The wineries on New York’s Finger Lakes are unique in that they produce very similar varietals of wine to those made in Austria and Germany. This is due to their similarities in climates, so wines like mineral driven whites (think Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner) do very well in the Finger Lakes region. While white wine is predominantly what the Finger Lakes are known for, their rosés and reds are not to be overlooked. Here are my recommendations for the best wineries on New York’s Keuka Lake.
When to Visit Keuka Lake
The Finger Lakes are at their best in the Summer and Fall months, typically from June to November. During this time the weather is relatively mild and in the heart of the summer is the best time to enjoy time on the water. In the later Fall months, you could spend your day winery hopping and finish it off with s’mores by a fire pit.
Most winery tastings range from $10-12 for 4-5 tastings.
In my opinion, Point of the Bluff Vineyards has it all; good wine, tasty bites and endless activities to enjoy. This boutique vineyard is known for their Point of the Bluff Vineyards line of wines, their Rooftop Reds line (which is located in Brooklyn, NY) and their Hangar 17 Canned Wines.
They offer charcuterie boards locally sourced, even down to the spreadable jam, life size Jenga, a regulation-size bocce ball court, and more. On top of that, the staff is extremely lovely, knowledgeable and passionate about the wines that they’re pouring.
My Point of the Bluff Vineyards Wine Recommendations:
- 2017 Point of the Bluffs Estate Riesling
- 2019 Rooftop Reds Gewürztraminer
- 2019 Rooftop Reds Grüner Veltliner
- 2020 Rooftop Reds Sparkling Rosé
- Hangar 17 Sparkling
Pro Tip: Point of the Bluff hosts a Farmers Market every Thursday from 5-7pm where you can sip wine while browsing local goods. They also offer a slew of other signature events like a flower workshop, full moon yoga, and more, which of course include wine!
Situated on the Southwestern hills of Keuka Lake, Dr. Konstantin Frank is said to have planted the first vinifera vines in the Eastern United States. This changed the course of winemaking in New York. Since COVID, Dr. Konstantin Frank has shifted their tasting experience to adjust to the times but it was still a very enjoyable experience. Rather than speaking with one person for your tasting, they now give you the chance to walk through different stations where you’ll learn a little Dr. Frank history at each one. You’ll leave with a better knowledge of Dr. Konstantin Frank’s history, the wine that they offer and more background on the region and its varietals.
Following a tasting, I highly recommend buying yourself a bottle and enjoying it in Eugenia’s Garden.
My Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Recommendations:
- Brut 2017
- Gewürztraminer 2020
- Eugenia Dry Riesling 2019
A very traditional winery experience, Weis’ tasting room is on the newer side compared to the other wineries in the area. There was some construction going on during our time there and their view of the lake isn’t quite as idyllic as some of the others we visited, but their wine very much makes up for it.
My Weis Wine Recommendations:
- 2019 Grüner Veltliner
- 2020 Unoaked Chardonnay
A family run business, Heron Hill’s impressive tasting room is perched on a hill overlooking Keuka Lake. Chosen by Travel + Leisure as one of the top 10 most spectacular tasting rooms in the world, you really can’t overlook this winery. Their view of the lake is truly unmatched.
My Heron Hill Wine Recommendations:
- Ingle Vineyard Riesling 2018
- Classic Dry Riesling 2018
- Eclipse Rosé 2019
Pro Tip: If it’s a nice day, I recommend stopping by before 4pm as that’s when they close their outdoor terrace. It has beautiful views of the lake so it’s definitely worth enjoying!2