Category - Naples


On Monday, August 21, people across North America will experience an event that hasn’t occurred here in 38 years: a solar eclipse. This celestial event occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking all or part of the sun. If you want to witness the great American eclipse first hand, here is what you need to know about watching the eclipse in the Finger Lakes. 

Traveling on a budget? Or simply want to give your wallet a break? Ontario County has plenty of groovy things to do that are free (or pretty darn close). From art demonstrations and live music to yoga on a farm and Pilates in a castle, here are ten super-fun Finger Lakes freebies. 

Perhaps you have come to the Finger Lakes to explore our world-famous Rieslings and our award-winning farm-to-table fare. That’s all well and good, but let’s face it, sometimes a cold beer and a hefty burger are exactly what the vacation doctor calls for, with a big side of local culture. From re-purposed shotgun shells turned into lighting fixtures to free legal advice from town supervisors, here are some of the best off-the-beaten-path watering holes, dive bars and neighbor joints in the Finger Lakes where you can easily feel like a regular.

Sometimes you go to a bar or restaurant for a drink and try something new and wonder, where did that come from? That happened to me recently when I was at Lake Drum Brewing in Geneva, trying a flight of hard ciders from the region. One in particular stood out. It was a pleasantly spicy and alluring ginger cider, sweet but not cloying, and it tasted great with the popcorn I was eating. I could imagine it tasting even better with some Chinese food. I was thrilled when I discovered that the producer, Star Cider, is just a few miles away in Clifton Springs.

With purple fire hydrants dotting the downtown streets and vineyards defining its hills and valley, the village of Naples takes its grapes, and grape pies, very seriously. These inky purple pies are the unofficial mascot of the community, sold at roadside stands and at farm markets during harvest season and at small retail shops throughout the year. There's even a local pizzeria that has a grape pie pizza on its dessert menu.

All people of the world share the same sun, but in New York’s Finger Lakes we were blessed with a special treat of “Sunset Spectacular” a few nights ago.

Less than five minutes later my sister posted the sunset view from her home in Gorham - different than my pinks, purples and blues.

Captured at the same time, her sunset was made of oranges and golds with a barn backdrop and a window teasing the sunset to come in. I was deep into some kitchen event when my husband alerted me to the beautiful sky out our western window.

Who is bringing the dessert for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 10:39 AM by Valerie Knoblauch

With Thanksgiving upon us, I’ve heard a lot of discussion lately about desserts for the infamous holiday dinner. Certainly, this is one of the key components of our American traditions for this holiday. Jake, our newest team member, is fresh out of college and going home for his first Thanksgiving as a working professional in the real world. He wanted to contribute to the dinner and got a great suggestion from Karen, our second to the newest team member (and a former food writer and in-house culinary expert), that he should consider taking a grape pie. I heartily endorsed that suggestion. 

The Naples Grape Festival, held the last week of September since 1961, celebrates the area’s grape harvest, as well as local business owners, artists, farmers, musicians... I could go on.  For me, it also means celebrating the close of summer, and welcoming the start of fall. Knowing that some of you may have missed the festival this year or in past years due to other obligations – work, school, travel, Sunday football – let’s take a trip down festival memory lane and look through some of my favorite Instagram photos from the last few years of the Naples Grape Festival.