Snapshots from the 2011 Harvest in the Finger Lakes, NY

In Vineyards and Cellars

Snapshots from where wine comes from.

[Photographs: Maggie Hoffman]

The grape harvest has begun in the Finger Lakes!

Thanks to Upstate Wine Company, which distributes many Finger Lakes wines to restaurants and wine shops in the NYC area, I had the chance to visit a handful of vineyards this week (and taste more than a handful of wines.) Highlights of the trip included sampling grapes on the vine, learning about harvest-time decision making from local winemakers, and discovering quite a few excellent bottles from this often underestimated region.

Check out the slideshow for some grape-smashing wine country fun and a peek behind the scenes in the wineries »

If you think you don't like New York wine, you haven't tasted widely enough. Look out for riesling and lemberger, which is what many wineries in the Finger Lakes call blaufränkisch. My personal favorite of the dry rieslings was the mineral-and-tart Red Newt Cellars' Lahoma Vineyards Riesling, and the semi-dry and late harvest riesling from Sheldrake Point.