That Time of the Year in the FLX

It’s grape harvesting time here in the Finger Lakes and that means several things to this region.  Grape pies, grape festivals, and wine making galore.  All of which are great for our regions economy.  A trip through Naples, New York during last weekends Grape Festival was proof of that.  Not a parking spot to be found along State Route 21, or a bare spot to be found on the village’s never ending side-walk.  I had to stop counting the number of people I saw carrying  baskets of grapes, or the number of  signs I saw for homemade grape pies – because there were too many.

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On any given day, it’s not uncommon to pass by area wineries where you’ll see limos and busses waiting for their passengers who are inside bellied up to the tasting bars. 

We recently took a trip to Fulkerson Winery on the West Side of Seneca Lake. Fulkerson’s has one of the largest wine selections that I’ve seen at any given area winery.  And I have to say that the girl who poured our samples at Fulkerson’s was much more personable and attentive than the fellow who waited on us at the other big winery just down the road.

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Aside from delicious wines, Fulkerson Winery also sells fresh grape juices, and they are one of the areas few suppliers of home brewing and home wine making supplies.  I think their prices are very reasonable and their selection is superior.

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If you can’t make it to their winery they offer on-line shopping.  Every season I get their annual catalog which gives the specifics of what type of grape juices are available for purchase, and what date they anticipate they will be made available.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention their nice gift shop too.  We usually end up dragging my mother in-law out of it – just kidding, sort of…

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If you are wondering if I’m promoting Fulkerson Winery because they have paid me to say nice things about them, I’m not.  I just like giving you a local’s perspective on the places I think are worth visiting here in the Finger Lakes. * (If you are a winery in the Finger Lakes and you’d like me to write about business – I’d love to hear from you.)

I originally got acquainted with Fulkerson Winery when I made my first batch of homemade wine.  And here is how it turned out – go ahead take a peek.


Making Homemade Wine

I like wine, and I love learning how to do new things.  Thing brings me to my latest project – winemaking.  

Making wine has been on my mind for a while but I became intimidated by the process after buying and reading a book that I though would accommodate beginning wine makers; it turned out the book was far more complex.  This stalled my initiative to get started.  I finally decided to research wine making on-line for better instructions, recipes, and a list of ingredients.

From my research I gained enough momentum to go to Fulkerson Winery, a nearby winemaker in the Finger Lakes, to buy some basic supplies. Fulkerson Winery is awesome – they offer Saturday winemaking classes during the season, carry a huge inventory for winemaking and home brewing, and carry grape juice  from just about every grape imaginable. They have even take the time to answer a few of my  questions – very much appreciated!

The pictures below show my juice which is currently fermenting.  Fermenting the first major step to making any wine.  The balloon at the top of my jug will eventually deflate when the fermenting slows.  When this happens there will be an update – so stay turned!

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Have you ever made your own homemade wine or beer?  I’d love to hear about your experiences.  Please share!  What’s one of the hardest DIY projects you’ve ever done?

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