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Spirits in the Making
Casual Wine and Brewery Suggested Tour Rochester, NY
The Rochester area is home to award-winning wines of almost every variety as well as hand-crafted brews made from the finest and freshest hops. Our Finger Lakes Casual Wine and Brewery Tour takes you to fun-themed family wineries and hand-crafted breweries: Rohrbach Brewing Company, Casa Larga Vineyards, JD Wine Cellars, Mayer's Lake Ontario Winery and Custom Brewcrafters. New this year, our own Genesee Brewing Company, has opened a museum and brew pub right on its premises. Enjoy an abundance of natural beauty along the way from Lake Ontario to the charming village of Honeoye Falls.
Take a driving tour along Lake Ontario to Mayers Lake Ontario Wineryin Hilton for a tour and tasting. Located on the Niagara Escarpment amidst 90-acre estate, guests can enjoy a blend of award-winning wines and casual dining in the Off the Vine Bistro. In 1962, David Bower Sr, purchased Mayers Cider Mill Inc., seeking to produce apple cider and grape juices reminiscent of his father's wines produced by his family's vineyard in PA. Now, 46 years later, Mayers Cider Mill, Inc has opened Mayer Lake Ontario Winery & Vineyards to continue this tradition of excellence with 55 acres of vines from viniferous, to hybrid and Native American varieties where they produce and bottle all of their own wine.
For lunch multi-task at the new Genesee Brew Housewhere you can have lunch, take a tasting tour and get a picture-perfect look at the 90ft. High Falls. In the first-floor museum, meet the brewers and learn how Genesee Beer is made. Proceed to the restaurant on the second floor. Be sure to notice the 41-foot long bar, it was, handcrafted by Genesee Brewery employees from vintage cedar brewing tanks that were part of the original brewery campus. The menu includes pub-style fare including: hamburgers, chicken wings, salads, sandwiches and sausage, hot dogs and specialty meat products from Zweigle's, an Upstate N.Y. favorite. Also on this floor are an outdoor terrace and a rooftop patio, both offering scenic views overlooking High Falls and the Genesee River Gorge
Enjoy lunch The Rohrbach Brewing Co on Buffalo Road is a full service restaurant and taproom with a full bar, an extensive wine list and authentic German dishes. The Rohrbach Brewing Company has been brewing handcrafted ales and lagers in Rochester for over a decade. All of the ales and lagers are made with only the finest ingredients available worldwide; two-row malted barley from Belgium and the freshest hops from Europe and the Pacific Northwest. Lagers and ales are delivered cold and fresh, with no artificial preservatives or flavors.
Make sure to tour the Rohrbach Brewery at their Railroad Street brewery location. (Saturday hours only.) The Railroad Street Brewery near the famous Rochester Public Market (voted #1 America's Favorite Farmer's Market 2010 by the American Farmers Trust). See hops, malted barley and water go through the process of becoming great beer! Tasting follows the tour.
Afternoon Tour of Rochester - Enjoy a driving tour through the city of Rochester to see the historic sites: George Eastman House International Museum of Photography, Eastman Theatre, Memorial Art Gallery, Mt. Hope Cemetery, Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester Museum & Science Center and the National Museum of Play at The Strong.
Tour the Park Avenue Neighborhood - Visit our Park Avenue neighborhood to catch a bistro gourmet treat or to shop in unique boutiques.
Stever's Candies has been a family business making homemade candies for over 50 years. Their candy is made fresh each day in small lots from original family recipes.
Park Avenue Pub and Restaurant is a fine family dining experience in the heart of the Park Avenue neighborhood with upscale casual dining and a cozy neighborhood feel. (Side and back lot parking. Open Tues - Sun.) Relax and enjoy the vibe of one of Rochester's coolest urban neighborhoods. Sidewalk dining is available. Be sure to check out the incredible wine list!
For smaller groups, there's dinner at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Opened in April of 1998, the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Rochester, NY occupies what used to be the Lehigh Valley Train Station in the heart of downtown Rochester (at 99 Court Street). Overlooking the Genesee River, the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has taken on its own unique personality as a honky-tonk rib joint, while offering a great Dinosaur grub and passion for blues. The Rochester Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is a place for lots of fun, blues, great food, and good times. Address: 99 Court Street; Rochester, NY 14604; 585-325-7090
Have a leisurely breakfast at your 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 wines produced by his family's vineyard in Italy. Casa Larga's first3 wines were produced in 1978, 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, but also to remaindedicated 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 -- Fiori Delle Stelle Vidal Blanc Ice wine.
Next, enjoy a tour and tasting at JD Winery at Long Acre Farms. JD WineCellars is the newest addition to Long Acre Farms, one of New York State's oldest agritourism farms. JD Winery received three medals, including Best Fruit Wine for their Blackberry Boogie, from the New York State Fair Wine Competition. Long Acre Farms' true claim to fame came in 1998 with the addition of a nationally known agri-tourist phenomenon, the Amazing Maize Maze®. Known for their "Fields of Fun for Everyone", from an ice cream shop and farm market to a jumping pillow, corn maze and gemstone panning, there is sure to be enough activities to entertain all ages.
Depart for lunch and a unique gourmet food shopping experience! Wegmans Pittsford is Rochester's flagship store for a locally owned food store chain that 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, prepared gourmet International prepared foods, specialty tea and sushi bars, thin crusted pizza and handmade breads and pastries in the bakery. Wegman's is ranked #4 on Fortune Magazine's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Choose The Cafe at Wegmans or the adjoining Food Bar for a lunch experience not to be forgotten.
Continue a few miles southeast to Victor, NY to enjoy an afternoon of shopping at beautiful Eastview Mall. Eastview is a super-regional shopping center located less than a mile off New York State Thruway Exit 45 and Route 490. The mall is located near the Finger Lakes wine region, the second largest wine producing region in the U.S. Eastview caters to the upscale fashion clientele with more than thirty stores unique to the market including Coldwater Creek, Coach, Apple, Pottery Barn, Janie and Jack, Arhaus Furniture, Build-A-Bear Workshop, White House Black Market, J. Jill, Anthropologie, L.L. Bean, and Naartjie Kids. Eastview is also home to 4 major department stores including Lord & Taylor, Macy's, JC Penney and Sears.
Stroll out on the mall's "piazza" for dinner at Biaggi's Ristorante Italianoat Eastview. Enjoy Italian-inspired casual, fine dining. The full menu features appetizers, soups, salads and fine entrees and desserts.
On your way back to your hotel in Rochester, make a stop at Abbotts for dessert on the Erie Canal in historic Bushnell's Basin. Since 1902, Abbott's Frozen Custard has grown from a single location in Rochester NY to over 40 locations. A food critic once said an Abbott's Frozen Custard stand was "where God gets his ice cream".
Breakfast at your hotel
Travel southwest of Rochester to Custom Brewcrafters in the charming village of Honeoye Falls for a tour and tasting. Founded in 1997 by Mike & Luanne Alcorn, the unique microbrewery has been responsible for helping to transform the western New York area into a beer lovers "mecca". Custom BrewCrafters introduced an innovative micro-brewing concept to the market in 1997, by partnering with dozens of local restaurant and tavern owners to offer unique signature craft-brews custom-designed for each establishment.
In addition to adding this new dimension to the Western New York beer market, Custom BrewCrafters opened a tasting room and gift shop at the brewery in Honeoye Falls, where they introduce the public to the many unique custom brews, as well as educate them on craft beer and micro brewing. Located off Main St. in Honeoye Falls, the "Big Barn with the red roof" now offers expanded hours at the tasting room and gift shop, and is home to new equipment, including a bottling line and a working grain handling system and silo for their malted barley.