Our most popular Seneca Lake tour focuses on three wineries that produce beautifully crafted vinifera wines on the eastern shores of Seneca Lake, along with a unique tasting and lunch experience.
Experience! Renowned Winemaking in the Finger Lakes
- Sunday - Friday Shared Rate Per Person
Experience! Renowned Winemaking in the Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes has arrived! Throughout the wine industry the Finger Lakes is being recognized as one of the world’s top wine regions for rieslings. Nothing demonstrated this more when two of the worlds most notable winemakers decided to make their mark by planting vineyards and making wine on the east side of Seneca lake.
This tour celebrates the coming of age of Finger Lakes wines by visiting the estates of two renowned winemakers: Paul Hobbs and Louis Barruol. Paul Hobbs, known as one of the world’s “flying winemakers” owning 7 wineries around the world, and having consulted for scores more, is originally from upstate NY and has come home to New York with the opening of Hillick & Hobbs.
Louis Barruol is one of the most celebrated winemakers in the Rhone Valley of France. The 14th generation winemaker at his family’s winery, Chateau de Saint Cosme, not only elevated the domaine to prominence, but also the entire Gigondas appellation in which it resides, serving as the benchmark of wine quality in the region. In 2011 Louis Barruol and managing partner Rick Rainey released their first vintage of Forge Cellars wines, and upon doing so immediately set the bar for terroir driven riesling in the Finger Lakes.
We start our morning at Forge Cellars, where guests experience a guided communal tasting in the winery’s Summer House, a classroom style atmosphere over looking the estate vineyard. A pre-determined selection of terroir-driven bone-dry Rieslings along with Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc will be shared and discussed, with an emphasis on the region’s geology and the diverse collection of vineyards they work with on southeast Seneca Lake.
After the tasting, we will walk down to Forge’s Salon – a stunning indoor/outdoor lounge space – where you will relax and enjoy a prepared assemblage of artisanal foods including toasted baguette, local cheese, imported Jamón and other seasonal items. Guests will have the option to select wines from Louis Barroul’s wineries in France, to enjoy with your food.
With appetites sated, we will head to Hillick & Hobbs, where one of the vineyard team will host you on an immersive tour of the vineyard, a 10-year work in progress that pushes the boundaries of what is possible when grape growing in the Finger Lakes. Afterwards, experience a guided flight of Hillick & Hobbs currently released vintages alongside wines from Paul’s California winery, Crossbarn, or his collaborative projects around the world from Argentina’s Viña Cabos to Armenia’s Yacoubian-Hobbs. The wines will be accompanied with local cheese and charcuterie to emphasize the qualities that make them exceptional food pairing wines.
For our final stop, we will visit Red Newt Cellars for a personal and private tasting with Owner and Founder, Dave Whiting or lead wine associate Heather O’Grady-Evans. Share three sets of side-by-side verticals of specially-selected wines from the Red Newt library. Learn about the evolution of the Finger Lakes through 25 years of winemaking at Red Newt Cellars. Through this tasting you will come to understand the hard work and passion behind the community of Finger Lakes winemakers over the past 40 years that has brought the region to where it is today.
A tour designed for our most discerning guests, this experience will leave you with an entirely new perspective on Finger Lakes winemaking.
- All-inclusive wine tour experience for 2-7 guests
- Fully-guided tour with our professional tour guide
- Transportation provided in our 7-passenger Mercedes Metris
- Fully-curated, enhanced tasting experiences at each winery
- Featured food and wine pairings
- Added services including water and snacks on board your vehicle
The following locations are available for pick up and drop off on our Shared Tours:
- 9:45 AM @ La Tourelle Hotel & Spa, 1150 Danby Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850
- 10 AM @ Hotel Ithaca, 222 S. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY 14850
- 10:45 PM @ Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel, 16 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
On private tours, we provide custom pick-up and drop-off at your preferred location (additional fees may apply).
- Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or special considerations, and we will do our best to accommodate.
- All guests are required to verify they have read and understood our Health and Safety Policies and Procedures, and sign an Assumption of Risk waiver to ensure the safety to all on board.
- For more information about our Health and Safety Agreement, please CLICK HERE
Guest Minimum and Maximum on Shared Tours
All Shared Tours require a minimum of 4 total guests in order to run the tour at the listed price. These tours will typically consist of 2-3 separate parties joining together in a shared experience, offering exceptional value for couples and small groups.
In the event that the 4 guest minimum is not met, we will contact you one week prior to the scheduled date where you will be offered the following options depending on the number of guests currently booked:
- Upgrade to a private tour just for you
- Reschedule the tour for a future date at no penalty
- Cancel the reservation and receive a full refund