The Finger Lakes region is located in the center of New York State, about 4 to 5 hours from Manhattan, 1 to 2 hours from Rochester, and 2 to 3 hours from Buffalo. The lakes themselves are long, narrow bodies of water that run north to south. The largest of the lakes are Seneca, Cayuga, and Keuka but there are several smaller lakes in the area as well.
The Finger Lakes have historically been a vacation area for New Yorkers because the lakes moderate the local climates, providing a cooling effect in the summer and some warmth in the winters. For that reason, vinifera grapes thrive here, albeit cool climate ones! Long a producer of Riesling, the Finger Lakes wine region has become known for Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and many other grapes, like Blaufränkisch, that grow well in chillier temperatures.
Here, we explore wineries, tours, restaurants, and hotels around the Finger Lakes. With so much natural beauty, the Finger Lakes are endlessly explorable – especially when wine is involved!
IN THIS GUIDE:
- Top Finger Lakes Wineries
- Finger Lakes Wine Tours
- Best Finger Lakes Restaurant
- Best Finger Lakes Hotels
- Getting to and Around the Finger Lakes
- …and more
Heart & Hands Wine Company
4162 NY-90, Union Springs
Why Guests Love It: Excellent Pinot Noir, Knowledgeable Staff, Beautiful Seating
Originally focused on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, wife and husband team Susan and Tom Higgins at Heart & Hands seek to highlight just how stunning cooler climate iterations can be. Their Riesling is just as fabulous, as is their sparkling Brut Rosé.
Ravines Wine Cellars
400 Barracks Road, Geneva
Why Guests Love It: Historic Barn, Food Pairings, Sustainable Agriculture
Ravines bottles terroir. By focusing on the soil composition, microclimates, and which varieties thrive where, there’s no mistaking their commitment to purity. Be sure to book a Tasting Table experience to taste the Finger Lakes at its best.
4760 West Lake Road, Geneva
Why Guests Love It: Beautiful Barn, Chocolate Pairing, Dog-Friendly Patio
In addition to having some of the best wines in the Finger Lakes, Billsboro is just plain fun. Seasonal Pizza on the Patio is always an event, and one that should be booked in advance. Add in live music and gelato and there’s little reason to go anywhere else.
Keuka Spring Vineyards
243 Route 54, East Lake Road, Penn Yan
Why Guests Love It: Gorgeous Views, Family Friendly, Vegan Wines Available
Overlooking beautiful Keuka Lake, Keuka Spring Vineyard is gorgeous, relaxing, and delicious. Their Blaufränkisch (aka Lemberger) has a cult following, and with good reason. Keuka Spring also offers vegan wines for those who are committed to a vegan lifestyle.
Anthony Road Wine Company
1020 Anthony Road, Penn Yan
Why Guests Love It: Excellent Service, Lake Views, Art Gallery
Anthony Road is an exercise in art. Come for the wine (obviously) but stay for the gallery and grounds, both of which are thoughtfully curated. And for those of us who are stuck in New York City and can’t make it up to the Finger Lakes, we have good news: Anthony Road is available to taste at the Union Square Greenmarket!
468 NY-14, Penn Yan
Why Guests Love It: Stellar Chardonnay, Knowledgeable Staff, Bread & Cheese Boards
A newer and much-needed addition to the Finger Lakes wine scene, Scout offers some funky offerings unlike anywhere else. There are classics like Chardonnay alongside Vignoles, Marquette, and Saperavi. Be sure to mark your calendar for their Marquette Nouveau party in November, which is a nod to Beaujolais Nouveau festivities worldwide.
Dr. Konstantin Frank
9749 Middle Road, Hammondsport
Why Guests Love It: Historic Winery, Interesting Varieties, Cheese Platter
Dr. Konstatin Frank is one of the oldest wineries in the Finger Lakes and holds the fascinating story of emigration and triumph. After leaving Ukraine in 1944, Dr. Frank settled in the Finger Lakes and opened his own winery that we still know and love. Among the most sought-after wines is their Rkatsiteli, ancient Georgian variety. Don’t miss it.
13920 NY-54, Hammondsport
Why Guests Love It: Lake Views, Excellent Cabernet Franc, Macaron Pairing
Winemaking team Céline and Sébastien LeSeurre of Domaine LeSeurre settled in the Finger Lakes and brought their viniferal ancestry with them. In addition to tasting through their stellar wines, guests can opt for a macaron pairing – which just seems too good to be true – or a small-bites pairing. Both are thoughtfully crafted to highlight just how fabulous pairings can be.
RELATED: Learn More about Domaine LeSeurre
10014 Day Road, Hammondsport
Why Guests Love It: Historic Building, Fabulous Riesling, Modern Vibe
Weis is one of the newer wineries in the Finger Lakes but it’s already making quite a name for itself. Owner and winemaker Hans Peter Weis hails from Zell Mosel in Germany and brings with him both classic traditions and modern education. With his wife Ashlee, Weis is crafting stunning Rieslings, Gewürztraminer, and more. Be sure to try the Zweigelt Rosé for a treat!
Living Roots Pop Up
8569 County Road 87, Hammondsport
Why Guests Love It: Fun Experience, New York-Australia Collaboration, Minimal Intervention
Living Roots Wine Company is a bit like your eccentric vagabond friend who always seems to pop up in unlikely places. With roots in both the Finger Lakes and Australia, Living Roots has a tasting room in Rochester, a winery in Adelaide Australia, and a pop-up tasting area in Hammondsport. And while we’d love to send you on to Australia, we’ll stick with Hammondsport for now. This bi-continental approach enables guests to taste through wines that simply aren’t seen elsewhere, all in a super laid-back atmosphere.
Hickory Hollow Wine Cellars
5289 NY-14, Dundee
Why Guests Love It: Family Owned & Operated, Vineyard Views, Low Alcohol Wines Available
Small production and family-owned, you’re likely to talk shop with the owner or another immediate family member while you’re here. Hickory Hollow is chill and friendly, with a range of delicious wines to try. Those interested in lower alcohol have plenty of choices as well, with most of the wines ringing in under 13% ABV.
Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard
3962 NY-41, Dundee
Why Guests Love It: Historic Winery, Vineyard Views, Stellar Rieslings
Established in 1979, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard exemplifies Rieslings in the style of Wiemer’s native Mosel: dry, aromatic, and simply delightful. And while there are non-Riesling options as well, it’s worth tasting through vineyard specific bottlings to see what a difference terroir makes. Wiemer is a stalwart of Finger Lakes wines, year in and year out.
4184 NY-14, Rock Stream
Why Guests Love It: Cozy Tasting Room, Laidback Vibe, Charcuterie Board
Barnstormer has a unique approach to winemaking because it’s almost more like a collective in its collaborative processes. Owner Scott Bronstein works with different winemakers in the area in their specific areas of expertise to produce Barnstormer wines. Guests are encouraged to settle in at the cozy tasting room and take their time enjoying the results, paired with a fantastic, locally-sourced charcuterie board.
4024 NY-14, Watkins Glen
Why Guests Love It: Beautiful Grounds, Friendly Staff, Vineyard Hikes
Lakewood is all about friendliness and approachability, both with their wines and the winery experiences. Guests can opt for a guided tour, a signature tasting, or our favorite, a vineyard hike. What can be better than tasting wines next to the very vines that produced them? And with a range of wines from dry and structured to fun and fruity, you’re guaranteed to find a new favorite.
J.R. Dill Winery
4922 NY-414, Burdett
Why Guests Love It: Stunning Lake Views, Food Available, Small Production
Seneca Lake native Jeff Dill began making wine in his parents’ basement over twenty years ago and the love affair never stopped from there. His laid-back tasting room offers a range of small-production wines to try alongside gorgeous views of the lake and their fascinating lake glass bar.
RELATED: Meet Jeff Dill of J.R. Dill Winery
5055 NY-414, Burdett
Why Guests Love It: Beautiful Lake Views, Dog Friendly, Vinyl Nights
Beautiful views are not in short supply around the Finger Lakes but Atwater might just top them all. Guests are invited to taste through a flight, or just order a glass of wine to enjoy just in time for spectacular sunset. Cheese and snacks are available, including gluten free options. Check out the schedule of events for live music, food trucks, and more.
Chateau LaFayette Renau
5081 NY-414, Hector
Why Guests Love It: Gorgeous Views, Picnic Experience Available, On-Site Inn
Just down the road from Atwater, Chateau LaFayette Renau also offers stunning lake views from its 100-year-old barn. And while tasting here is already a great experience, splurge for the Vineyard Picnic experience, which includes wine, snacks, Adirondack chairs, and everything you need for a perfect afternoon in the Finger Lakes.
3775 Mathews Road, Burdett
Why Guests Love It: Educational Experience, Food Pairings Available, French Sister Wineries
Born out of a French and American partnership, Forge exemplifies quality and service. Guests are invited to relax in The Salon, a comfortable and communal tasting area where they can sip through the stellar wines and enjoy nibbles. Forge creates Rieslings from different vineyards, so it’s quite an education in terroir to taste them side-by-side.
1568 Porter Covert Road, Lodi
Why Guests Love It: Relaxed Vibe, Brunch Events, Stellar Riesling
Beautiful Boundary Breaks is tucked away in its own little haven, providing peace and tranquility. Determined to prove that Riesling is so much more than a sweet quaffer, theirs are by far among the standouts of the Finger Lakes. Be sure to check out their events for live music at sunset, or for epic Sunday brunches.
9224 NY-414, Lodi
Why Guests Love It: Solar Powered, Excellent Service, Picnic Tables Available
Laid back and welcoming, Lamoreaux Landing is also committed to solar power and sustainability. Their award-winning Rieslings are perennial favorites but be sure to try their Grüner Veltliner and their unoaked Cabernet Franc to experience the depth and breadth of what the Finger Lakes has to offer.
Randolph O’Neill Vineyard
6965 Route 89, Ovid
Why Guests Love It: Stellar Rosé, Small Production, Up-and-Coming
This teeny tiny producer is purely for the love of winemaking by husband-and-wife team Kelley and Angela O’Neill. Producing very limited quantities of Riesling and Cabernet Franc Rosé, the wines already have a cult following. Tasting is by appointment so be sure to schedule in advance.
Let the experts do the planning – and the driving! Here are some of our favorite tours.
The Seneca Lake South Wine Tastings Tour is the perfect way to explore the largest Finger Lake without worrying about driving. It’s fully customizable, too, which means you get to choose which wineries you’d like to visit. You can also stop for lunch at either your preferred place, or on the recommendation of your driver.
Another great option is the Keuka Lake Winery Tour. Not as large as Seneca, Keuka still manages to have many fabulous wineries clustered around it. A designated driver will bring you and your friends to taste while filling in details about the region and winemaking process. A lunch stop can be added as well.
22 Linden Street, Geneva
This vision by chef and Master Sommelier Christopher Bates is based on community and creativity. The seasonally based prix-fixe menu is always impressive, as are the range of possible wine pairings.
4432 West Lake Road, Geneva
Port Café is the best of all possible worlds: the food is stellar while the setting is low-key and unpretentious. Overlooking Seneca Lake, the menu has vegetarian and gluten-free options, alongside local and international wines by the glass.
Pleasant Valley Inn
7979 NY-54, Bath
Set in a beautiful mansion from 1848, the Pleasant Valley Inn offers an impeccable dining experience. The menu is classically French(ish) with options like cedar plank salmon and filet mignon, but there are vegan options as well. Or, get a classic cocktail and some fresh oysters for a relaxed nibble or two.
The Park Inn
37 Shethar Street, Hammondsport
Focusing on a seasonal menu, The Park Inn offers fantastic dishes like an orchard harvest salad with New York State cheddar and house made gnocchi with local kale. The décor is informed by local history, including the link to early aviation and flight.
5090 NY-14, Dundee
If the name seems to ring a bell, it’s because it is indeed connected to F.L.X. Table. Also by Master Somm Bates, commitment to excellence is clear but that’s about where the similarities end. The Wienery is all about being “high end low brow” food. It’s chill, it’s fun, and it’s THE place to get your hot dog or burger on. Pick one of the inventive dishes – like the K-Town burger – to have your mind blown.
5315 NY-414, Hector
Stonecat Café has long been a favorite and we’re glad it’s been able to stick around post-pandemic! Seasonal, local ingredients inform the menu, alongside local wine, beer, and cider. Stonecat is also very considerate of all possible allergies so it’s a great option for those with varying needs. Be sure to check out live music, too, for a fantastic evening.
512 Hamilton Street, Geneva
Designed to be warm and engaging, Kindred Fare nails it in every aspect. Check out the wonderful plates to share – like spaghetti squash gratin or poutine – or off-road it with your own heap of fried chicken. Don’t worry, vegans – there’s an entire menu just for you that goes way beyond portobello burgers. Be sure to try one of their fantastic cocktails while you’re there – and yes, there are non-alcoholic options too.
Graft Wine + Cider Bar
204 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
We’re not quite sure how Graft somehow manages to be homey and hip but who are we to question a winning combination? Locally sourced ingredients are transformed into dishes that are almost too perfect to eat – almost, because you’ll be happy you did!
Finger Lakes on Tap
35 Fennell Street, Skaneateles
If you’ve had enough wine – or just need a break – the Finger Lakes is also dotted with breweries and distilleries. Thankfully, you can taste through the wide range of brews at Finger Lakes on Tap, which has an extensive beer list. The food is classic pub kicked up a notch, with Bavarian pretzels, fondue, and all sorts of burgers.
The Elf in the Oak
4221 NY-414, Burdett
Because sometimes, you just need an honest to goodness sandwich joint, are we right? Their breakfast sandwiches are the perfect way to fuel up before a day of wine tasting, though you’ll probably want to circle back later in the day for schnitzel on brioche or a fried tofu sub. Check their Facebook page for the latest updates.
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
851 West Genesee Street, Skaneateles
Always a guest favorite, Mirbeau is the perfect place for a romantic getaway or just an escape to decompress for a while. On-site spa services include massages, facials, and mineral soaks, and the bistro provides French-inspired meals all day. Mirbeau leaves no detail unattended.
The Inn at Gothic Eves
112 East Main Street, Trumansburg
Located right in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country, The Inn at Gothic Eves is cozy, plush, and modern. Breakfasts are fresh, healthy, and delicious and are made from locally sourced growers. The grounds are just as stunning as the rooms, and guests can wander around to their hearts’ content.
Pleasant Valley Inn
7979 NY-54, Bath
We’ve already recommended the Inn for dinner, so why drive any distance after? Rooms at the Pleasant Valley Inn are top-notch, with wonderful details like chocolate chip cookies and rocking chairs scattered around the property. Breakfasts are a standout as well.
Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
16 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
More of a traditional hotel, Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel has beautiful views of Seneca Lake and among the most helpful staff around. From turn-down service to winery recommendations, the staff happily accommodates guest needs. The on-site restaurant, Blue Pointe Grill, is a bonus.
The Lake House on Canandaigua
770 South Main Street, Canandaigua
Located right on Canandaigua Lake, the modestly-termed Lake House is more like a grand estate with stunning views. Cocktail lounges, balconies, and a lakefront pool round out the already white-glove experience, and the staff is happy to arrange excursions for guests as well.
For those looking for non-wine activities, the Finger Lakes offers plenty! Here’s a small sampling of year-round activities, though there are plenty of seasonally-specific activities as well.
Corning Museum of Glass
1 Museum Way, Corning
Remember Corningware? That culinary staple in everyone’s kitchen? Well, it’s from – you guessed it – Corning, NY! And the city has carried on the tradition with the Corning Museum of Glass. Watch live glass-making demonstrations, or explore the stunning exhibitions. Or, just get lost in the gift shop, which has way too many fascinating goodies.
Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion
250 Gibson Street, Canandaigua
It’s hard not to notice how many sprawling mansions and estates there are throughout the Finger Lakes and thankfully, many have been preserved and updated. The former summer home of a New York banker, Sonnenberg is now a New York State park that welcomes everyone. Explore the beautiful gardens, tour the Victorian mansion – or even taste through some Finger Lakes wines!
Buttermilk Falls State Park
106 East Buttermilk Falls Road, Ithaca
For those wanting more strenuous hikes, Ithaca is the place to be. Between the hills and gorges, you’re sure to get an exhilarating workout. Buttermilk Falls is a beautiful pocket in the region, and the soft cascade provides a fun splash-about in the summer months.
It’s a Wonderful Life Museum
76 Fall Street, Seneca Falls
If you’ve ever watched the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” you’ve probably noticed how many references there are to upstate New York – from George and Mary singing “Buffalo Girls” to Sam Wainwright talking about plastics in Rochester. That’s because the hometown of Bedford Falls is based on Seneca Falls in the Finger Lakes. Explore the tribute to cinematic history, and maybe even feel inspiration to search for Zuzu’s petals.
Watkins Glen State Park
1009 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
One of the most beautiful parks in the region – which is filled with beautiful parks – Watkins Glen has no less than 19 waterfalls to discover. Pets are allowed on-leash, and campsites are available to reserve. It’s worth spending several days here.
Since the Finger Lakes region is comprised of many different lakes (eleven, in fact), visitors need a car. You can check current rental rates here on Kayak. The region is accessible from bigger cities like Buffalo, Rochester, and New York, but moving between wineries and activities do require driving. For that reason, it’s best to plan ahead and either hire a driver or take it slow when visiting wineries.
Access to most of the Finger Lakes run south from the New York State Thruway, so visitors should choose which towns to visit and plan from there.
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