AWG Correspondent

Julie Grice

Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery Photos

Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery Review

Regions: Finger Lakes AVA, Cayuga Lake AVA, New York

Reviewed: August 17, 2013 by Julie Grice
Published: August 27, 2013

Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery, located in the Cayuga Lake American Viticultural Area and next door to Thirsty Owl Winery, is housed in a large repurposed barn. The farmhouse-style interior is rustic, with gothic church lights strewn throughout the rafters.

The Experience:  Similar to most Finger Lakes wineries, the tasting room is busy on a Saturday afternoon, but the staff deals with the crowd well. The servers juggle the multiple groups well, and no parties are left waiting for too long to be greeted or get their next pour.

The tasting begins with the dry white wines, then transitions to the dry reds, and ends with the sweet wines. Six pours, which is about half the tasting menu, costs only $2. The staff is friendly, chatty and knowledgeable, sharing information about the science of wine making as they pour. They are honest with their recommendations, gracefully steering you towards the wines they consider to be standouts or that might appeal to your tastes.

The gift shop at Cayuga Ridge Estate focuses less on the food, and more on the kitchen accessories. There are some edible items, such as local pickles, barbecue sauce and cheese. But the bulk of the retail space is filled with wine, dishes, pottery, tea towels and other home goods.

The Wines:  Cayuga Ridge Estate specializes in dry wines, and regularly introduces new blends. The Cabernet Franc they were serving on June 30, though a vintage blend, had been released just the day before, while the 2012 Chancellor was already the second Chancellor release of the year. The Chancellor is one of the best wines on the menu, and has a mellow, round, full flavor that is reminiscent of a Pinot Noir.

On the white wine front, the 2011 Gewurztraminer is crisp and clean. The 2012 Riesling is acidic upfront, but finishes with a sweet essence of honey and peach. And the Dry Riesling is fruity and based off the 2011 harvest, with just a touch of residual sweetness contributed by a bit of 2010 Riesling that is blended in. As far as sweet wines goes, the Peach Essence is based on a Cayuga White wine, and the fruit infusion makes the peach flavor quite pronounced.

Extras:  Try to time your visit to Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery to fall on a Friday or Saturday so that you don’t miss out on a visit to The Copper Oven, the restaurant run by the daughter of the winery owners. The place specializes in wood-fired pizza and desserts, which, according to the menu, have “magical wine absorbing properties.” The cheese and charcuterie plates are filled with local meats and cheeses, and most of the ingredients used at the restaurant are from the Finger Lakes region. The servers are more than happy to open the bottle of wine you just bought at the winery as you sit on the deck and wait for your food.

Insiders’ Tips:  Visit Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery if you are a fan of drier wines. The only wines that can be categorized as sweet or even semi-sweet are fruit-infused with peach, cranberry or orange.

Address & Contact Information: 6800 State Route 89 Ovid, New York 14521. Telephone: 607-869-5158, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Mid-May to Mid-Nov: Sun-Thurs 10:30-5:30, Fri-Sat 10:30-8:00; Nov-May: Fri-Sun 10:30-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

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