Travelogue – The Finger Lakes and Geneva on the Lake

Is it just me or is anyone else extremely bummed about summer’s official ending?  How does it always seem to go so fast??  The only thing to do is plan more adventures to look forward to and I have the perfect weekend getaway for those in the tri-state area.  
The NY Fingerlakes, or New York’s “other” wine region, is the perfect fall weekend getaway.  Harvest is upon us, the fall foliage is sure to begin any day, the region is producing some top-notch wines (as well as craft brews) and is home to some really great farm to table dining as well.  I visited earlier this summer and learned that while there is a lot of great food and drink, there’s also a lot of bad in between.  Lucky for you I sussed out the best of the best and mapped out the perfect weekend getaway.
We hit the road on a Friday at 1 pm and made it in 5 hours flat, just in time to hit the wine and cheese hour at our hotel and home base for the weekend, Geneva on the Lake.  

The setting was absolutely gorgeous, with sprawling lawns overlooking Seneca Lake.  The main building was a private villa built in 1914 and modeled after Villa Lancellotti in Frascati, Italy (one of my favorite wine-producing towns in Italy).  

After our first sips of local wine, we settled in to our room.  A 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen and a view of the lake!

After a long drive we were thrilled to take advantage of the candlelight dinner with live music in the Lancellotti dining room; a total throwback to the formal dining of a bygone era.  It was fun to dress up and walk downstairs to dinner.
We settled in for a feast including shrimp cocktail, spinach salad, rack of lamb and filet.

The wine list had a surprising selection of great choices beyond the Finger Lakes.  We decided to go to Bordeaux for this meal with a 2008 from Chateau Paloumey.  
As for dessert, a table-side bananas foster is about as classic as it gets.

Thoroughly stuffed, we headed back to our room to rest up for a day of wine tasting. 
After a great night sleep, we woke up and Geneva on the Lake was ready and waiting to feed us again!  Breakfast each morning was an absolute treat, with a choice of complimentary continental breakfast or à la carte egg dishes.  

The local fuji apple and tart cherry juices from Red Jacket Orchards were amazing!
 We set out along the west side of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, making stops at Lakewood, Hermann J. Wiemer, and Fox Run.  Full post to come on our winery visits.  
It was hot, so it was really nice to be able to come back to Geneva on the Lake and dip in the pool overlooking the lake; I felt like we were staying at our own private villa in Europe!
We ate dinner at Kindred Fare in Geneva which was really great and a fun, modern environment.  We had snacks at Cebo beforehand because we had planned to eat there on Sunday night but learned shortly after arriving in Geneva that almost all of the restaurants that were recommended to us are closed on Sundays.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought to look ahead or check opening times, but here I was trying to “wing it”.  
Snacks at Cebo:  candied bacon nibs with rosemary, deviled scotch dutch egg, and house pickles and paté
Other recommended restaurants that I’d love to try next time:  Graft in Watkins Glen and Red Dove Tavern in Geneva (both closed on Sundays FYI).
On Sunday, we made our way down the east side of the Seneca Wine Trail, stopping at Hosmer and Wagner, with a stop at the Lively Run Goat Dairy to sample some cheese and meet the goats.

The misfortune of not having a place for dinner Sunday actually led to one of my favorite moments of the trip.  We assembled a picnic of local cheese and wine and set out our spread on our Adirondack chairs overlooking the lake.  Guess winging-it works sometimes after all!

Stay tuned for Wine Wednesdays with details of our wine tours and tastings!
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