Wines, Festivals and Food, Tons of Reasons to Eat, Sip, and Stay in the Finger Lakes This Fall -- September 2014

Fall in the Finger Lakes means panoramas of rolling hillsides filled with vibrant colors of emerging reds, yellows, and oranges of changing fall foliage. The smell of grapes being pressed is in the air. The opportunity to hand pick perfectly ripe apples is abundant and roadside farm stands highlight the produce of local farmers throughout the region. Discover a cornucopia of events, exciting attractions, and visual and sensory wonders in the Finger Lakes this fall. It's the perfect time to visit, plan your trip, and remember for a lifetime!

Speaking of the smell of grapes..


Let’s Raise a Glass To Our Winemaker!

The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance, in conjunction with other program sponsors would like to congratulate the winner of our 2014 Winemaker for a Week promotion, Bob Collom from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Winemaker for a Week program will allow our lucky winner, Bob, the opportunity to visit the Finger Lakes and work side by side with area winemakers, learning the entire winemaking process from vine to bottle. Bob will be taking in the experience with winemakers from the Cayuga Wine Trail including King Ferry Winery, Long Point Winery, Knapp Winery, Six Mile Creek Vineyard, and Americana Vineyards. Accommodations for our Finger Lakes winemaker in training are provided by the luxurious Hope Lake Lodge in Cortland where resting up and unwinding at the end of the day will be a breeze. Bob will be learning everything about the winemaking process including hand harvesting grapes off the vine, to pressing the grapes to produce that tasty juice, and even helping to start the fermentation process turning grape juice into the noble Finger Lakes wines. Working in the tasting room serving guests and learning the subtle nuances to pour and sell these tasty wares will also be a part of Bob’s Finger Lakes Winemaker for a Week experience.

The 5 semifinalists that reached the final round of the Winemaker for a Week competition were asked to create a written piece explaining to the judges why they felt that they would be a great candidate to become a Finger Lakes Winemaker for a Week. Bob’s passion for the Finger Lakes, wines, and what goes in to creating them, made him the perfect fit for 2014. Though it was a tough decision making the ultimate choice, we thank everyone who took the time to enter the contest and participate! Let’s raise a glass to cheer Bob and wish him all the best in his Winemaker for a Week experience! 


Pumpkin Isn’t the Only Theme for this Fall

As the cool weather creeps in, the Finger Lakes prepares for apple, pumpkin, grape picking and so much more. With festivals throughout the region celebrating agriculture, wine, and harvest beers, you won’t want to miss these seasonal celebrations in the Finger Lakes this fall.

Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival: A celebration of food, fun and the fall. This large outdoor event covers five city blocks and occurs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday Oct.3-5, 2014. Each day is full of crafters, entertainment, food, wine, games, rides, farmers markets, and lots and lots of apples.

Farm-To-Table Wine and Cooking Adventure: Immerse yourself in the bounty of the Finger Lakes. On this one-of-a-kind culinary wine tour, you will create a Finger Lakes meal from the ground up.

16th Annual Autumn Festival of Ales: This craft beer festival features over 40 craft beers, live entertainment and a chili cook-off to benefit Mercy Flight. Travel to Honeoye Falls to sample craft beer brewed exclusively by CB Craft Brewers

New York Wine and Culinary Center Fall Festival: Stop at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua to enjoy the bounty of New York cider, food samples, cocktails, and take part in hands on cooking classes.

Finger Lakes Cheese Trail Open House: Twelve of the 13 Finger Lakes Cheese Trail members will be participating, with many opening up their farms to cheese lovers that Saturday for tours, demonstrations, and visitors are encouraged to play Cheese Trail Bingo as they visit farms for the chance to win a holiday cheese board.

Fall Into Red – An Exclusive Dry Red Wine Event: Five premier red wine producers from the Finger Lakes region including Damiani Wine Cellars, Zugibe Vineyards, Hosmer Winery, Shaw Vineyards, and Ventosa Vineyards will all gather to sample, enjoy, and celebrate fine red wine in one location!

Chestnut Festival at Goose Watch Winery: Celebrate the harvest of our chestnut groves in the most delicious and fun way! With over 17 acres of nut groves at Goose Watch Winery, we have plenty to go around!

Ithaca Oktoberfest: Ithaca Oktoberfest will take place October 25th. Now in its third year, Oktoberfest celebrates Fall in the Ithaca community with beer, wine, and food tastings.

Finger Lakes Beer Festival: The long awaited counterpart to the Finger Lakes Wine Festival hosted in Watkins Glen at Watkins Glen International. Celebrate the bountiful and robust, world class beers emerging in the Finger Lakes region. Proust!

Harvest Game Dinner at Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars:  Enjoy a menu that focuses on fruits and vegetables grown locally, enhanced by memorable proteins, and paired with wines carefully selected to suit the character of each dish.



Things that Go Bump in the Finger Lakes

There are more than a few haunted spots within New York’s Finger Lakes region. Luckily for amateur and serious ghost hunters alike, there is a long list of places where curious visitors can investigate otherworldly adventures for themselves.

Historic Palmyra, the home of five incredible Museums, hosts a rich history, lingering stories and the possibility of personalities from another dimension. Historic Palmyra offers tours of their museums including the Alling Coverlet Museum, General Store, Print Shop Museum, Erie Canal Depot, and Palmyra Historical Museum to visitors that are looking to explore the nearby Erie Canal and rich history found within the walls of these businesses. Visitors will be sure to experience rich stories from the past. Get in the Halloween spirit and join a Historic Palmyra ghost hunt discovering what Ghosthunters, Rochester Phantom Hunters and others have eye-witnessed for one-on-one paranormal experiences. To join a Ghosthunt or for more information on Historic Palmyra, please visit this link.

If you’re looking for creeps, spooks and thrills, a visit to Tag’s, an event venue in Big Flats New York, will be the perfect place to get your October spirits flowing. Hear the story and experience the event known as Tagsylvania. As legend has it, in 1740 Atsingnetsing was a quiet village located in what today is known as Big Flats. It was reported by one lonely individual that a strange thick fog encompassed the village and the residents were possessed by beings with an uncontrollable craving for blood. At the stroke of midnight, the story proclaims, Atsingnetsing was renamed Tagsylvania. Visit the village for the 2014 reenactment of this fateful story.

What could be scarier than Dracula spilling your wine?! Join the gang at Americana Vineyards for their 12th annual Hallo-wine Spooktacular Halloween costume party slated for October 25th from 8pm to midnight. Party-goers are encouraged to dress up to participate in a costume contest, just one of the events taking place that evening. Answer the Halloween question, is Casper the friendly ghost a red or white wine drinker? The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance has an insider tip that Frankenstein is a rose drinker, in fact. Cheers!

For more exciting events to make you shriek and cause goosebumps, visit the Finger Lakes calendar of events for all of October’s happenings here:  



Visit Rochester This Fall

What makes Rochester the perfect center to explore the treasures of the Finger Lakes? Easy, pleasant drives with plenty of time for a stress-free day of activities and attractions. An urban center rich with arts and culture for the entire family. Theatrical companies and first-class venues. The world’s film and photography epicenter. Hot, cool, rocking, elegant, bluesy, jazzy, danceable live music. The best shopping opportunities and experience you’ll find between New York City and Niagara Falls! Unique buys at museum gifts shops. Big name department stores not found in any other part of upstate New York. Trendy boutiques and galleries.  Gourmet products, sweets and fresh local food. Finger Lakes vineyards with award- winning vintages among the best in the world. Old-time brews or up-and-coming craft brews. Inspired chefs creating farm-to-table dishes. Charming cafés, informal bistros, upscale fine dining, and kid-friendly hometown chains. Family-friendly attractions, picturesque parks and scenic outdoor settings.World-renowned museums and interactive exhibits, historic sites, theater, and sporting events.


With accommodations galore, from boutique hotels and B&Bs to family-affordable large hotels full of amenities to rest and restore – Rochester launches the best Finger Lakes adventures! You might say the Finger Lakes are right in our backyard.





Looking for a Fall Getaway at a Steal?

The area starts to look a little shinier when you can save a penny through deals and packages at area accommodations. Start planning your visit today by perusing the perfect package for you, your family, or your group and be sure to check for regional availability through the Book a Room Now feature. The perfect place to lay your head in the Finger Lakes is waiting for your arrival! Don’t forget that, promotions and coupons are updated continuously by area businesses on the site so be sure to check back frequently if you don’t find something today that tickles your fancy!



Order Your 2014 Finger Lakes Regional Travel Guide Before They're All Gone!

Planning your next getaway or vacation is super exciting but sometimes you may not be sure where to start. Let the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance help! We can be your one stop for all the best regional information. Order a travel guide today to find all your must see locations including accommodations, shopping, wineries, breweries, u-pick locations, dining galore, events, and SO MUCH MORE! Supplies are EXTREMELY limited so be sure to order today.

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