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For the Love of Wine

Suggested Four Lakes Wine Group Tour

The Finger Lakes Wine region of New York State is the perfect getaway destination for those who love wine. It is home to more than 100 wineries -- serving up smiles and friendly conversation along with award-winning wines of almost every variety. Our Finger Lakes Wine Tour takes you to six award-winning Finger Lakes wineries: Casa Larga, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Heron Hill, Belhurst Castle, Swedish Hill and Goose Watch. No other region has such an abundance of natural beauty as the pristine Finger Lakes of Canandaigua, Keuka, Cayuga and Seneca with their gorgeous waterfalls, magnificent parks and charming villages.

Day 1:

Afternoon arrival at hotel - Welcome Reception.

Depart for a unique gourmet food shopping experience at Wegmans Pittsford Store. This is the flagship store of Wegmans, Rochester's locally owned food store chain, which now spans five states and has emerged as a leader in innovation and creativity. It is a one- stop food emporium - from the finest fresh fruits and vegetables, gourmet International prepared foods, specialty tea and sushi bars, thin-crusted pizza to handmade breads and pastries in the bakery. This is the perfect place to pick up snacks to go with your purchases at wineries.

Wegmans is ranked #4 on Fortune Magazine's list of 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2012. Choose The Cafe or The Food Bar for a fun lunch experience you won't soon forget.

Dinner at Mario's Restaurantin Pittsford, NY. In 1961, Mario Daniele and his wife, Flora, arrived from Abruzzi, Italy. They brought cherished recipes and a passion for homemade, Italian food and culture. Daniele and his sons Anthony and Danny share a passion for authentic, quality, homemade cuisine. Here, you are their "special guest."

Or

Dinner at Next Door Bar and Grillin Pittsford, NY - Across the street from Wegman's Pittsford, Next Door Bar and Grill is owned by Wegmans and is a fun place serving eclectic  food in a cosmopolitan setting. It features an outdoor patio, a test kitchen for private parties, a comfortable bar and the latest grilling techniques.

Or

Dinner at the Erie Grill at the Del Monte Lodge and Spain Pittsford, NY - The Erie Grill is an upscale restaurant in an luxury hotel that offers a view of the Erie Canal through wide windows. The dinner and lunch menus offer a large selection of seafood options, among other dishes. 

Day 2:

Breakfast at hotel.

Mid-morning, travel 30 minutes southeast of the city for a tour and tasting at Casa Larga Vineyardsin Fairport, New York.  In 1974, Andrew Colaruotolo started Casa Larga Vineyards as a hobby, seeking to produce wine reminiscent of those produced by his family's vineyard in Italy. In 1978, Casa Larga produced its first 3 wines, immediately earning silver and gold medals in their first competition. Today, Casa Larga Vineyards continues this tradition of excellence - producing high quality, award-winning wines and has grown to be one of the leading wine producers in New York's Finger Lakes region. The Colaruotolo family has carried on Andrew Colaruotolo's dream of building a quality vineyard, not only to showcase the quality wines that can be produced in New York State, the dedication to preserving the Italian heritage from which the vineyard has grown. Casa Larga Vineyards is home to one of the world's most decorated and best dessert wines, awarded by International Wine & Spirits Competition -- Fiori Delle Stelle Vidal Blanc Ice wine.

Late morning, continue on approximately twenty minutes south to Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Parkin the historic and lovely lake city of Canandaigua, NY and the Finger Lakes Wine Center.

Perched atop the sun-bathed hill of the estate known as "Sonnenberg" (German for "sunny hill"), you'll find a 40-room Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion. Much of the signature floral design and landscaping seen today in Sonnenberg's nine formal gardens bears the imprint of philanthropist Mary Clark Thompson, who brought home ideas and art from her many trips to European and Asian locales. Sonnenberg offers various group tours to visitors: Motor coach Tours and Private Party Group Tours, such as Garden Clubs, Red Hat Societies, senior centers, or school visits. The Mansion is handicap-accessible throughout the first floor. 

Finger Lakes Wine Centerat Sonnenberg features some of the best wines and gourmet food products from more than 40 partner wineries and farms, and is a virtual gateway to all the Finger Lakes Wine Trails, as well as a member of the Canandaigua Wine Trail. Housed in the historic Bay House near Sonnenberg's conservatory, the Finger Lakes Wine Center is readily accessible from the main parking lot and garden admission is not required. A walking ramp along the north side provides wheelchair access to the retail area upstairs. Knowledgeable staffers are on hand to help you make selections. The Center just celebrated its 12th year in 2012.

Lunch at Upstairs Bistro at the New York State Wine and Culinary Centeron enchanting Canandaigua Lake. The New York State Wine and Culinary Center is designed to engage, excite and inspire the people of New York State and the world in a celebration of New York wine and food. The Center is an educational and experiential gateway to New York State's incredible wine, food and culinary industries. Upstairs Bistro is a casual dining spot with indoor & outdoor lake view seating, an enhanced and expanded bistro-style menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients; and exclusive New York State beer, wine and spirits offerings and specialty drinks.

Call ahead to plan an interactive culinary experience designed to delight your senses and expand your appreciation of New York State's incredible food and wine.

Midafternoon- Travel east to Keuka Lake and take a tour of Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery. Dr. Konstantin Frank ignited the "Vinifera Revolution," a movement that forever changed the course of wine growing in the Finger Lakes and the United States. Dr. Frank's vision, knowledge and determination are credited with elevating the New York wine industry from a state of "happy mediocrity" to a level that today commands world attention. In October of 2007 Wine Enthusiastdeclared Dr. Konstantin Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars as the "Finger Lakes' Most Award-Winning Winery."  

Travel down the road to Heron Hill Winery. Heron Hill Winery is nestled into a hill overlooking scenic Keuka Lake in New York's Finger Lakes region. For over 30 years, the winery has set the highest standards for wine quality, customer satisfaction and tasting room experience. Since its first vintage in 1977, Heron Hill has steadily grown from a small 5,000 case winery making only white wines, into a dynamic 15,000 case production facility and entertainment destination for more than 50,000 people every year. Heron Hill's grape grower and owner, John Ingle often says that Heron Hill has "boot prints in its vineyards, not tire tracks." People maintain the vines at Heron Hill, not machines. This personal approach and commitment to quality is evident throughout every aspect of making, serving and selling Heron Hill's wines.

Late afternoondriving tour of Keuka Lake and historic Penn Yan, en route to Geneva on Seneca Lake.

Arrival at Belhurst Castle on the shores of beautiful Seneca Lake- Dinner and overnight stay.

Located on the shores of Seneca Lake in the heart of the verdant Finger Lakes wine region, Belhurst Castle is a place filled with history, beauty and breathtaking views. Originally built as a private mansion in 1889, it is a romantic, antique-filled retreat. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Belhurst Castle combines the romance of the past with the comforts of the present in an elegant, yet relaxed atmosphere. Rich woodwork, mosaic-tiled fireplaces and beamed cathedral ceilings set the stage for a truly unique dining experience in Belhurst's restaurant Edgar's. 

Stay the night in one of Belhurst's beautifully appointed guest rooms in one of its three distinct hotels. Belhurst was voted "One of the Most Romantic Places in New York State" and one of the "Top Ten Small Romantic Inns & Resorts" by Shermans Travel.

Day 3:

Breakfast at Belhurst - stroll the grounds and enjoy the view of Seneca Lake, one of the largest of the sparkling glacial lakes of the 11 Finger Lakes.

Midmorning: Wine Tasting at Belhurst.  Perfectly located at the tip of Seneca Lake, Belhurst Estate Winery has won over 100 wine medals for wines as unique and beautiful as the castle itself. 

Travel to Swedish Hill and Goose Watch wineries on peaceful Cayuga Lake.

Swedish Hill- Family-owned and operated by Dick and Cindy Peterson, Swedish Hill is one of the largest wineries in the region, producing over 60,000 cases of award-winning wines and sparkling wines. Swedish Hill is recognized as one of the top award-winning wineries in New York State, having won New York State's Governor's Cup a record three times. Swedish Hill's Riesling Cuvee, winner of the Governor's Cup, has fresh floral and fruity aromas and flavors and is deliciously refreshing, complex and pleasing to both dry and sweet wine drinkers.

Goose Watch- In 1997, the Petersons opened a second winery, Goose Watch, also on Cayuga Lake. The emphasis at Goose Watch is on the unusual, featuring a selection of wines that are not very common in other Finger Lakes wineries. Goose Watch is noted as one of New York's most unique wineries for its setting as well as its wines. Take in one of the loveliest views of Cayuga Lake from the tasting room, situated in a beautifully restored century-old barn nestled within commercial chestnut groves. Try the Classic Cream Sherry or the unique Finalé White Port, one of the only premium white ports produced in North America. 

Finish off the day with a visit to Waterloo Premium Outlets, located just off the NYS Thruway.Shop at over 100 outlet stores and find impressive savings at Adidas, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, BCBG Max Azria, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Jones New York, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma and much more.