AWG Correspondent

Julie Grice

Hosmer Winery Photos

Hosmer Winery Review

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

Reviewed: July 21, 2013 by Julie Grice
Published: August 5, 2013

Hosmer Winery, situated on the west side of Cayuga Lake about 20 miles north of Ithaca, may not have an impressive appearance or stellar service, but the wines are stand-outs among the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail’s offerings.

The Place:  From the outside, Hosmer Winery looks like a cozy barn surrounded by vineyards and a few outdoor seats. But on the inside, the space is dark and somewhat nondescript. Despite the small size of the tasting room, it feels like there is a lot of empty space, in an almost unwelcoming way. The single small bar fills up quickly, though this was less of an issue on the quiet Sunday afternoon of our visit.

The Experience:  A staffer who was unloading the dishwasher greeted us when we first entered the tasting room. But even though we headed straight to the bar and there were no other tasters, we waited at least five minutes to be acknowledged or given a tasting menu, as the dishwasher appeared to take priority.

Once the tasting began, a few other tasters entered the scene, leaving us with long periods between pours. The person behind the bar seemed to struggle to balance her time between the different parties. However, she was very knowledgeable about the wine and able to make recommendations.

The Wines:  A tasting of five pours will only set you back $3. Alternatively, if you’d like to keep your UNCORK NY tasting glass, you can pay an additional $2 and keep that souvenir.

Hosmer Winery says they specialize in dry red wines, a statement that is unusual in the Finger Lakes region, but seems to hold true here. The new, limited release 2011 Pinot Noir is smooth and juicy, while the 2010 Lemberger is smoky and flavorful. The Lemberger’s strong flavor is likely due to the fact that Hosmer is one of the only wineries to use 100% Lemberger grapes, rather than a Lemberger-Cabernet Franc blend.

While the winery may consider its red wines to be their stars, they also offer several great white and blush wines. For instance, the 2011 Riesling is semi-sweet, crisp and tangy. This is the first year Hosmer has offered a Sauvignon Blanc, and they are perhaps the first winery on Cayuga Lake to do so. Finally, the Carousel blush wine is a stellar Catawba blend with a little sparkle, and its juicy, jammy flavors would make it a great after-dinner wine.

Insiders’ Tips:  Don’t be put off by the unremarkable, empty-feeling tasting room. The wines are well worth the stop at Hosmer Winery. Fans of dry red wines should be sure to try the 2010 Lemberger, while those who prefer their wines on the sweeter side should give the Carousel a taste.

Extras:  Compared to those of other wineries, the gift shop at Hosmer is very small, and fills only a single set of shelving. They offer local salsa, jelly, coffee, grapeseed oil and pickles, along with some non-local beauty products and sauces.

Address & Contact Information: 6999 State Route 89 Ovid, New York 14521. Telephone: 607-869-3393/88, email:, website: Tasting Hours: May-Oct: Mon-Sat 10:30-5:30, Sun 12:00-5:00; Nov-Apr: Mon-Sat 11:00-5:00, Sun 12:00-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance

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