Written by Ray Pompilio, Photos by Chelsea Fausel
Summer is a great time in the Finger Lakes. Wine tourism is at its height, with visitors and locals headed to their favorite tasting rooms to enjoy all the fine wines of our region.
We are known for our wonderful Rieslings, but local vintners also offer many warm weather white alternatives to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Fresh fruit aromas and flavors, good acidity and nice balance are what drive these wines.
Try Grüner Veltliner, a grape native to Austria; Sauvignon Blanc, famous in France and New Zealand; and Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, of France and Italy. Don’t ignore un-oaked Chardonnay, or hybrids Cayuga White, Seyval Blanc and Vignoles.
These wines are great to sip, and are even better with food. Seafood, poultry and pork dishes work well, as do light pasta with vegetables or pesto. Fresh area fish, like trout and perch, also pair nicely.
If you don’t have the time to travel the area, local stores and restaurants offer all sorts of fine choices. There’s no rule against enjoying nice local red wine during the summer, but when it’s warm outside, whites rule.
A Sampling of Summertime Whites:
Anthony Road Wine Cellars 2017 Pinot Gris – $16
Atwater Estate Vineyards 2017 Pinot Gris – $18
Bellangelo Winery 2018 Seyval Blanc – $15
Billsboro Winery 2017 Sawmill Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – $18
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2017 Grüner Veltliner – $15
Fox Run Vineyards 2017 Doyle Family Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay – $13
Glenora Wine Cellars 2017 Seyval Blanc – $13
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2014 Grüner Veltliner – $13
Hector Wine Company 2017 Sauvignon Blanc – $18
Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard 2017 Grüner Veltliner – $27
Heron Hill Winery 2017 Unoaked Chardonnay – $16
Hosmer Winery 2016 Pinot Gris – $16
Hunt Country Vineyards 2016 Cayuga White – $10
Keuka Lake Vineyards 2015 Gently Dry Vignoles – $14
Lakewood Vineyards 2017 Vignoles – $11
McGregor Vineyard 2017 Unoaked Chardonnay — $14
Ravines Wine Cellars 2016 Chardonnay — $20
Red Tail Ridge 2017 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay — $16
Sheldrake Point Winery 2017 Pinot Gris — $16
Treleaven Wines 2017 Silver Lining Chardonnay — $17
Weis Vineyards 2017 Grüner Veltliner — $19
Zugibe Vineyards 2017 Grüner Veltliner — $15
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 edition of the magazine.
Ray Pompilio began his wine career in 1983, with a harvest crush on Seneca Lake. He has since worked in many facets of the wine industry. Currently he is a member of the wine team at Northside Wines & Spirits in Ithaca and a regular contributing writer to wine trade magazines in California.
Chelsea Fausel is a lifestyle and wedding photographer in the Finger Lakes with a studio in downtown Ithaca. She spends her spare time with her wife and four children hiking, traveling and drinking lots of coffee. Follow her work on Instagram: @fauselimagery