Friday, July 31, 2009
100 Things To Do In Finger Lakes Wine Country This Summer, #36 Delight in the Experiences at Glenora
When I saw “sizzling summer showdown” on Glenora’s web site, I was instantly intrigued. With all this rain, my summer could use a little sizzle. They have created a recipe competition calling for the best concoction made with Glenora Cellars Alpine White. Since they will be doing this 5 times, the winners will appear in the Veraisons Restaurant menu in January. Pretty cool. Each contest winner will receive an overnight stay at the Inn at Glenora. Even better! The last day to submit a recipe is August 1st so I better get cooking! If you feel you’re a worthy competitor, send your recipe into email@example.com
Glenora is an extremely impressive operation. They have a successful inn, restaurant and winery. They still have a bunch of great summer packages listed and a good time to grab a hold of one is August 16th. Part II of the summer concert series, Jazz Greats on the Vineyard stage at Glenora, is Aug. 16th from 2-5 pm. Tickets are still on sale at Glenora wine cellars and Wegmans. I love an excuse to go to Wegmans. It’s the subs and the bakery. In that order. But anyway, tickets are $25.00 and from what I understand, they go pretty quickly. Must be all that good wine and great jazz guitarists like Peter White. Every girl loves a musician! Evan Knight from Syracuse will be there to serve as the opening act.
The event will go on rain or shine but you have to leave your pets at home. They encourage you to bring your own blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets as the concert is lawn seating. Food and beverage will also be on sale there in case you don’t want to lug around a picnic basket. Helicopter rides will be available during the afternoon and the pilot will not be drinking wine but maybe you should have some before you go up. But really, I bet that view is gorgeous and would make the day pretty special. Glenora is right off of Rt. 414 in Dundee and I’m hoping for some good weather for this event!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
This one goes out to the boyfriends and husbands. While we do enjoy ordering pizza and renting a movie or two, this does not suffice for a “romantic night.” To make this fair, I thought I would do the research, and that is when you as the significant other/other half, whatever you deem yourself to be…step in and take the initiative to make it happen.
It’s hard to imagine anything more romantic than a hot air balloon ride over Finger Lakes Wine Country. (I started big as you can see). Sunset Adventures will take you up 5,000 ft. over the beautiful lakes and rolling hills that is Finger Lakes Wine Country. Note: Hot air balloon rides might not be a good surprise unless you know for certain the person you’re inviting likes heights!
Now I know I started this blog entry addressing only men but I have to admit I am a little biased, being a woman. I know that men need some romantic nights too and no matter what man you are dating, a good way to their heart is through some good food. The Finger Lakes region provides so many great waterfront dining options. Among the many, my favorite is The Ginny Lee Café at Wagner Vineyards. It’s affordable, offers a great view and has a diverse menu. On Keuka Lake I love Sarrasin’s, The Bully Hill Restaurant and the Blue Heron Café at Heron Hill Winery. Watkins Glen also has some great dining options with a view of the lake. The Seneca Harbor Station is a really fun dining experience. There aren’t too many train stations gone luxury restaurant so it’s a unique way to experience Seneca Lake.
If you don’t have the money to splurge on wine tours, romantic dinners and other more extreme romantic gestures, keep it simple. Pack a picnic. A lot of wineries have picnic grounds and after you do some wine tasting, you have created a whole romantic afternoon for yourselves. Take a walk by the lake and catch the sunset. Whatever you are looking for as a couple, Finger Lakes Wine Country has it for you. The great thing I have found about this region is that if they don’t have exactly what you need, someone will find a way to make it happen.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Overlooking Seneca Lake is the beautiful, new Finger Lakes Distilling building. Right off Rte. 414 in Burdett, you can’t help but do a double-look in the rearview just to take it all in. Right in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country, the distillery serves as the largest of its kind in the region and an impressive add to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.
Once inside, you might need a minute. The ceilings are about 60 ft. tall and you will be greeted by a huge copper still, wonderful aromas and a very welcoming staff. Barrels of aging whiskey and brandy are definitely something cool to see added to the region. Wine, we know and love, but blueberry liquor over ice cream? Sounds delicious.
It’s not too often you hear an authentic southern drawl in Finger Lakes Wine Country but the Master Distiller, Thomas McKenzie, is just a Southern farm boy from Alabama that fell in love with the region. McKenzie teamed up with another McKenzie, Brian, who serves a President. They have no relation, but they are making a great team in getting the distillery up and running.
I really love the fact that they use locally grown fruits and grains to make their spirits. They have everything from aged whiskey to Catawba brandy. Some of their other spirits include Seneca Drums Gin, Vintners Wildberry Vodka, Glen Thunder Corn Whiskey and some fun, sweet liqueurs. I have been following them on their blog, just to see if they have any other new product releases coming out.
Since micro-distilling seems to be taking off in the Finger Lakes, I thought some other distilleries deserved a mention. Swedish Hill and Knapp were at the forefront producing small amounts of wine into hard liquor. Now they have plenty of company with Rock Stream Vineyards, Six Mile Creek, Dundee Foods and Hidden Marsh Distillery. Beak & Skiff Apple Farms has built their distillery, set up their Copper Pot Still and are just awaiting NYS approval. Here’s to hoping it goes through soon because they promise their Apple Vodka to be the smoothest luxury vodka we will ever taste…can’t wait!
Listen to a live radio broadcast with Morgen McLaughlin, President of Finger Lakes Wine Country interviewing Brian McKenzie of Finger Lakes Distilling. www.blogtalkradio.com/FingerLakesWineCountry
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
100 Things To Do In Finger Lakes Wine Country This Summer, #33 Have A Martini (Yes, a Martini in Wine Country!)
Mix some Gin and Vermouth, top it off with an olive, and you have a Martini. Perhaps one of the most iconic symbols for a cocktail, the Martini glass is a symbol for nightlife in general. Finding a good Martini in Finger Lakes Wine Country isn’t as hard as you might think. I have been in search of the top three Martini bars in the area (in the name of research of course) and was happy to find three fantastic places to visit while in Wine Country. After all, you can't drink wine all the time, can you? The Starlite Room, The Cellar, and Three Birds Restaurant and Martini Bar all made the cut.
There is an American creation myth that may or may not be true. During the days of the California Gold Rush in 1849, a miner struck it rich and was on his way to San Francisco. The miner arrived in the town of Martinez where he wanted to celebrate and it was there that he had the “Martinez Special.” The drink consisted of one part very dry Sauterne wine and three parts Gin stirred with ice and garnished with an olive. Another theory could come from the fact that Martini & Rossi created Martini Rosso dry vermouth in 1863. The use of vermouth in Martinis is a logical link to the possible origin of the name. The origin of the cocktail was most likely in US or the UK after the Martini & Rossi vermouth was imported into America in the 19th century. However, the Martinez is still considered “the great grandfather of the martini cocktail.”
The Starlite Room in Elmira has dubbed Wednesdays as Martini Night. From 7:00 to 10:00 pm, Martini lovers can enjoy $1.00 off their favorite drink. Regular Happy Hour runs from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The Starlite Room has a new menu featuring martinis of all flavors. While you can enjoy your classic Cosmo, you can also mix up the night with Carmel-Apple, Chocolate or Pomegranate Martinis...just to name a few. Prices run from $5.50 to $7.50.
On 21 West Market Street in Corning, The Cellar Martini Bar has the cheapest Martini prices around. On Thursdays, you can get a Martini for only $5.00. Happy hour begins at 4:00 and goes on until 7:00 pm. The Cellar also has great drink specials. For the winos out there, on Mondays you can get 20% off all wine and beer. Wednesdays are 2-for-1 wine night on 6 oz. glasses and on Saturdays, you can get 25% all bottles of wine. There are over 70 award winning wineries on their extensive list!
The Three Birds Restaurant and Martini Bar, also on Corning’s Market Street, has a rotational Martini menu. They offer seasonal Martinis as well as the classics. The bar is open Monday through Saturday at 4:00 pm. Their current menu has a lot of fun selections like Pineapple Martinis, Caramel Esspressotinis, Sex and The City Martinis and the Pink Panther. There are at least a dozen more equally fun and delicious Martinis on their menu and they also offer an extensive wine list.
Whether you meet for a Martini over a business pursuit or as a chance to forget the business part of your day, these three choices offer a great atmosphere and delicious cocktails in Finger Lakes Wine Country.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I can’t believe that it’s already the end of July and there are so many things I still have to fit in before the end of summer. Nothing says summer like a trip to the county fair! And summer in Finger Lakes Wine Country is no differnt. The Chemung County and Steuben County Fair are next on my summer to-do-list. The Chemung County Fair begins on Tuesday, August 4th and runs trough August 9th. Max ticket prices are only $4.00 and I am happy to read that parking is free. Just a few miles outside of Elmira, the Fair Grounds in Horseheads are coming to life as more and more tents spring up.
Ever since a bad experience on the Spinning Apples ride, I usually stick to watching the 4-H expositions and snacking on some fried dough. I love to watch the horse show since I used to participate in some myself. (It also doesn’t hurt that there is a 4-H ice cream stand right there!) Since then I just stick to watching the harness racing, demo derbies and yes, even the tractor & truck pull.
I am also really excited about the live entertainment this year. American Idol finalist, Bucky Covington, will be performing on the Grandstand, Wednesday at 8:00 pm. Bleacher seats are only $15! There’s also plenty of free entertainment…my favorite being the caricature drawings. For the animal lovers, there will be a hot dog pig racing show, mule & oxen show and a petting zoo.
With all the exhibits and daily attractions, I can’t expect to see it all so it’s a good thing that the Steuben County Fair is August 18th. The thing that makes this fair unique from the Chemung County Fair is a talent contest taking place on Thursday, August 20th. And although I won’t be entering the talent contest, I think I could have a decent shot at winning the watermelon or pie eating contest. The week is packed full with live entertainment, plenty of animal shows and a lot of family fun. The Steuben Fairgrounds are on 15 East Washington Street in Bath. Admission is $4.00 for adults and parking is an extra $2.00. I can’t wait to get some cotton candy, brave a (slow) ride or two and take in all that is the Chemung and Steuben County fairs!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Finger Lakes Wine Country is known for some of the best Rieslings in the world. The Seneca Lake Wine Trail offers a Passport so you can sample them yourself. If you visit the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, this is a terrific value. The Passport only costs $12.00 per person not including sales tax.
Here’s how the Riesling to Visit Passport works. Start at any participating winery and receive a free flight of wine. Make sure they stamp the appropriate space in your Riesling to Visit Passport.
There are twenty-seven participating wineries that you can visit with your Passport until August 31st. After this date, your Passport will no longer be valid and you can only use your Passport at each winery once. Since the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is so big, it will be a challenge to even make it to all of them before August 31st. Guests of the wine trail who visit at least twenty of the participating wineries can be entered in a drawing for a chance to win The Ultimate Cruisin’ Package. Local businesses like Echoes of The Glen Bed and Breakfast, Quality Winery Tours, Wildflower Café, Touch of Zen and Sunset View Creamery are the 2009 sponsors.
The ideal way to taste your way around Seneca Lake while visiting Finger Lakes Wine Country is with the Riesling to Visit Passport. You can get your own Passport by visiting SenecaLakeWineTrail.com or pick one up at participating wineries. Besides having over 34 active wineries, Seneca Lake Wine Trail has a distillery, two breweries and a meadery. Come and see for yourself, and of course be ready to taste with your Riesling to Visit Passport.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Even though everyone is venturing to Finger Lakes Wine Country for the world-class Riesling, meeting the people that started the wineries are well worth the visit too. Each winery in the region has their own story of how they ended up here. Some are lifers that grew up in the region. Others fell in love with the beautiful scenery and found the hospitality of the people here absolutely charming. That’s what happened to Amy and David Hoffman of Rooster Hill Vineyards and they haven’t looked back since.
And when I say look back, I mean Southern California where Amy was a former Marketing Executive for a Fortune 500 high-tech company and David a Financial Planner and Tax Advisor with a private practice. Hoping to find a simpler life in Finger Lakes Wine Country, Amy and David chose a beautiful Victorian home overlooking Keuka Lake. Across from their new home was a dormant vineyard. They started to ask around town about the property and quickly realized that this was a tremendous opportunity. Amy and David bought the land and transformed it into the beautiful property now recognized as Rooster Hill.
Since then, they have produced award winning wines and loving the company that they get in their tasting room. Amy is the General Manager of Rooster Hill Vineyards, overseeing all aspects of the operation. This means that she supervises the vineyard and winery operations and handles all the marketing activities. She also oversees soil management, vine establishment, nursery relationships, cultivation practices, spray programs, varietal selection and the procurement of equipment and managing vineyard personnel. Busy lady!
David is Vice President of Operations. He implements the business and strategic plans for Rooster Hill Vineyards by heading the financial management team. He also manages supplier relationships for the winery and tasting room while helping in crush and winery operations. He too is pretty busy, overseeing the retail operations, handling tasting room logistics and managing the personnel and merchandise selection.
Now a successful operation, they offer award winning wines, great conversation for their guests and a lot of fun events. July 29th from 7-9 pm is CHeers! Chocolate & Red Wine. Guests of this event can sample a variety of chocolates, learning how it’s made and the health benefits of chocolate and red wine. Reservations are required so call 315.536.4773. If you can’t make it to this one, another CHeers! Wine & Cheese is coming up. Wednesday, August 26th from 7-9 pm you can sample cheese from the area and all over the world. Of course, the wines will be paired with a selection of wines from Rooster Hill. This series will teach you the subtle differences in different cheeses and why some wines go with certain types of cheese. This event too is reservation required.
Whatever brings you to Finger Lake Wine Country, take the time to meet the people here. If they grew up here, they will have a lot of knowledge about the area. If they are new to the area or even just visiting, they will share in your enthusiasm that you will certainly feel the first time you see the sun setting over the lake.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
From Edible Aspen to Edible Austin and Edible Manhattan to Edible Memphis, the Edible Communities Publications are becoming a staple for any region that prides themselves on their local cuisine. Of course, the Finger Lakes now has its own Edible franchise thanks to Michael Welch and Zoe Becker. This husband and wife team, who moved to the Finger Lakes from the Big Apple, are in love with the local scene here in the Finger Lakes and have proven it.
Edible Finger Lakes is a magazine that is “dedicated to celebrating and promoting the regional food scene, with a focus on the many farms, vineyards, culinary artisans, chefs and home cooks, farmers’ markets, food shops, country inns, restaurants and cafes” according to their website. Michael and Zoe take the time to tell the intricate and intriguing stories behind the farms, vineyards, and restaurants. The great thing about this magazine isn’t just the delicious recipes or the beautiful imagery, but the intimate stories. You literally get a view from inside the trenches. The articles are compelling testimonies of blood, sweat, and tears – everything that goes into making a local business flourish.
One of my favorite articles was in the Winter 2008 issue, The State of New York Brewing. Now I may work for Finger Lakes Wine Country, but I am also a lover of a good pint. In this article I learned the ins and outs of the local breweries, and why I may enjoy a local brew better than the big name brands. Freshness is what it is all about, not only when talking about beer, but throughout the pages of Edible Finger Lakes. Think of it as a handy guide to your next culinary adventure.
I wish I could say that my fridge was overflowing with farm-fresh produce, eggs, and meat, (well, I wish I could say my fridge was overflowing period!) but I haven’t come to the forefront of the local movement just yet. It’s a work in progress, just like everything else. I can say that I proudly pour Finger Lakes wines and now find myself enjoying local beer, coffee, and cheese much more often than I used to. Not only are the local products much more fresh and tasty, but think of it as a huge economic boost for the region.
I think of reading Edible Finger Lakes as just another way to ‘go local’ and realize the treasure trove of local goodness that I call home. I encourage you all to subscribe. Just $28 for the year and as if you didn’t feel good enough about subscribing to such a fantastic publication, you also get to pick a charity (like Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty or Food Bank of the Southern Tier) to donate part of your subscription fee.
So next time you sit back and enjoy a glass of your favorite Finger Lakes wine, open up a copy of Edible Finger Lakes. I’m sure you’ll be very happy you did!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The Rockwell Museum of Western Art isn’t like other museums. First of all, it’s a Western Museum in Finger Lakes Wine Country, decorated in wild colors that give it a great authentic atmosphere. Second, they offer exciting events like Music, Margaritas and Sunsets on the Terrace. There is still an opportunity to enjoy an ice cold margarita while listening to some great local music. Museum members are free while guests to the museum pay $6.50...cheaper than the cost of a margarita at some places! Since it’s so popular, space is limited so you have to call (607) 974-2333 for reservations. The Lucky Ducks will be coming to perform at The Rockwell on Wednesday, August 12th, performing from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Everyday at the museum, there are a ton of things going on for kids. Explore the West Activity Booklet, Kids’ West Play Area and ArtPack activities are just a few suggestions. The Art Pack is especially cool because the program offers backpacks filled with creative activities, puzzles, games and more. Everything for the kids is interactive and a great way to get them interested in Western Art…it helps that they can dress up in old time costumes and hide out in a teepee!
Kids West Fest is coming up and is an awesome two-day event that’s free of charge. Museum admission and participation in activities are included. West Fest runs the third weekend in July to coincide with Shindig!, a community arts fest in the Gaffer District. West Fest begins July 25th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. If your kid happens to have chaps, cowboy boots or colonial wear, they are encouraged to wear them to really become a part of the Old West. Kids will make their own bandanas, pan for “gold” and participate in frontier games.
Once you’ve dropped off the kids, you can enjoy award-winning Santo Claro artist, Tammy Garcia’s, special exhibit. Garcia is best known for her visionary pottery turning glass and bronze into her signature artwork. Having seen this exhibit just last week, it’s truly something special to see and I recommend it highly. Garcia’s glass sculptures are so done so skillfully you can’t help but to become mesmorized by the cool bronze and delicate etchings. Also on display this summer is Sewing the Seeds: 200 Years of Iroquois Beadwork. These two exhibits are a part of the Summer of Glass celebration throughout Finger Lakes Wine Country. I also found the museum staff to be very friendly and knowledgeable about the building itself as well as the artwork. Did you know that The Rockwell building was bought for just $1.00? Oh and don't forget to visit the Trading Post to pick up some unique gifts, like authentic turquoise jewlery.
Regular summer museum hours are 9:00 to 8:00 pm everyday until September 7th. Kids, teens and museum members are free of charge while AAA members, students and senior citizens can enjoy a dollar off discount the regular cost for adults (20-54) of $6.50.
Decorated with the same Wild West feeling, The Cantina Restaurant offers an extensive menu with “the best of the west.” It’s right next door to the museum so museum-goers don’t have to walk far at all. My favorite meal is the Fiesta Chicken Wrap followed by churros dipped in warm chocolate sauce. The meals are delicious, prepared quickly and very affordable. Anyone that places an order through (607)974-TACO will receive a 20% discount. Just call between 4:00 and 6:00 pm.
Both the museum and The Cantina are on 111 Cedar Street in Corning.
Watch the video with Beth Manwaring as she takes us on a tour of the museum.
Monday, July 20, 2009
100 Things To Do In Finger Lakes Wine Country This Summer, #27 Visit The Spectacular Tasting Room at Heron Hill Winery
Congratulations to Heron Hill Winery as Travel and Leisure named them one of the “World’s Most Spectacular Tasting Rooms!” This is quite the honor considering there were only two wineries chosen in the United States and the other is in California. We're excited to say that a winery with this title is right here in Finger Lakes Wine Country!
For thirty years Heron Hill Winery has grown Riesling and Chardonnay grapes to produce elegant, world-class wines. The winery overlooks scenic Keuka Lake in Finger Lakes Wine Country. It’s no wonder that they earned their reputation as having one of the best tasting rooms in the world. The views from the vaulted tasting hall are gorgeous and the wine is delicious. Their collection includes Rieslings, Chardonnays, Vinifera reds and their popular Eclipse Series. The Ingle Vineyard Series, Late Harvest and Ice wines can be tasted at their Premium Bar.
As a little side note, I think it’s great that the owner, John Ingle, takes the green revolution seriously. He is committed to farming sustainably and producing natural, fresh and healthy products for the consumer aiding to the long-term goal of environmental balance.
Besides producing world-class wines and fulfilling their responsibility to go green, Heron Hill staff is also busy with the Blue Heron Café, wedding season and keeping up with their full event calendar. July 25th and every Friday after, you can enjoy live music on the terrace of the Heron Hill Café. This week Jared Campbell is up with a variety of musical talents going into the ever popular fall season in Finger Lakes Wine Country. You’re encouraged to just sit back, relax and enjoy great company, wine and scenery off of Keuka Lake. There is no admission cost and the music can be enjoyed from 12:30 to 4:30.
Heron Hill is participating “In Search of the Perfect Rosé.” It’s a sort of treasure hunt throughout Finger Lakes Wine Country where you taste rosé wine and record your experience. You then post your notes and pictures onto “In Search of the Perfect Rosé" event page. The winery with the most mentions will receive the “perfect rosé award" and the winning fan submission will receive a case (12 bottles) of his/her favorite Finger Lakes rosé. The deadline to submit is September 15, 2009. As your tasting all this wine over the Finger Lakes, keep a look out for the Painted Barrels exhibit. Heron Hill has a beautiful barrel by artist, Tambi Schweizer. Heron Hill is located on 9301 Rte. 76 in Hammondsport.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Art has always been one of my favorite things to do and appreciate. From the Rockwell Museum of Western Art to The Corning Museum of Glass and The Benjamin Patterson Inn Museum Complex, Corning locals and visitors to Finger Lakes Wine Country alike, have a lot of diverse choices as far as enjoying the arts. On July 25th and 26th, art is coming to the streets for those who like to admire and create. Shindig is an annual summer celebration of the arts that unfolds on Historic Market Street in Corning’s Gaffer District. From 10am to 5pm, festival-goers can enjoy a fine arts and craft show with a focus on all types of art.
Here’s what will be taking place. Studio Stu will be emcee on Saturday to introduce local and regional talent that will be performing at Centerway Square. Live entertainment will include a Blues Band, Celtic dancers, performance painting and poetry readings. On the 26th, a new addition of a live culinary demonstration will take place. Chefs from restaurants in The Gaffer District will feature signature items from their popular menus. Culinary expert, Chef William, will serve as emcee and guest chef. Other guest chefs will be representing Wegmans Food Markets, Grill 1-2-5 from the Radisson Hotel in Corning, The Cellar, Tony R’s Steak and Seafood and Holmes’ Plate. And by the way, I went to Holmes’ Plate the other day, and had the best burger and fries that I’ve had in a long time. But anyways, the two day event will also include a lot of things to keep the kids entertained.
Besides a student art contest, the Rockwell Museum of Western Art will be hosting Kids West Fest which kids just love. In front of Imagine That! Multi Media Services Business Printers is hosting a kids “Monster Mural.”
Participating restaurants will have outdoor café seating so you can enjoy the good weather and the atmosphere of the festival. This event is free and you might even leave with something from the annual art raffle. Corning is really a cool town in itself and this festival is too good to miss while in Finger Lakes Wine Country.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I was driving up Rte. 352 on my way to show one of my old college friends Historic Market Street in Corning. On our way there, we drove past the Elmira Drive-In theatre. Honestly, he got more excited over the fact that we had one than the actual event of seeing me. Putting that aside, I got to thinking about it and it is pretty cool that we still have a drive-in in the area. Not only do we have two inFinger Lakes Wine Country, but the price of going to the drive-in fits right between going to see a movie in theatres and renting one. And this way, you get to enjoy a summer attraction that has died out in other parts of the nation.
Richard Hollingshead had a vision of an open-air movie theatre where movie-goers could watch from their cars. He experimented in his own driveway by testing how to park the cars for increased visibility and testing the screen through different weather situations. (He used a lawn sprinkler to imitate rain). The first drive-in was of course, in his hometown of Camden, New Jersey. The price of admission was 25 cents per person.
Cost has gone up a bit since then but I still consider it an affordable and fun summer activity. At the drive-in in Bath, admission is $7, $5 for kids and open 7 days a week in the summer until Labor Day. With a new owner in charge, Mike Buck, the Bath drive-in is looking a whole lot nicer these days. Buck put more than $35,000 into the Bath landmark. He had the bathrooms and concession stand remodeled and the projector rebuilt. He replanted the grass in the viewing area so people could venture outside their cars to watch the movie. (It’s never as good in the backseat). Along with the renovations came a new name, “Papa’s Place Drive-In Theatre.” Buck credits the name to his 2 year old grandson. Located on state Route 415, the drive-in is the only one of its kind in Bath. Call (607) 776-3191 for show listings.
When drive-ins were most popular, there were more than 4,000 of them throughout the U.S.. Now there are about 400 left in the country. Out 30 in New York State, we have two in Finger Lakes Wine Country. Besides the Bath Drive-In, we have the Elmira-Drive In off Rte. 352. This drive-in sits on 20 acres of land, features 4 movies with two movies on each of the 2 screens. Adults here are $7 and kids are $3. The best part about this theatre is that they get first-run movies. They also have the largest screens in New York State at 50 by 100 ft.
Going to the drive-in ranks right up there with BBQs, swimming and a few of my other favorite summer activities. Call (607) 734-8599 for Elmira Drive-In show listings and times.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
As I walk by a lot of shops on Market Street in Corning in Finger Lakes Wine Country, I see a lot of signs encouraging you to “Shop Local.” The same thing is true in Hammondsport as I’m sure it is in a lot of locally owned businesses in the surrounding areas. Fox Run Vineyards is encouraging you to fight the recession by buying local wine. With award winning Rieslings all over the Finger Lakes, there is everyone reason to buy wine locally…and celebrate it.
Fox Run Vineyards is hosting the 17th Annual Garlic Festival. For the weekend of August 1st and 2nd, you can enjoy food with fresh garlic while listening to some live entertainment. There will be festival vendors and garlic farmers ready to sell, as well as cooking demonstrations by local Finger Lakes chefs and a flameworking demonstration from The Corning Museum of Glass. Admission is free and the festival runs from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Garlic Festival is one of the summer’s most anticipated culinary events in Finger Lakes Wine Country. Suggestions for wine and food pairings are offered as you indulge in a hearty garlic meal. The Garlic food tent is prepared by Chef Jeff Houck and his talented staff where meals will be ready for purchase.
The Fox Run beverage tent will be stocked with their award winning bottles of wine that they will be serving by glass or bottle. Soda, Iced Tea and water will also be available here. This year, there will be an additional wine satellite up the hill in front of the outside vendors. The Tasting Room and Café will remain open. The café has sandwiches, salads, soups and much more. The gift shop will also be open throughout the festival.
Cooking demos are done by renowned chefs from the Finger Lakes. Garlic lectures and demos will be delivered by experts in growing, storing and handling garlic. There will be over two dozen vendors at the festival and four different live entertainment acts. Fox Run Vineyards is located right off of Route 14 in Penn Yan. For more information on the festival, go to their web site for a complete list of events.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I keep making grand plans for summer picnics and going hiking but it seems that rain-free days are few and far between this summer. Finding fun things to do indoors can be a challenge. I think I’m more than ready to break away from my TV or computer, come the next heavy rainfall. Since I live in Finger Lakes Wine Country, I know there is plenty to do, it just took a litle research. So when someone told me about classes at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning, I was instantly intrigued.
All summer long, the Arts Center offers classes in Ceramics, Culinary, Dance, Fencing, Language, Multi-Arts, Music and the Visual-Arts. I think I should sign up for the culinary class due to equal variables of necessity and interest. Many of the classes are broken down for beginners all the way to an advanced level. It’s really like a haven for people refining the skills and talents they already have as well as a place for beginners to explore the arts.
The house itself is really a work of art. At 8,750 square feet, standing two and a half stories, the building could seem overwhelming. As soon as you step inside, the natural light pouring in from stained glass windows will entice you to step into the Bruce House further where you will see beautiful ornate architecture. Over the years, the 171 Cedar Arts Center has grown into an award-winning organization that has an outstanding faculty and devoted students. The Bruce House houses the Ballroom, four music studios, the Financial Office, the offices of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes and the Woodcock Ceramic Studio. This studio is a bright, clean space for exploring all aspects of the Ceramics Arts. The Drake House, on the corner of First and Cedar, houses dance, art, theater, music classes and an art gallery. The Houghton Art Gallery is having their 2009 Student Exhibition featuring art by students that have graduated from the visual arts curriculum at 171. The exhibition began July 6th and will run through July 17th with a reception that Friday at 5:50 pm.
The classes are affordable, diverse and really take into account that it can be intimidating for a new comer to plunge into a Center full of accomplished artists, actors and musicians. All of the classes offer a beginner level and are taught by faculty members with interesting profiles that can be viewed on the 171 web site.
I also think it’s great that they offer classes for parents and children to do together. Summer is the perfect time to get back into someone’s life and also take the time to see what you’re talents are. The Center is on 171 Cedar Street in Corning right in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country. You can call them at (607) 936-4647 for further information.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
As a recent college graduate, I thought that in turn for getting to wear the cap and gown…a few college staples would have to go. The unofficial uniform of jeans paired with the college hoodie, my favorite sneakers, worn right down to the soles and of course, the toga. After a quick tutorial on YouTube, I fashioned my toga out of bed sheets and was really pleased with the result. Thinking my toga days were over, I was quite excited to come across an event in Finger Lakes Wine Country that calls for toga attire.
Watkins Glen International is transforming their track into the biggest tasting room in Finger Lakes Wine Country for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. Pairing wine with gourmet food and shopping, makes for the ideal summer event. The festival starts off on Friday, July 17th with fireworks, wine and togas at “Yancey's Fancy Cheese Launch of the Lakes". Saturday and Sunday the Festival will open at 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, featuring live music, cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, culinary classes and of course…wine tasting. Over 80 wineries will attend the festival bringing over 500 wines for festival goers to taste. The festival has done several things to accommodate the festival goers this year. There will be a new food court, larger dining areas and more designated driver locations. If you’re planning on camping, campers have additional showers from last year and a concession stand. Ice, information, paramedic and security services are open all weekend and the event is handicap accessible.
If you’re not camping on the festival grounds or at all, many of the area hotels are providing shuttle service. There’s also plenty of free parking for designated drivers.
Designated drivers can enjoy numerous vendors with arts and crafts, jewelry and culinary delights. Live entertainment from three different stages compliment the great atmosphere, making it possible to enjoy the event without wine tasting. Ticket prices vary between groups, wine tasters, designated drivers and attendees under 21. You can order tickets online, or call toll free at 866-461-7223. If you’re from the area, drop by the Holiday Inn Express in Horseheads or Holiday Inn Riverview in Elmira.
Julie from The Christmas House, as excited as she is about Wine Fest this year, is having a “mini-celebration” by pairing Finger Lakes wines with her collection of delicious gourmet dips. The Christmas House is located on Elmira’s historic Maple Ave.
Celebrating good company, delicious food and wine is exactly how summer in Finger Lakes Wine Country should be.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
With the combination of one of the greenest summers I have ever seen and some building renovations, downtown Elmira is looking beautiful. And this weekend, a little extra splash of color will be added with the Second Annual Street Painting Festival taking place. With West Water Street as the canvas and chalk their only medium, artists of all ages will be gathering on July 11th and 12th. The exhibit is open to the public Saturday, 10am to 8:00 pm and Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The Street Painting Festival is a lot of fun and is great for the whole family. Lowes is having a Build and Grow Clinic and there’s even a chalk area designated for kids. In true festival tradition, there’s all the face-painting, ice cream, popcorn and balloons a kid could want.
This year, there is also the added bonus of getting to see the results of The Bottega Project. “Bottega” is Italian for workshop. Elmira’s Downtown Development team and local artist, Kathleen Huddle, have created the Bottega Project to teach young apprentices how to model after the Old Masters. Beginning in June, three artists started to teach six to eight apprentices how to create art work to model that of Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and several other Old Masters. As viewers, we will get to see the apprentices apply their skills to the Street Painting Festival.
The young artists seek to emulate the work of the Old Masters because that’s where street art began. In sixteenth-century Italy, street painting began with roaming artists and it has since been carried all the way over to Elmira, New York.
A part of another exciting exhibit will be at the festival. A local artist will be painting a wine barrel for the Painted Barrels exhibit that has been springing up all over the Finger Lakes. Throughout various wineries and other attractions, beautiful hand-painted barrels have been created to promote enthusiasm for wine, art and traveling throughout the Finger Lakes. To see some of the barrels for yourself or find out their locations, go to the Painted Barrels web site and even get a chance to own one yourself & enter a contest to experience Finger Lakes Wine Country.
Watch this short YouTube video clip.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Where in Finger Lakes Wine Country could you pick up a new set of pearls, have Polish cuisine and top off the day with a slice of Shoofly Pie made by Amish Mennonites other than The Windmill Farm & Craft Market? Since it’s opening more than twenty years ago, The Windmill has expanded to accommodate space for 200 vendors that generate a weekly attendance of 8,000 to 10,000 people a week! As a regular attendee in the summer, I love to scoop up some homemade baked goods and gifts as unique as the craftsmen that created them.
Inspired by a trip to a market in Pennsylvania in 1978, Bill, Ruth and Pat Gunderson, along with Ron Nessin, wanted to create a similar market in Yates County. Eight years later, a meeting was held to see if there was interest in opening up a market in which eighty people showed. June 27, 1987, the market opened with 64 vendors, 2 buildings and 25 outdoor vendors. At the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country, the 26-acres between Penn Yan and Dundee was a perfect choice.
It’s a challenge to find something my middle age parents like to do that will equally satisfy my sister and I, both in our twenties. The Windmill truly has something for everyone. My dad usually flocks towards the fresh produce. With about 15 producers, there are plenty of choices for fresh flowers, plants and vegetables. My mom loves the fabric and craft vendors that can be found in all of the four buildings. For my sister and I, we head to the County Maid Bakery for some whoopee pies. Once we put breakfast aside, we get to shopping. My favorite stops are the vintage jewelry and soap shops. Besides shopping, there are opportunities to take a horse and buggy ride, listen to live music and participate in wine tasting. King Ferry Winery is the oldest winery on the east side of Cayuga Lake that produces world-class Treleaven wines and at the market, you get to sample it. Some of the vendors, like Oh Fudge!, have been there since the beginning. (You can get a free sample there too!)
There are tons of special events going on all summer. Live music, a soldier/sailor’s jewelry sale and even a living history of the Civil War encampment are all scheduled from July through August. The web site is quite comprehensive with everything you need to know from driving directions to vendor information. To reach The Windmill by phone, call (315) 536-3032 or just stop by at 3900 State Rte. 14A in Penn Yan.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Yay! It’s finally here…The Painted Barrels Exhibit and Auction in Finger Lakes Wine Country begins today. I’ve been getting more and more excited as new barrels have been added to the web site. More than 30 barrels painted by local artists in the Finger Lakes are on showcase throughout the region. The fact that most of the barrels are located at a winery is even more reason for excitement. Once there, how could you not go into the tasting room? There’s no charge to look at the barrels and if you happen to fall in love with one, you can take place in an online silent auction that began today at 10:00 am. I already have my favorite picked out but it’s hard to pick just one!
Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association has extended an opportunity for fans of the Painted Barrels to win a Finger Lakes Wine Country Experience Package. When you go around to see the barrels on display, take a picture with the works of art. Compile your photos on a CD and send them into Finger Lakes Wine Country at 1 West Market Street in Corning, NY, 14830. You have plenty of time to visit all of the barrel sites as the auction will run through October 11th and the CD can be sent in up to October 16th.
For more details about the auction, go to the Painted Barrels web site. Even if you’re not planning on buying a barrel, it’s fun just to go see them throughout the region. It’s really a free art exhibit that adds something special to your already favorite spots in the Finger Lakes region.
Download the Painted Barrels Trail Map now.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
For a price equivalent to an ice cream sundae, you could go see where a famous person lived and worked, visit a performing arts center and visit a National Museum all aboard a trolley in Finger Lakes Wine Country. From Wednesday, July 1st through August 31st, “The Elmiran,” will be starting up its tours of Mark Twain Country. The tours depart every hour, on the hour, beginning at 10:00 am. From 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, the tours will take you to see where Mark Twain lived and wrote, visit the Maple Ave district, and drop in on Dunn Field, home of the Elmira Pioneers baseball team.
The study on the Elmira College campus is where Mark Twain wrote many famous works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, The Prince & the Pauper as well as several others. On the tour, the narrator details how Mark Twain and his wife Olivia, spent their time here in Elmira while on the way to see where they lived.
The Arnot Art Museum, Chemung Valley History Museum and the historic Near Westside District are also included on the tour. The trolley makes a stop to see where Fallen Union and Confederate soldiers from the Civil War and modern armed service veterans are honored at Woodlawn Cemetery. The trolley will also stop at the most notorious prison of war camp in the north, the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp.
Tours from 1:00 pm on will only go to Harris Hill and the National Soaring Museum where you can learn about aviation history and the beginning of motorless flight. The tours run through the full hour and the drivers narrating are knowledgeable, upbeat and friendly. Adults are $4 and children are $2 to get on board. Tickets and sign ups are at the Holiday Inn Riverview reception desk, located at 760 East Water Street Inn in Elmira. The tour also kicks off here. Call 607.734.4211 to reserve your spot on the trolley. Last year, more than 2,300 people rode the trolley during July and August!
July 1st also marks the re-opening of The Christmas House on historic Maple Avenue. They are celebrating their 26th season of being open by surprising every customer that stops in with a gift. Every 26th customer will get something special, just for stopping in. Before or after your trolley tour, The Christmas House would be a great stop for the whole family.