Take the Scenic Route to History


The history of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail begins with women. In 1981, Mary Plane, of Plane’s Cayuga Vineyards (now called Cayuga Ridge Estates), looked at her empty parking lot and knew if her fledgling winery was to succeed, she needed to fill it. What could she do to entice people to visit? Would people come if there were more to do, more to see? Thus began Mary’s vision of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.

Mary Plane gathered the support of Lucas Vineyards, Americana Vineyards, and Frontenac Point Vineyard & Estate Winery. But four unknown wineries weren’t enough of a draw, so Mary solicited participation from other attractions along and near route 89. In 1983, Lakeshore joined the group and all five wineries banded together and established the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail and helped produce the first brochure. This first brochure was audacious – a quote ”The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail offers a variety that is unmatched in wine touring and tasting. Nowhere else will travelers experience such a multitude of premium wines, attractions, comfortable lodging, fine restaurants, friendly people, and splendid scenery.”

35 years later the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail has done just that: with 14 member wineries, and over 75 different local businesses listed in the brochure, Americas First Wine Trail certainly has lived up to its reputation.

About the wineries:

Montezuma Winery & Hidden Marsh Distillery, member since 2001: We are proud to serve you award winning fruit, honey, and grape wines. With over 30 wines ranging from dry to sweet, there is something to suit everyone’s palate. Hidden Marsh Distillery has premium liquors, brandy, whiskey, bourbon and vodka. Don’t forget the homemade fudge and extensive gift shop. www.MontezumaWinery.com

Varick Winery & Vineyard, member since 2005: Experience wines paired with complimentary fare. Sample over 100 food items at the country store. Enjoy scenic views of the vineyard, cherry orchard and Cayuga Lake. At Varick Inn, relax and rejuvenate at an 1833 historic home. www.VarickWinery.com

Swedish Hill Winery, member since 1986: Experience over 30 different wines ranging from classically produced Rieslings and Cabernet Francs to delicious blends that showcase the flavors of the region.  A visit with Doobie, our pet miniature donkey and our new miniature horse, Sven is a must-see! www.SwedishHill.com

Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant, member since 1984: Sit inside or on our vineyard trellised patio overlooking our landscaped gardens and vineyards. Our hearty dishes include classic burgers with unique flavors, alongside special entrees using regional products. Combine this setting with Knapp’s premium wine for an authentic Finger Lakes experience. www.KnappWine.com

Goose Watch Winery, member since 1998: For over 20 years, we’ve produced distinctive premium wines with a concentration on off-the-beaten path varietals and styles not found on most other Finger Lakes wineries. Sample hard to find European varietals, or more traditional wines from our picturesque setting overlooking Cayuga Lake. www.GooseWatch.com

Buttonwood Grove Winery, member since 2004: Winner of the 2017 Governor’s Cup! Come explore our beautifully landscaped grounds and lake view while tasting some of our many award winning wines.  A renowned venue for weddings, we also have on-site cabins for overnight lodging. www.ButtonwoodGrove

Toro Run Winery, member since 2014: The winery sits on 64 acres 530 feet atop a glacier-carved hillside overlooking Cayuga Lake. We serve world class Finger Lakes wines, including our signature estate grown Gruner Veltliner. Toro Run offers all the beauty of Finger Lakes with a Spanish flair. www.ToroRunWinery.com

Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery and The Copper Oven, member since 1983: Wood-fired pizzas at the copper oven are a mouthwatering delight. Our pies cook next to a crackling wood fire at 750 degrees in two minutes. Check our website for up to the day menu planning and special events. Don’t forget to sample fine wine in our rustic barn tasting room. www.CayugaRidgeWinery.com www.SlowFoodOnTheGo.com

Thirsty Owl Wine Company and Bistro, members since 2001: The Thirsty Owl Winery and Bistro, with its own 41 acres of vineyards overlooking Cayuga Lake, offers indoor, outdoor, and private seating for larger groups. Enjoy our award-winning wines and delicious local fare. www.ThirtyOwl.com

Hosmer Winery, member since 1985: Founded on the principle that great wine starts in the vineyard, the first vines were planted on the family farm in 1972. Today, 70 acres of vineyards are producing some of the finest fruit in the Finger Lakes, used to make 100% estate grown, award winning Hosmer wine. www.HosmerWinery.com

Lucas Vineyards, member since1983: Three generations of fun-loving Lucas family invite you to experience Cayuga Lake’s oldest winery.  Engaging wine tastings, beautiful gardens and one of the area’s most unique gift shops are just a few happenings at Lucas. Wine slushies that can’t be beat! www.LucasVineyards.com

Americana Vineyards & Crystal Lake Café, member since 1983: Taste our award winning wines, try some homemade fudge, and visit our new taproom/Beer Garden featuring 10 Bacchus Brewing Co. beers on Top. Dog and family friendly. The Crystal Lake Cafe offers fresh, locally-sourced, from-scratch gourmet comfort food in a laid-back casual atmosphere year-round – inside or   when the weathers nice. Enjoy lunch, dinner, our Friday Nite Pizza Party, and a Sunday brunch that’s not to be missed! www.AmericanaVineyards.com

Six Mile Creek Vineyards, member since 1993: Nestled on the southwest slope of one of Ithaca’s most picturesque settings, Six Mile Creek Vineyard is a boutique winery and distillery specializing in the production of premium wines and spirits. Panoramic valley view’s capture the beauty of the vineyard, pond, and gardens. www.SixMileCreek.com

Long Point Winery, member since 2001: The winery sits on 72 acres of land overlooking the east side of beautiful Cayuga Lake. Guests are treated to a tasting of the finest dry red and white wines and the spectacular views that the tasting room provides. www.LongPointWinery.com

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