We needed a getaway. Nothing too elaborate or too complicated just some good old fashioned R & R that didn't take too long to get to but got us away from the city. Where we cold unplug, do nothing or do leisurely pleasant things and, of course, where we could bring Max,
who seemed to need it as much as we did. It doesn't take long to get out to the country in our neck of the woods. Just an hour north of New York City and you hit the stunning Hudson Valley which is part of the Appalachian Plateau, it is pure country, turn west into the state going towards Pennsylvania, maybe another hour and you're in the Catskills. I won't even touch that description, you can learn all about their charms here. Go west from where I live and in an hour and a half you're in New Jersey farmland with beautiful rolling hills, horses and cows everywhere and charming country inns. Too close though and most inns don't allow pet guests. A little further north and west and you're in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, north a bit more and we reach the Finger Lakes region of New York State, as far from New York City as you can possibly get, yet only a very pleasant four hour drive (except for the part where you have to go through Scranton but we'll ignore that). We have found our destination.
It really isn't very hard, we try to go there once a year. The Finger Lakes is New York state's prime wine growing region (sorry, North Fork L.I.). The areas surrounding the three main lakes, Cayuga, Seneca and Keuka are full of wineries. In between there are farms of all kinds, lots of dairy which means lots of fresh organic just made cheeses. And the restaurants are first rate mainly using local, organic ingredients and an adventurous, imaginative cooking style. We have been there quite a few times and it never disappoints. We usually rent a house which needs to on the lake, doesn't matter which one but we usually wind up on Seneca. We try to stay in different towns just to get a different feel. This time we stayed in Geneva which is a lovely college town (Hobart William Smith) on the northeastern side of Seneca in a small house on the lake.
with a big deck and a grill,
hopped it over to the local Wegmann's picked up some steaks, salad greens and some local wines and had our first dinner.
The next morning was time to explore the neighborhood so we went for a walk in the woods
and encountered all manner of incredible adorable wildflowers,
then Max made himself at home
and to the vineyards we go. First stop Fox Run.
Not only because we love their wines but they have an incredible cafe and we can have this for lunch,
and admire their really pretty gardens.
Next, Red Tail Ridge.
We discovered them recently and have been very impressed with their wines. They are also organic and probably have the most beautiful drive to the tasting room, through the vineyard.
Next, Hermann J. Wiemer, probably one of the most sophisticated tasting rooms & store.
Standing Stone is next, the best dessert wines in the area and probably in a lot of other places and a view that I can never get enough of.
And where's the food part? A trip to the Finger Lakes is not complete unless we go to The Stonecat Cafe,
with some of the most innovative cooking anywhere and a wine list to be envied. This year though we finally made it to Dano's Heuriger which is one of the most highly rated, recommended restaurants in the area,
not only is the food delicious, the place is an absolute stunner, and the garden? Well , here is some of it.
Well, all good things must come to an end and it was time to go, Max was not happy
and neither were we. Luckily we're only four hours away.