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Chill Out on a Winter Wine Tour in the Finger Lakes

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2018-12-15 20:04:00

When you think about doing a Finger Lakes wine tour, you may naturally imagine your trip taking place in the summer. But with the first of the snow beginning to fly, plus the gift-giving season winding up and the potential for cabin fever setting in, winter is actually an excellent time to plan a trip to the Finger Lakes and enjoy some wine tasting, shopping, dining, and more in a winter wonderland.

The greater Finger Lakes region is home to hundreds of wineries and multiple wine trails, plus a booming craft beer business, and some provide a little extra incentive to visit during the colder months. For example, the Seneca Lake Wine Trail offers a Polar Passport, valid early December to late March, which can be bought by mail ahead of time or purchased at participating wineries for $30 plus tax and allows you to sample free flights of wine at each of the 16 participating wineries.

Winter’s also a great time to visit local wineries because you’ll learn more with an in-depth lesson on the grapes of the region from a tasting room expert—during the less-crowded winter months, many owners, winemakers and other winery employees are more likely to have the time to sit and talk, making the experience that much more personal. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle or two to bring home for holiday dinners and cozying up by the fireplace. Plus, wine makes an excellent gift, so you can even get some hard-to-buy-for people crossed off your list or grab a few bottles to keep so you don’t show up empty handed when a last-minute party invitation comes along.

A similar deal for craft beer lovers is available through the Black Sheep Inn and Spa in Hammondsport, which offers a Finger Lakes Winter Brrrrrew Trail Package from December 31 to the end of March and includes tastings at four partner breweries, plus a growler and other perks. Or, for couples, the Black Sheep Inn and Spa also offers a Couples in Wine Country Getaway package from Dec. 1 to the end of March that includes tastings and snacks at four wineries, plus wine and cheese or chocolate pairings, a handmade mug to take home and more. They’re not the only accommodations serving up special deals throughout the winter months; many inns and bed and breakfasts are offer winter getaway deals to take the sting out of the cold season. There’s even plenty of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, if you’d like to get outside, and the lakes and waterfalls are just as beautiful as ever with a shimmery coating of snow.

Of course, whether you prefer wine or beer, the shopping in the Finger Lakes is hard to beat; and this time of year, that’s a combination of something fun to do and something to take off your to-do list. From antiques to boutiques, farmer’s market stalls to outlet malls, the opportunities in the area are limitless, and a little wine doesn’t hurt when it comes to taking the stress out of finding the right thing for everyone on your list. When you’re having so much fun getting things done, you may not even want to go back home for the holidays!

Winter wine view Adirondack chairs photo credit Visit Finger Lakes
Aerial view Seneca Lake photo credit Terry Robinson
Winter vineyard view photo credit phandcp
Frozen waterfall photo credit Elena Gurzhiy
Mulled wine photo credit Marco Verch
posted at: 2018-12-15 20:04:00, last updated: 2021-04-06 20:56:59

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