How do I Plan a Tour of Finger Lakes Wineries?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2019
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The Finger Lakes are located in the Western-Central region of upstate New York. In order to plan a tour of Finger Lakes wineries, it is necessary to first become familiar with the different wine tours in the region. Another good idea is to identify the various amenities that are located within each trail. Finally, it is recommended that you hire or plan safe transportation for the tour.

The Finger Lakes are made up of 11 different lakes. The region contains over 100 different wineries and vineyards. The the great depth of the lakes causes a lake effect that protects grapes from early frost. For this reason, the Finger Lakes region is New York State's largest producer of wine.

Some of the most common destinations for visitors to this region are the Seneca Lake wineries, Cayuga Lake wineries, and Keuka Lake wineries. A great way to introduce yourself to the wine trails around each of these lakes is to spend an afternoon driving around one or more and visit some of the wineries. Most wineries offer inexpensive tastings and discounts on wine. Wineries tend to be open throughout the week during the warmer months and may close or have limited hours during the late fall and winter.


Most Finger Lakes wineries carry free guides that are designed to help visitors plan tours. These guides also list seasonal events and attractions. Often times there will be lists of hotels and bed-and-breakfasts in the guides.

Aside from Finger Lakes wineries, many wine trails feature other amenities. Some of the trails house breweries where visitors can sample and purchase beer that is made on the premises. A Finger Lakes distillery will allow visitors to learn about the making of brandy, whiskey, and other spirits. Artisan cheese makers are also located near several of the Finger Lakes wineries.

Many visitors to this region who are interested in the wine tours will schedule a form of transportation. Driving yourself on the tours is not always safe since you may drink wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages while touring the wineries. One common method is to designate a driver who does not drink.

Another common transportation method for touring the Finger Lakes wineries is to hire a limousine. This is often a good choice for groups of four or five people. For larger groups, there are buses and vans that are available for hire. These transportation services sometimes only service one particular lake or trail. Other times, the service can move from lake trail to trail.


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