Last Sunday can only be described as the perfect day in the Finger Lakes. Our summer has been blessed with plenty of rain and the trees and crops all seem to be growing at a record rate. The weather was perfect over this last weekend and on Sunday we headed to the Ginny Lee Café at Wagner Vineyards near Lodi, NY for our lunch. Wagner’s has always been one of my special places to visit in the Finger Lakes.
The winery was started and built by Bill Wagner, a World War II veteran who came back home with a dream! The Wagner Vineyards have carried on what Bill started: a winery that is a fun place to visit and to be enjoyed. Bill may be gone, but you can feel the tradition that he started is still alive and will continue for generations.
His granddaughter Ginny Lee now runs the Ginny Lee Café. Many years ago on that site, Bill would host an October Fest celebration in a tent. Soon a building was built and a restaurant started. Today, the restaurant is named the Ginny Lee Café, serving lunch from 11 am until 4:00 pm. They also cater to weddings and private parties. The food is very good and will satisfy folks of all ages. The Cafe serves Wagers wines, their craft beers, AND their own draft root beer which we enjoyed with our lunch. I think that Jeanette might have wanted a little ice cream in her root beer as we grew up with A&W drive-ins. But it’s the outdoor seating which allows one to just relax and take in the magnificent scenery spread before you like a banquet feast!
Just to the right of the winery, you will find picnic tables and a beautiful pond for your summer enjoyment. Bill used to host a summer birthday party for his mother on the lawn right there near the pond. I don’t know if that tradition continues or not. The pond is home to a couple of swans, some koi fish, and a couple of ducks. There are flowers planted around the pond and it makes a nice place to just sit in the shade and relieve your mind of any cares.
It’s no wonder that so many tour busses stop at Wagner Vineyards. They offer the widest selection of wines, beers, and food anywhere that I know of in the Finger Lakes, all served with a magnificent view of Seneca Lake.