AWG Correspondent

Julie Grice

Knapp Vineyards Winery & Restaurant Photos

Knapp Vineyards Winery & Restaurant Review

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

Reviewed: September 21, 2013 by Julie Grice
Published: October 17, 2013

Boasting an extensive, yet solid, tasting menu, Knapp Winery and Vineyard Restaurant is a worthwhile stop on any wine tour. That is, it is if you don’t mind some loud music with your wine.

The Place:  Located on the west side of Cayuga Lake in the New York Finger Lakes region, the exterior of Knapp Winery and Vineyard Restaurant looks cozy and deceptively small. Once past the gift shop in the entryway, the interior is festive. Holiday lights wind themselves around the burlap-covered tasting bars and wall-mounted wine barrels. Three bars leave plenty of room for a few large parties to taste at once. Superstition, a sweet little black cat with an even sweeter red blend as her namesake wanders the tasting rooms.

The Experience:  On first glance, Knapp may not appear to be a promising stop for a tasting. Loud music thuds throughout the tasting room, lending the place a rowdy, party atmosphere. Due to its spacious facility, Knapp appears to be an attractive stopping point for bachelor, bachelorette and other parties. As a result, Knapp is one of the loudest and liveliest wineries in the Finger Lakes.

Though the place is well staffed - employees aren’t scurrying from one end of the bar to the other, allowing them to spend more time with individual groups - the tasting felt oddly impersonal. Our server continually lost track of where each person was on their tasting and kept forgetting to pull certain wines. Despite the off-putting atmosphere, the quality of the wines quickly won us over.

The Wines:  With 37 wines on the tasting menu, it can be difficult to choose the six pours that come with each $3 tasting. On the dry end of the spectrum, try the 2011 semi-dry Gewurztraminer. Voted the "Best New York Gewurztraminer" by the Beverage Tasting Institute, it has a spiced tangerine flavor. The 2011 Lemberger, while not overly dry, is a bit bland. Consider skipping it in favor of the Pasta Red. Made with Baco Noir and De Chaunac grapes, it is bold and a bit spicy, and would be good served both at room temperature or chilled. Also try Pasta Red’s fruitier and sweeter cousin, Rosabella, also made in part with Baco Noir grapes.

Fans of fruit wines should brace themselves when it comes to Knapp’s options. Both the Black Cherry and Jammin’ Strawberry are intensely sweet and jammy, comparable to a liqueur.

Extras:  The gift shop is well-stocked with local honey, oil, jam, caramel corn, pumpkin seeds and more, along with the typical wine accessories. Don’t miss the jams made with Knapp’s own fruit wines. The Knapp Vineyard Restaurant offers seasonal, local fare. The options range from smaller dishes like brie en croute and mini salmon cakes, to full entrees like the PBJ chicken sandwich or duck burger.

Insiders’ Tips:  Keep an eye on Knapp’s event calendar, as they often host elaborate wine dinners, such as October 2013’s “Up in Smoke” dinner, featuring smoked dishes paired with Knapp wines.

Address & Contact Information: 2770 Ernsberger Rd. Romulus, New York 14541. Telephone: 607-869-9271/80, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Apr-Nov: 10:00-5:30; Dec-Mar: Mon-Sat 10:30-5:00, Sun 11:30-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

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