Skip to content

Five Under-the-Radar Regions for Your Summer Vacation

Tuscany’s golden hills. The Cabernet-filled vineyards of Napa. These iconic wine regions represent the pinnacle of aspirational travel. Yet, such popularity and prestige come with crowds and high price tags. Lodging in the heart of Napa’s wine country can be expensive, as are some of the castle hotels that dot Chianti’s hilltops, many of which can command up to $1,000 per night.

Here are summer getaway ideas that won’t break the bank.

Finger Lakes

With its proximity to New York City and the tony Hamptons, Long Island’s North Fork has evolved into a haven for limos and party buses.

Instead, drive northwest from New York City. The Finger Lakes region delivers thrilling wines in a sleepy setting. Its wine country is dispersed predominately around three deep lakes that make viticulture viable in this cool climate: Cayuga, Seneca and Keuka.

Instead of the red blends of Long Island, you’ll sip on some of America’s best Rieslings. Pinot Noir and other delicate reds have gained traction too, like at Heart and Hands Winery on Cayuga’s eastern shores.

On Cayuga’s west side, taste racy white wines at Sheldrake Point, then head over to Seneca Lake for the experimental, bottlings of Bloomer Creek Vineyard and the textural wines of Forge Cellars. Stop by Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, a regional pioneer, and head toward Geneva for racy Rieslings by Ravines. Also on Seneca are Fox Run and Red Tail Ridge.

On Keuka Lake, Dr. Konstantin Frank winery dates to the 1960s and was one of the first to experiment with planting Vitis vinifera grapes in the Finger Lakes.

Food and lodging are as scattered as the wineries. Stay at the Aurora Inn on the east side of Cayuga to enjoy a bit of history In Geneva, Geneva on the Lake offers old-school romance on 10 garden-filled acres. To eat, score a reservation at F.L.X. Table, run by master sommelier/chef Christopher Bates. With his wife, Isabel Bogadtke, he also owns F.L.X. WieneryF.L.X. Fry BirdF.L.X. Provisions and Element Winery.


More to Read

Women in Wine Photo Credit - Emily Kenny Spectrum News 1

Women in wine: How they’re overcoming challenges to reach international recognition

Women have worked in the wine industry for generations in the Finger Lakes, but it’s only in the last 50 years that they’ve taken on leading roles in viniculture – working to battle a male-dominated hierarchy. But as they’ve made progress, challenges in fighting stereotypes remain for even the world’s best female winemakers.

Several Dr. Frank Wines bottles in an ice bucket.

New York State wines to be exported to Puerto Rico for 1st time

The collaboration includes the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism, distributor Serrallés Imports, and the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery located in Steuben County, which will make Finger Lakes region wines available for purchase in Puerto Rico.

A landscape of Dr. Frank's vineyards overlooking Keuka Lake.

Into the future of American wine

Back in the realms of vinifera, in 1985, the first successful commercial label of Saperavi was sold in the US. Dr Konstantin Frank introduced the vines to the region in the late 1950s, with 60 other varieties, during the vinifera revolution.

Get The Latest

Join our email list and stay connected with updates on new releases, special offers, and events.

Skip to content