I especially like the fall time of the year in the Finger Lakes. Even though we are a month away from the calendar fall, the nights are beginning to cool and the harvest moon is now full. It’s the perfect time of the year to visit some of the many wineries around the Finger Lakes.
I have been coming to the Wagner Winery (click here) for over 20 years. The winery was started by Bill Wagner, a no non-sense business man who knew where he was going and what he had to do to get there. But there was another side of Bill – he loved family and parties and every summer he would host an outdoor picnic in honor of his mother’s birthday. He even produced a special wine in honor of her – Alta B – which is the perfect picnic wine and can still be purchased at the winery. On these occasions, Bill would offer a box lunch which could be eaten out on the lawn along with some special attractions like antique cars or one year there were sky divers which landed on the lawn at the winery.
Bill was one of the first in the Finger Lakes to recognize that vineyards and wineries are a part of the food business and ventured into serving food along with his wines during the fall time of the year. Bill is gone now but his family has taken over the business. It’s still a fun place to visit. His granddaughter – Ginny Lee – whom I met last year runs the Ginny Lee Café. They do a really nice lunch and also cater to weddings and birthday parties. The Ginny Lee Café is a wonderful place to meet friends for lunch and if the weather is co-operating, you can be seated outside on the veranda and treated to a magnificent view of the vineyards and Seneca Lake.
Each year and each day becomes more precious and so we celebrated another year with our friends from Binghamton, NY. No tears allowed; just friends, a couple of glasses of wine, and a big piece of chocolate cake for the girls!