Wine tastings are fun, delicious, and exciting; but they can also be a little confusing, especially if you’ve never done one before! We thought we would help with a basic ‘how to’ do a wine tasting – Finger Lakes style. Below are the most common questions we receive and their answers. We want you to have the best experience possible during your visit, and we hope these answers help!
How do we get around?
There is no group bus service that goes around from winery to winery on a scheduled basis. All tours are done privately through a bus or limo service. This works out in your advantage; you get to pick the wineries you would like to go to at your pace. If you call one of the wine trails, a local visitor center, or even ask the front desk of your hotel, they are happy to point you in the right direction of what transportation service they recommend. If you have a really nice friend who is willing to be your designated driver, that works as well. Most wineries will give this person the special treatment with non-alcoholic beverages and sometimes even a snack! Another common practice is to spit the wine. This is completely normal and still allows you to enjoy the wine without it going to your head.
Wine tours in Finger Lakes Wine Country are self guided. So remember to take your time (two wineries a day is average), try the local food to help soak up the wine, and enjoy the experience!
Regardless which way you choose to get around, please do not drink and drive.
When are the wineries open?
Most of them are open around 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours may change seasonally, so it is important to check with each winery you plan on visiting for their most up to date hours. The easiest way to do this is to start at the wine trails’ websites and find individual wineries there.
Do I need a reservation?
This depends on the size of your group. If it’s less than six people, wineries do not usually require a reservation. If you have a group of six people or larger, we strongly recommend you call the wineries ahead to reserve a time period for your group to come.
What exactly does a tasting consist of?
A tasting usually costs $2-5 and you get to try about six wines. Most of the time the tasting fee comes with a coupon or percentage off your purchase of wine.
Is there anything else I should know?
Fall is the busiest season for Finger Lakes Wine Country. But with the fall foliage, harvest, and release of new wines; it’s one of the best times to visit! That being said, be prepared for some crowds on the weekends and know that you may have to wait to taste. If possible, the best days to visit are weekdays. There are less people and the tasting room staff is able to give you a more personal experience.