The Perfect Pairings: Where to Sip Wine & Stay in Finger Lakes Wine Country

By Elaine N. Schoch,

Who says 50 is old? Not when it comes to wine regions! The Finger Lakes wine country is a young area, but its future was set into motion nearly two-million years ago when a glacier carved its way through the area leaving behind rich soil, 11 lakes and the perfect setting for growing some of the finest grapes in the United States.

Finger Lakes Wine Region

Sit down and sip away. Photo from Unsplash.

Named by Wine Enthusiast as one of the Top 10 Worldwide Wine Destination, along with numerous other accolades, the Finger Lakes wine country isn’t just growing grapes. Today, it’s growing in popularity as an affordable and beautiful wine country destination. A region that wine lovers and those who simply like to sip their way through the weekend should not miss.

Where to Sip Wine & Stay in Finger Lakes Wine Country

With more than 120 wineries to visit in the Finger Lakes wine country and 200 accommodations, planning a trip can seem daunting. However, we’ve pulled some unique places to stay in Finger Lakes wine country, nearby wineries not to miss and which of the three Finger Lakes wine trails to follow based on your stay.


Belhurst Castle

Geneva, NY

Belhurst Castle Guest Room Finger Lakes

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Overlooking Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region, Belhurst Castle is home to the Belhurst Winery. Built in the 1800s as a private residence, now turned luxury getaway, the property does an exquisite job blending 19th-century charm with cozy, modern-day comfort. The historic castle still hones its original beamed cathedral ceilings, mosaic-tiled fireplaces, and period décor helping you feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time.

Wine on Tap Finger Lakes Hotel

You can begin your wine tasting upon arrival by heading to the free-flowing wine tap located in the lobby or booking a tasting at the hotel’s winery. For dinner, take part in a wine and dinner pairing at Edgar’s Steakhouse. If you’re looking for a more casual setting, head to Stonecutter’s inside the castle.

After a long day on the trail – or before you set out to explore the Finger Lakes – head to the Isabella Spa-Salon for a little indulgent pampering. End the day with a romantic evening stroll alongside the picturesque lakeside setting.

Nearby Wineries Not to Miss
Ravines Wine Cellars
Bellangelo
Fox Run Vineyards

 

Nearest Wine Trail
Belhurst Castle is on Seneca Lake Wine Trail, providing easy access to the 35 wineries along the trail.


The Gridley Inn

Waterloo, NY

Gridley Inn Finger Lakes Guest Room

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In the heart of Waterloo you’ll find The Gridley Inn, a charming Victorian home turned Bed & Breakfast. Built in 1869, the Inn and its five guest rooms hold true to the mid-19th Century era with its elegant décor and ambiance. Each morning guests enjoy a three-course breakfast prepared by owner and chef Madison Ulmer, before setting out to explore. Situated in between the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail and Keuka Lake Wine Trail, The Gridley Inn makes for the perfect home base for your wine excursions.

When the day comes to a close, pull up a chair on the grand front porch to watch the sunset while reminiscing with other guests about the day’s adventures. Later in the evening, take a stroll down Main Street and grab dinner at one of the local’s favorites, Ciccino’s.

Nearby Wineries Not to Miss
Montezuma Winery & Hidden Marsh Distillery

 

Nearest Wine Trail
The Gridley Inn sits between the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail and Seneca Lake Wine Trail, you decide which direction you’d like to go.


Inns of Aurora

Aurora, NY

Hotels near Finger Lakes Inns of Aurora

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On the banks of Cayuga Lake, you’ll find a luxurious escape – The Inns of Aurora. This lakeside retreat offers four distinctive properties, all steeped in a colorful history and recently restored to its elegant past. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the four properties each have their own character – the Federal Style Aurora Inn, Italianate limestone E.B. Morgan House, vibrantly-decorated Rowland House and eclectic Wallcourt Hall. 

Personal touches can be seen throughout each property, including a nightly turndown service and resident innkeepers who prepare a wine and cheese reception each afternoon. In the evening, you can dine on award-winning cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Patrick Higgins at the Aurora Inn Dining Room or choose a more laid-back meal at Fargo Bar & Grill.

Inns of Aurora Lake View porch

Many of the intimate guestrooms feature fireplaces and balconies overlooking Cayuga Lake, making for a picturesque setting. Each day begins with organic, fair-trade coffee and freshly baked scones, either delivered to your room or enjoyed in one of the cozy common areas. After a day on the wine trails, you can head back to The Inns of Aurora for some lakeside fun – kayaking, canoeing, swimming or a private boat ride. If you prefer a more low-key way to end the day, pull an Adirondack chair up to one of the lakeside fire pits to enjoy a glass of wine while taking in a panoramic sunset.

Nearby Wineries Not to Miss
Bet the Farm Winery
Montezuma Winery & Hidden Marsh Distillery

 

Nearest Wine Trail
Cayuga Lake Wine Trail


Mirbeau Inn & Spa

Skaneateles, NY

Bathroom Mirbeau Inn and Spa

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Mirbeau Inn & Spa is a luxury boutique resort set in the storybook village of Skaneateles, NY. Named by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the Top 20 Small Resorts in the U.S., the Mirbeau Inn & Spa is luxury through and through. The French-inspired inn was designed to evoke the warmth and comfort of a private French wine country estate to give you the feeling you have truly “gotten away”. Even its gardens will transport you into a living Monet painting. The guest rooms maintain the French-inspired theme featuring a cozy fireplace, oversized French style soaking tub and large European tiled walk-in shower.

The Mirbeau Inn & Spa incorporates wine into all elements of the guest experience, even its world-class spa. If you venture to the submerged spa you can indulge in the Honey & Wine Wrap, which includes a warm blend of wine and honey providing intensive moisture to the skin. The Crushed Cabernet Scrub body treatment is another option, which uses a blend of grape seed, honey and brown sugar to invigorate and refine skin while draining excess toxins.

Mirbeau Inn Lake

At The Wine Bar & Bistro you can enjoy dinner and interact with the self-service wine station featuring 24 unique wines, many of which are local wines from the Finger Lakes region. It’s an excellent way to sample local wines all in one sitting.

Nearby Wineries Not to Miss
Anyela’s Vineyards
White Birch Vineyards Tasting Room

 

Nearest Wine Trail
Thirty-minutes from Mirbeau you can jump on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.


Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars

Dundee, NY

Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars

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Glenora Wine Cellars opened its doors in 1977 as the first winery on Seneca Lake. The winery is also home to the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars, a unique winery resort in the Finger Lakes. Each of its 30 rooms features a private patio or balcony that overlook vineyards and Seneca Lake, making it the perfect place to stay in Finger Lakes.

For a more secluded stay, book one of the two-bedroom Vineyard Cottages located alongside the vineyards. Overnight stays include a glass of sparkling wine at check-in, a bottle of Glenora Wine, plus complimentary wine tastings at the winery. Beyond wine, you can enjoy regional cuisine featuring seasonal, locally-sourced menus at Veraisons Restaurant, located at the Inn.

Other Nearby Wineries Not to Miss

Fulkerson Winery

Bloomer Creek Vineyard

Herman J. Wiemer Vineyards

 

Nearest Wine Trail

Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars is on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. With more than 35 wineries on this trail, you may need to plan a few weekend getaways to the Inn.

Which pairing will you be raising your glass to?