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Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Annual Wine Tour is a Smash!

Alex's Place First Annual Wine Tour  took place on Saturday Sept. 18th.  Starting out on the road at 9am was rough but all were in good spirits (no pun intended).  We couldn't have asked for a better day with clear skies, changing leaves and a warm breeze making it perfect wine touring weather of the Finger Lakes.  

Starting out at Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellar on the east side of Seneca Lake, we were treated to a very informative and fascinating tour by one of the owners, Josh Wig.  We tasted fresh grapes from the vines, toured the barrel room and processing rooms and were treated to a VIP tasting of all of their wines.  Lamoreaux was named Winery of the Year by Wine and Spirits Magazine!  If you're not a wine-o like some of us at Alex's, that's actually a HUGE deal.  I am in love with many of their wines not to mention the whole winery itself.  Great people, with fantastic wines.  Their entire facility and operations are 100% sustainable which means all their mash or any waste goes back into composting, no pesticides, hand weeding and so much more!  Check out their website at www.lamoreauxwine.com today!  Some of my favorites are their '07 76 West red, '06 Sparkling Blanc de Blanc (award winning), and their 2008 T23 Cabernet Franc.  
Onto Standing Stone Vineyards just down the road from Lamoreaux we were again greeted with a sparkling blue sky and sun soaked yard overlooking the lake.  Martie the owner of Standing Stone was out to greet us and we were again given the VIP treatment for tasting as we had full access to their tasting room and all their awesome wines.  Bonus for us there was an antique motorbike race taking place at the large grounds of the winery so we able to sit on the lawn, enjoy a boxed lunch from Alex's Place and take in the show!  Check out the beautiful facility at www.standingstonewines.com.  My picks from Standing Stone have to be the 2006 Pinnacle and the 2007 Reserve Chardonnay!

Our last stop on the tour was to Bully Hill Vineyards on Keuka Lake.  If your looking for a good time and want to try a lot of wine with out all the pretentious wine banter, you gotta hit this winery.  One of the oldest wineries on any of the Finger Lakes, Bully Hill offers a huge selection of wines from red to white and dry to sweet.  On a hot day my choice of drink is a chilled glass of Banty Red (Rooster label).  There is definitleya  lot of history at this place and if you're looking for a view... you won't get better than this winery.  Nestled on top of a hill you'll over look Keuka Lake and be able to see for miles around.  If your in the mood for some mang, you'll find an award winning restaurant here too with featured BBQ items that will knock ya' socks off! 
And if that weren't enough, we ended with a fantastic sit-down dinner from executive chef and owner Art from Snug Harbor Inn located just down the hill from Bully towards Watkins Glenn.  Art uses only the best and freshest ingredients in his seasonal menu.  You can dine in one of their quaintly decorated dinning room, have a drink at the bar and take in a game or sit an one of the many outdoor patio or dock tables as the restaurant is right on the water!  They also have a deluxe two bedroom suite above the restaurant that can be rented nightly for those who take wine touring seriously!  And if we weren't already lucky enough, Heron Hill Wineries donated their Game Bird series of wine for our dinner!  Take about a VIP day.  Heron Hill has wineries on both Keuka and Seneca Lakes but the best one to visit is by far the one with the view on Keuka.  Breathtaking.  One of my favorite Chardonnay's is from Heron Hill as it is an un-oaked chard aged in steal drums instead of the traditional oak barrels. 

We are so grateful to all the wineries that took the time to host such a large group and for giving Alex's and our guest the VIP treatment.  A special thanks to Art at Snug Harbor for accommodating our group as well on such a short notice; dinner was fantastic.  And to all the awesome guests that joined us on this first ever tour, you guys rock!  Thanks for all the great praise and feedback.  I'm in the process of nailing down next years itinerary as I write so check out our Alex's Place website for upcoming events including the 2011 Wine Tour! 

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