Saturday, November 19, 2005

Favorite Places (continued)

Pleasant Valley Wine Company - Hammondsport NY (south end of Keuka Lake) Established in 1860 as U.S. Bonded Winery No. 1, Pleasant Valley Wine Company holds an amazing amount of history within its stone buildings. It is a little off the main Keuka Lake Wine Trail, but it is well worth finding this hidden gem. They offer tours, a very nice museum, a beautiful tasting room, and very affordably-priced wines. If you are a champagne drinker, this is where the famous Great Western champagnes were made.
Here are my tasting notes from last weekend: Sparkling Burgundy, $8.99, 3.6% Residual Sugar, Good fruit up front (Concord and Geneva Red) with a bubbly sparkle in the middle and finishing dry, overall very balanced, I believe this would be excellent with Thanksgiving turkey and I bought several bottles so that I could find out. Chardonnay, $8.99, 0% Residual sugar
Dry and not enough upfront fruit for me, I prefer at least a touch of sweetness, just not my cup of tea (or glass of wine, as it were). Pink Catawba, $6.99, 6.9% Residual Sugar, Classic Pink Catawba tanginess with a sweet finish. Port, $8.99, 12% Residual Sugar, I must admit that this is one of my favorite ports. Most ports are just too sweet and alcoholly (if that is a word) for me (believe it or not), but this port has a fruity sweetness into a slightly dry, caramel finish. Very smooth for a port. Don't get me wrong, it still has very high alcohol content (I believe the server said it was fortified with brandy), but it is much mellower than most ports I
have tasted. I spent the cool evening sipping on this port (and my wife said I was feeling happy). I know I sure felt happy. I did not taste them this time, but my wife and I also like their Sauterne and their Sherry. For you bargain shoppers out there, they also have a very refreshing line of "Arbor Mist style" flavored wines for just $3.99 a bottle under their Autumn Frost brand. If you are not near Keuka Lake, they also have tasting rooms in Watkins Glen (Seneca Harbor) and on the east side of Seneca Lake (Caywood Vineyards).

One of the artifacts from almost a century and a half of Finger Lakes wine history in their museum. (click on pictures to enlarge)

Beautiful stained glass on the ceiling of their tasting room. (click on pictures to enlarge)


Anonymous said...

I haven't made it to this one yet, but it sounds great. Would like to check out the museum. And the port - like you I find them to be to "alcoholy". My husband on the other hand loves all ports. Sounds this might be a good one for me.


Finger Lakes Weekend Wino said...

I'm sure port "purists" might dismiss this port, but it fits my taste and I find it is a great after dinner wine (especially on a cold evening).

Anonymous said...

I think we used to drink Great Western Winery Pink Catawba when we played Monopoly in college back in the 60's. We bought it in Billings, Montana and I have searched for it ever since.

It was great!