The Festival is held in Watkins Glen New York and over 70 wineries from the entire region converged for this three day event. We had appointments on the way down to the festival and we were not disappointed . There are several winemakers in this area that have been hard at work for over 25 years ! The festival even had a Toga party to kick off the event Friday evening.
When we arrived at the Watkins Glen Race Track we saw tents, RVs , and cars for as far as you can see. I thought they were there for a race event ! But as we quickly found out they were there for the festival . There were many large tents that held the wineries as well as seminars that went on throughout the day. The topics covered in the wine seminars was everything from “Riesling Heaven” to “Apple, Blueberry, Cranberry” the ABC’s of New York wines. The culinary classes ranged from Food and Wine pairing to Wine and Cheese from the Empire State.
Even though the event was held on Seneca Lake , many wineries from nearby Keuka Lake
and Canadaigua Lake were well represented. Each of the lakes have a wine trail that loops the entire lake. Guests who visit the area can see where the wine is made and meet the people who make it.
There were many fruit based wines such as Apple, Blueberry and Cranberry as well as native whites such as Niagara. Hybrids could be found as well such as Cayuga ,Seyval Blanc ,Vidal Blanc and Vignoles. Some of the Red native grapes we tasted were Catawba and Concord.
But of course the Rieslings, Gewurztaminers and Cabernet Francs are what this area is known best for. Our overall opinion of the wines was good. The Ice Wines were excellent as well as the Rieslings and Gewurztaminers. We had some very good Cabernet Franc as well. It was fun tasting the fruit wines and the all American Native varietals as well. There were a few “special ” wineries that we will talk about individually. Its great to be back !!