White Birch Vineyards Tasting Room
By Patti Dorazio
If you need yet another reason to visit gorgeous Skaneateles, it’s this place: White Birch Vineyards Tasting Room on Genesee Street. The winery’s vineyards are located on the west side of Skaneateles Lake, while the tasting room is where walk-in guests come to sample winery products in a convivial space right in the center of town. With views of the iconic lake directly across the street, this sleek, sophisticated, boutique-style tasting room offers a variety of New York wine tastings to suit every visitor, including its own label (which can only be purchased at the shop), Champagnes, whiskey flights, wines by the glass, wine cocktails and small bites. You sense an understated elegance and upscale feel the minute you enter the tasting room and are greeted by one of the many friendly and knowledgeable staff.
For now, White Birch focuses on showcasing a diverse list of New York wines, from its own label to other acclaimed Finger Lakes producers, including Ravines, Heron Hill, Heart & Hands and Dr. Frank, as well as locally sourced food and cheeses. The tasting room also offers beer, cider and soda by the bottle, again all from the region. Customers can sample reasonably priced wine flights, which include any choice of three wines from the following: White Flight, Red Flight, White Birch Flight, and the Mix/Match Flight. For an added touch of class, the tasting room offers two unique flights: Sparkling Flight of crisp wines made in the méthode champenoise, and a Whiskey Flight of handcrafted McKenzie whiskies. Customers can purchase the shop’s wines and other beverages by the bottle or leisurely sip them by the glass at the shop’s modern bar or at the “clubby feel” rear seating area, decorated to enhance your tasting experience.
The goal of White Birch, according to White Birch Tasting Room Manager Stephan Boatwright, is to work in conjunction with various local, legendary winemakers (who share a stylistic similarity to White Birch’s wines—that is, dry wines developed using old-school methods but meant to be paired with foods) by introducing people to Finger Lakes wines and the region itself. White Birch can also be your spot for private parties and other events. Not to miss is the annual Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles, running weekends in December, where you and your family can celebrate Christmas in the old-fashioned European way. This year, White Birch will offer warm mulled wine throughout winter and the holiday season. Stop in, warm up and savor the full wine tasting experience as only White Birch Vineyards Tasting Room can offer.
18 West Genesee Street, Skaneateles, 315.685.9463, whitebirchvineyards.com
Patti Dorazio is a recently retired technical communication professor from SUNY Institute of Technology who now has time to fulfill dreams of writing pieces about culinary arts and to continue to practice her cooking skills.