As most of you know by now, I have been writing on my week-long tour through New York and the Finger Lakes District. I had touched down in NYC for two days and drove around Keuka Lake with Team Canada.
Now, it was official, after a swim in Keuka Lake and breakfast, we ditched the rental mini-van (shudder) and headed back into Elmira Regional Airport to meet up with the pre-conference excursion that would take us around Seneca Lake. There is only room for 50 bloggers on the pre-excursion and given how much fun we had last year in Paso Robles, California, I was getting on that bus!
Our tour started off well with two wineries on board (Seneca Shore and Rock Stream) supplying us with our first taste of Finger Lakes wines. The commentary was a bit lost on me as I was towards the back of the bus. We arrived at the stunning Villa Bellangelo and were given a nice glass of rosé to welcome us inside. This winery treated us with style and class. A stunning flight of Riesling as well as a 10 year vertical flight of Cabernet Sauvignon was available for tasting. News cameras followed us around and there even was a live goat available should you feel the need or desire to milk it. I passed and focused on the Riesling. I was filmed by a local news station, well my profile was, sniffing, swirling and tasting a glass of wine. Fun. Click here if you want to have a look-see.
We left to check in to our hotel, the Hampton Inn Geneva, and then headed out on the road to Ventosa Vineyards where we were greeted by awesome women all wearing a “Bold. Fearless. Original.” t-shirt. Loved it. We also had the distinct pleasure to meet women who also happened to be wine makers: Martha Macinski of Standing Stone Vineyards, Jenna Lavita of Ventosa Vineyards and Liz Leidenfrost of Leidenfrost Vineyards. Each presented their story to the group as to how they came to be a winemaker and shared their amazing ‘bold, fearless and original’ stories.
Jenna Lavita of Ventosa told a few of us that her brewery, Lake Drum Brewing, was open that night should any of us want to check it out. So, what does a wine blogger do when she wants to change-up her palate? Yes, go grab a beer or two – there was about 30 of us that headed over. Fantastic beer and a great vibe – it is a very cool spot. I was taught, finally, to play darts by Miki and Tom Finnin of The Vineyard Trail. Miki and I played Tom and Josh and we actually won! There was cheering and there was dancing – yes – Lake Drum had hundreds of vinyl records that anyone could choose and request. Leeann, Josh and I went for ABBA, Queen, KISS and Men Without Hats. We were having too much fun so we continued on. Sujinder grabbed a bottle of Pinot Noir and he, Leeann, Bob Halifax and I went down to a dock to watch the meteor shower and sip wine. Really.
Meteors came and went. Pinot Noir was sipped and, thankfully, we all were in a ‘dancing’ mood so Bob put on his ‘Workout’ playlist and Leeann brought her portable speaker. We boogied on the dock for a good half an hour! I don’t recall when we called it a night because it was morning…Again, another ‘favourite’ memory in my #WBC15 experience.
How was anything going to top this? Stay tuned…