurant on the grounds. Honestly we would definitely go back there as the food was pretty damn good. I had meatloaf, which was on special for the night, and it came wrapped in surprise Bacon! The hubby liked the place as well but would not order the Duck again. He just didn’t expect a plate to arrive with Half a Duck on it. We again stopped for Ice Cream before heading back to the hotel to relax.
All in all it was a great weekend away, no stress, good food, friendly people, great wines. I wish we could do it every weekend. It seems the words came easier than I thought they would.
There wasn’t much else happening since that weekend. We had a surprise Birthday party Saturday afternoon, which I left early from to go march in a parade, then we spent Sunday afternoon at my youngest brothers house for a small birthday gathering he was throwing for himself. Now it’s back to work, another parade on Weds, Gayme Night (4th Anniversary) on Saturday, oh and the 17 day Countdown to the Cruise!