Watkins Glen Off The Beaten Path Tips by kooka3 Top 5 Page for this destination
Watkins Glen Off The Beaten Path: 6 reviews and 3 photos
WG is a great starting point for a winery trip. Plan on taking the whole day if you want to make it all the way around Seneca Lake, or just a few hours if you want to see the ones closest to Watkins Glen.
There are 25 wineries officially listed on the wine trail. There are some smaller wineries that choose not to become Trail members (they don't get included in the advertising, don't participate in Trail-wide events, etc). They are split almost evenly between the east and west sides - with a couple in Watkins Glen. You can go around the whole lake or split time between the western side of Cayuga (where most of the Cayuga wineries are) and the east side of Seneca. Several roads link the 2 lakes, and you can get from 1 to the other in 5-15 minutes depending on where you cut across.
I've been to about 1/2 of the Seneca wineries and can't wait to try more! These have been consistently good, both for the quality of the wines and the friendliness/knowledge of the staff:
1) Fox Run (Route 14, Penn Yan, NY) www.foxrunvineyards.com
2) Glenora Wine Cellars (Route 14, Dundee, NY) www.glenora.com
3) Castel Grisch Estate Winery (Route 28, Watkins Glen). www.fingerlakes-ny.com/castelgrisch
4) Hazlitt 1852 Vinyards (Route 414, Hector, NY). www.hazlitt1852.com
5) Wagner Vineyards (Route 414, Lodi, NY) www.wagnervineyards.com
In addition to individual wineries hosting events (like jazz fests or barbecues), the Trail itself hosts about 5 major events throughout the year. In January, there's a "Bargain Bash" for about 10 days. In Febrary near Valentines Day, they have a "chocolate and wine weekend". In March, it's "Pasta and Wine", in April, it's "Cheese and Wine" and for 2 weekends in November and December it's "Deck the Halls". Check the trail website for exact dates, participating wineries (it's almost always every trail member and sometimes a few more), and ticket information. These wine weekends area fabulous way to do some tastings of food and wine combos, get some receipes, etc.
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