ROAD TRIP DAY 17: FABULOUS FINGER LAKES

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Admission to the Corning Museum of Glass includes a return visit the following day, so Bruce took advantage of it this morning while I went next door to the YMCA and got in a good swim. What a perfect way to start the day– swimming and beautiful art glass!

The day continued exploring another “finger” of Finger Lakes: Keuka Lake. Although the skies were cloudy and a bit washed out for photography, the area was absolutely gorgeous anyway. The trees were so bright green, and the area quite lush.

120 of New York’s 380 wineries are in the Finger Lakes region, and today we focused on three on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail: Bully Hill Vineyards, Dr. Konstantin Frank (est. in 1962, a very good year!), and Heron Hill Winery(just for a look around the tasting room).

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We had some time to kill at Bully Hill Vineyards before our tour, so we tasted some wine and had a look around. Kelsey made us feel right at home, and we immediately realized this was NOT a winery for wine snobs. They are all about humor there, and their motto is, “Wine with Laughter.” One look at their labels (created by the artist owner), and it was evident they don’t take themselves too seriously. After all, their symbol is a goat, and Billy is the star on a few of their labels. We immediately thought of my best friend, Laura, when we saw it. “Bring in the goat!” (Only Laura would understand…)

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As we learned on our tour, the winery has an interesting history, and we found it all quite humorous. Our one-hour tour was very entertaining and interesting, and I was surprised to hear that Bully Hill Vineyards was the largest privately owned winery in New York.

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We left with a bottle of Foch, a dry Tuscan-style red wine from a rare varietal I had never heard of before. The wine is only available at the winery, and I’m looking forward to enjoying it with one of Bruce’s great pasta dishes.

Our next stop was Dr. Konstantin Frank, New York’s most award winning winery since 1962, my birth year. Originally from Ukraine, Dr. Frank was the “Father of Vinifera” in the Eastern United States.

Although they are best known for their dry riesling (which earned a score of 93 from Wine & Spirits in 2008 and a number one ranking in Wine Enthusiast in 2009) and Gewurztraminer (which earned 90 points from Wine Spectator in 2007), I most enjoyed their Brut. I also liked and purchased a bottle of their Rkatsiteli, a varietal from the Ukraine that dates back to 3000 B.C. When Dr. Frank first came to New York, he (illegally!) brought in clippings from the Ukraine to start his vineyard.

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By the time we arrived at our third and final winery of the afternoon, Heron Hill, neither of us were up for tasting more wine (believe it or not!), so we just had a quick look around before heading to the little town of Hammondsport for a brief walk around the town square. It was quite charming, and just a lovely place to end our day in the Fabulous Finger Lakes.

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The View from Heron Hill Winery (ab0ve).

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Hammondsport, on Keuka Lake, is a charming little town!

 

ROAD TRIP DAY 16: CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS- WOW!

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There is no other word I can use to better describe the Corning Glass Museum. WOW! Just, “WOW!” That is the word I uttered time and time again as we made our way through the museum. Between the brand new 100,000 square foot, 64 million dollar extraordinary contemporary art wing of the museum to the ongoing glass blowing demostrations in their new state of the art amphitheater, it was all fantastic!

We we were so enthralled with everything we saw that we spent 7-1/2 hours there soaking it all in. We even returned to one of the glass blowing demonstrations again at the end of the day.

From Dale Chihualy to Louis Tiffany, and all of the best glass artists in between, the museum houses the most extensive and incredible collection of art glass glass in the world. The glass pieces on display span almost 2,000 years.

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Dale Chihualy

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Louis Comfort Tiffany

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Louis Comfort Tiffany

The 500-seat glass blowing amphitheater and more intimate glass blowing studio each house the most modern and top-quality furnaces in existence.

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This was a narrated glass blowing demonstration in the smaller studio. ┬áThere were large screen TV’s overhead.

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It just doesn’t get any better than this!

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This huge bowl of fruit measured approximately four feet in diameter.