Finger Lakes Food Revolution 2012

If someone were to ask me to explain to them what makes the Finger Lakes food and beverage scene so unique, I’d have say it’s the fact that we are fortunate enough to have it all.

We are literally sitting in the midst of four specific wine trails – Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, and Canandaigua Lake. There are dozens of craft or microbreweries scattered throughout the region, and yes, there is even a handful of spirit producing distilleries here as well.

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But don’t let me steer you into believing that the Finger Lakes is just about booze; it’s not.

We have a considerable number of local Finger Lakes dairies producing some of the most delicious farmstead cheeses you’ve ever tasted. We have access to pasture raised meats, farm fresh ingredients, u-pick farms, along with deliciously unique products produced right here in this region.

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Also on the food scene, there are community supported agriculture programs, local farmers markets to explore, along with and farm to table dining experiences at an array of local eateries.  Not to mention,  agriculture food festivals galore; maple, grapes, potato, garlic, tomato, sauerkraut – take your pick.

And it only gets better.  This year the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection which promotes tourism in Ontario County, is hosting the Finger Lakes Food Revolution, all part of the annual Slice, Dice and Spice IV.  This event gives locavores like myself, and tourists who love Finger Lakes, the opportunity to nominate, vote, and support our favorite Finger Lakes foods, beverages, restaurants, food events, and locally made ingredients.

Do you have a something you favor from the Finger Lakes? You are welcome to participate in this event too.  Just visit the Finger Lakes Food Revolution website and get in on the nomination process which is currently underway.  Nominations are expected to wrap up in early December – so don’t miss your chance to join in on the fun, and let your voice be heard!

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In The Finger Lakes–Bully Hill Vineyard

The Finger Lakes Region of New York has some of the most magnificent wineries.  Most are situated in close proximitry to the regions beautiful (Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga) lakes. During a recent trip to Bully Hill Vineyard I decided to document our trip to share with you.  Here are some of the highlights.

In order to get to the winery we had to pass through Hammondsport, NY.  This year, Budget Travel announced that Hammondsport, New York and Beaufort, North Carolina tied as 2012’s America’s Coolest Small Towns.  Hammondsport sits at the south end of Keuka Lake, and my description of this small town is;  quaint, nostalgic, and welcoming.

The winery is situated on the west side of Keuka Lake.  This photo below was taken from the parking area at Bully Hill.

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This building in the photo below is the wineries restaurant.  There is indoor and outdoor seating.  If you visit on a nice day be sure to ask for the patio seating.  The view from the patio is beautiful as it overlooks the lake. 

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The restaurant serves up some pretty good food.  Lunch is offered 7 days a week from 11:30AM–4PM, and dinners are offered Friday and Saturday night from 5PM-8PM.  Their menu offers tons of great choices, along with daily specials. Wine is offered the bottle or glass, and it’s  very reasonably priced.

We decided on indoor dining this visit.

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For lunch, I opted for a glass of Grower’s Riesling and a tasty sandwich dubbed Rebecca. The sandwich was stuffed with turkey breast, Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and homemade slaw on whole grain bread. Delicious! 

See their menu here.

After lunch we browsed their gift shop

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I loved the scenes created with painted ceramic tiles on the gift shop walls.

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After browsing the gift shop we headed toward the tasting room.  The winery grounds are filled with beautiful flowers and I stopped to take a few pictures of them along the way.

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Their tasting room is shown below.

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Below, is just a small section of an amazing painting located on the tasting room wall.

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And of course there’s wine, and lots of it.  Bully Hill has the largest selection wines I’ve ever seen at one winery.  With their wide variety there is something for everyone.  I particularly like that every bottle of wine has a scale on each label showing how sweet or dry the wine is.  You can taste 5 pre-selected wines for $2.00, or choose to taste 1 oz. samples of your choice for $1.00 each.

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Looking at the tasting room from the parking area.

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On our way home I had to take one more picture.  This photo is of the Keuka Maid.  It’s no longer in service, but it use to paddle it’s way up the lake while passengers enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and the beautiful sights.

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What is your favorite winery?  And where is it?