SENECA LAKE WINE TRAIL MEMBER
Seneca Shore Wine Cellars grows, produces, and sells premium Finger Lakes wines as the Medieval Winery of the Finger Lakes. Free Tastings !! at our Tasting Room where wine can be sampled and purchased. Come and Enjoy our deck with rocking chairs overlooking Seneca Lake. Our 48 acres of award winning vineyards were started in 1979, and produce Gold Medal Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot, and other vinifera varieties such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Lemberger, as well as Port, Sherry, and Fruit Wines. We also have 35 great value table wines, all set in a Medieval theme. Come visit!
In the mid-1970s our site, on the north western shore of Seneca Lake, was selected for sevaral basic reasons.
1) The soil on the site had a large proportion of Limestone mixed with the loam, thanks to the last Ice-age Glacier. This gave us a soil pH=6.9 (neutral), instead of the much more acidic soil of the south end of the Lake at pH=4.6. Neutral soil is great for European Vinifera varieties (Riesling, Merlot), whereas acidic soil is good for Native American Labrusca vines (Concord & Niagara).
2) The site is on the shore of Seneca Lake, the deepest of the Finger Lakes. This allows the stored warmth of the lake that is released through-out the Winter to keep the vines above the minimum bud killing temperature of -16F.
3) The site is between two large canyons; the Keuka Lake Outlet, and Kashong Creek. Small summer thunderstorms tend to track into the canyons, leaving little rain on our site. This was beneficial to keep the diseases of mold and mildew subdued. In our current drought conditions, it would be nice to have additional rain however.
Our Vineyards originally began to be planted in 1979 with 23 acres of Chardonnay; clone 4 and a Colmar clone from Alsace, France. We then diversified our plantings with the remainder of the varieties listed above. For the first 19 years we exclusively sold all of our grapes to other wineries in the Finger Lakes. Although these wineries were receiving Gold Medals for their wines made from our grapes, the price we received remained the same. It was time to vertically integrate.
In 1997 we received our Farm Winery license. We converted the farm equipment building into our tasting room by insulating, adding heat and A/C, wiring, plumbing, windows and doors for people, and PRESTO !! our Tasting Room was born as a Medieval Castle with interior decorations of Medieval swords, shields, helmets, axes, and sundry other Medieval items.
On the production side, we invested in the necessary tanks, pumps, filters, presses, curshers, etc. Everything needed to make premium wine. In 2000 we expanded our production facility by 3000 sqft to provide for growth of our barrel, tank, and case storage.
Over the years we have won numerous awards, which can be seen on our tasting room wall. From our 48 acres of vines we produce over 5000 cases of wine per year, and receive more than 30,000 visitors. If we are not too crowded on your next visit, ask to see the barrel room (stacked 4 layers high), which is next to our bottling and labeling line. Compared to other Finger Lakes wineries, we are still only half the size of the average. So far we have been able to maintain our goal of friendly service, and good wine at an extremely affordable price. We feel we provide excellent value for our visitors.