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6 Reasons Why the Finger Lakes is the BEST wine region in the United States

Finger Lakes Wine Country is the best wine region - ok sure I haven't visited them all, so I've relied on data to round out my hypothesis.

I visited the Finger Lakes for the first time in Fall of 2016 for a long weekend. I visited for the second time in Spring of 2017 - by Monday of that weekend, I'd put in an offer for a house (now known as Brookside Cottage in Interlaken). The following Spring of 2018, I purchased Mill Creek Cabins and made the Finger Lakes my future home. After 4 years of driving back and forth from NYC , I purchased New Park Event Venue & Suites and moved here permanently. To say I'm passionate about the Finger Lakes is an understatement. I believe this is the best place in the world and I'll find ways to prove it over and over again!

Reason #1: Volume

We have over 140 wineries in the Finger Lakes region - more than any other wine region in New York. We have double the number of wineries than North Fork of Long Island. This region is known for its Rieslings and Cab Franc, while North Fork is known for its Merlot. There are 11,000 acres of vineyards, compared to 3,000 acres in North Fork.

Reason #2: Quality

Finger Lakes wines are regularly featured in Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines.

Wine Spectator says, "A laser focus on Riesling has been paying off for producers in New York’s Finger Lakes, where quality soars higher with each vintage. Thanks to a new generation of vintners, the best Finger Lakes Rieslings can compete with versions made anywhere else in the world, as this week's selection shows."

What's so great about the Finger Lakes is that it's YOUNG still compared to California and European wines - so every year it gets better and better. That's why I invest my life savings in real estate here - the Finger Lakes is all upside!!

Photo credit: Luke Hodd

Reason #3: Approachability

Wine Tourism is something I got into for the first time in the Finger Lakes. I came here and fell in love with Cab Franc and the changing leaves. After this, I decided I loved wine tourism and I traveled to several other wine regions, including North Fork, Napa Valley, and Willammette Valley. While I enjoyed wine tourism overall, I kept coming back to the Finger Lakes as my favorite. It's casual - you can wear jeans literally anywhere, including the nicest vineyards and the best restaurants. Now post-pandemic, I've downgraded to yoga pants most days and I have yet to be turned away, lol.

Reason #4: Affordability

Finger Lakes wine is affordable for the quality you receive.

I personally have found wine in the Finger Lakes to be 20-40% less expensive for comparable (to my palate) wines in North Fork. This may have to do with the lower cost of real estate in the Finger Lakes compared to North Fork.

Photo Credit: Wine Folly

Reason #5: Dog-friendly

It's also an extremely dog-friendly area. Dogs are welcome outside at almost all wineries. Dogs are welcome inside at some wineries - if they serve food they can't allow dogs in due to health codes. There are some wineries that have their own winery

dog and outside dogs aren't allowed for that reason. While that may be disappointing for people who want to bring their dogs in, I'm happy as long as there are dogs around!

Reason #5: Waterfalls

Wine mixes well with waterfalls. Frozen or flowing, waterfalls bring the ROMANCE to the Finger Lakes! There are many that you can hike to and a few you can just walk on up to with no sneakers needed!

Photo Credit: Jamie Melville

Reason #6: The People

The Finger Lakes is the middle of a venn diagram of hippies, academics, and farmers. I came here for the wine, and I stayed for the people. As soon as I got here, I was thrust into the community, and encouraged, and supported, and befriended. I've lived in over 15 locations, including cities, suburbs, and small towns, domestically and internationally...and none have embraced me quite as fast or as thoroughly as the Finger Lakes community.

Photo Credit: Cathy Shipos, Tompkins Weekly

Just one woman's opinion! Visit us in the Finger Lakes and decide for yourself!


Sara Abernethy



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