How To Beer or Wine Trail

Wine is a Finger Lakes staple and with so many wineries, wine trails, wine centers and tasting rooms throughout the region, it can be a daunting task to know where to begin and how to best enjoy the plethora of wine trail experiences.

Here are some tips on how to maximize your time on the trail and make the most of your Finger Lakes wine experience!

#1. Start at a place where you can taste wine or beer from several different producers.
For visitors who are short on time, or are looking for the best starting point, I recommend beginning at a spot with multiple wine offerings.  This allows you to figure out which wines you might want to sample further and gives you a greater cross-section of the region. Two popular wine centers are located in downtown Canandaigua: Finger Lakes Wine Center and New York Kitchen.

#2. Hit one of the wine trails.
Finger Lakes wine country crosses a wide region of the state. Looking for a beautiful drive alongside the western shore of Canandaigua  Lake and through the Bristol Hills as you drive from Canandaigua to Naples? Check out the seven wineries on the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail. Have a lot of time to dive into the wine trail game? The Rochester/Finger Lakes Craft Beverage Trail is one of the most diverse, with more than 40 different craft beverage makers to explore, including many wineries.

#3. Join a tour.
One of the most important rules to follow when wine trailing, other than to have fun, is to make sure you have a designated driver. For those looking to leave the driving up to the professionals, three transportation companies: Crush Beer & Wine Tours, and Finger Lakes Winery Tours provide wine tour experiences crafted to suit your individual preferences.

#4. Attend a wine inspired event.
Throughout the year, the wine trails host wine themed seasonal events that add a special flair to wine tasting and touring. Many are trail-wide and some are hosted by an individual winery, but all enhance the wine tasting experience.

#5. Pair favorite wines with local foods.
It’s never a good idea to wine trail on an empty stomach and luckily, there are so many different farm-to-table restaurant options in the region, that there is no need to ever worry about going hungry.  Farm-to-Table is a way of life in the Finger Lakes and a glass of Finger Lakes wine to accompany your meal is required!

#6. Finger Lakes wines, beers and other beverages make great gifts.
To keep the wine trail fun alive even after returning home, bring back a bottle (or two!) of a favorite Finger Lakes wine. Finger Lakes wine makes a great gift, but it can be hard to part with your favorites, so consider purchasing a Canandaigua wine trail passport, offering discounts at each of the wineries. A glass of Finger Lakes wine will bring back fond memories of your time in the Finger Lakes!

#5. Instagram it!
Brag a little about your wine trail experience to all your friends and let us see how you wine trail! Tag us @VisitFLX on Facebook or Instagram, and use #FLXperience—you never know where your picture might pop up!

Cheers to your next wine trail adventure!