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).



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…)





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.



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.


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.



The View from Heron Hill Winery (ab0ve).


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



After crossing the border back into the States this morning, we made our way down Highway 14 along Seneca Lake, one of New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes. Geneva was a particularly charming town, and many of the gorgeous homes had incredible views of the lake below.

It seemed like there were wineries everywhere, because this is one of New York’s premier wine regions. What a beautiful area to winery hop! We’re saving that for Tuesday, though, when we tour the wineries around Hammondsport.

Today, we opted to make our way instead to the south end of Seneca Lake to Watkins Glen State Park. On the way, we stopped for lunch at FLX Wienery (yes, you read that right) a place recommended by Karyn, our tour guide from yesterday’s wine tour at Konzelmann Winery.


What a trip. As it turns out, the owner and Executive Chef of this wiener and burger joint is an award-winning chef who is featured in the current (dated May 31, 2015) issue of Wine Spectator.

Click on the picture below, and check out the menu. There were some, uhhh, interesting creations to say the least. We chose “Wiener Art: The Kraut.” I call it “Heart Attack on a Plate,” but it tasted great! (For dinner, I’m having a Wegman’s Grocery salad, though…)




After waddling out of FLX Wienery, we continued south to Watkins Glenn State Park with the idea of walking off a fry or two during our hike up the falls. The sign informed us there would be 800 stairs to the top, so do you think each stair was worth one calorie?

Along with everybody and their brother (and sister… and mother…) here for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we made our way up to the top, enjoying the gorgeous falls along the way. Avoiding selfie sticks (Bruce calls them “Narcissist sticks” was a challenge at times, but we were bound to have this problem anywhere we traveled during the holiday weekend. Still, the falls were breathtaking, and it was well worth fighting the crowds.








Tomorrow, we’re off to the Corning Glass Museum for my first visit and Bruce’s second visit. They have expanded a great deal since Bruce was there 20 years ago, so this will be a great day for both of us!