AWG Correspondent

Julie Grice

Lakeshore Winery Photos

Lakeshore Winery Review

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

Reviewed: November 23, 2013 by Julie Grice
Published: December 4, 2013

Lakeshore Winery's strength lies in its welcoming, cozy atmosphere and friendly guided tastings. Though the wines aren't necessarily standouts, the winery does produce quality sweet wines and a couple very unique dry varietals.

The Place:  Lakeshore Winery is housed in a 19th century barn located on the western coast of Cayuga Lake. A trellised walkway covered in grape vines leads up to the front door, where a collie often greets visitors. The interior is cozy and covered in rustic wood. During the colder months, a fire blazes in the fireplace to keep things warm and add to the homey feel.

The Experience:  Lakeshore Winery takes a unique approach to their wine tastings. Rather than having individual groups come up to a bar to pick and choose 4-6 wines from the menu to try, the staff at Lakeshore wait until a group has been assembled, and then conducts a guided wine tasting. Everyone settles into the wooden rocking chairs, brought in from Lancaster County, to be walked through the menu. For each pour, guests select between a sweet and a dry wine. The pours may start out small, but seem to grow over the course of the tasting, and total out to 6 or 7 tastes for the $2 tasting fee.

The staff is talkative, telling plenty of entertaining stories about the names of the wines and providing details about the wines. Though the tasting may feel a bit rushed at times, the staff is friendly and accommodating, willing to answer questions or give you an extra taste or two.

The Wine:  Lakeshore Winery offers a balanced menu of sweet and dry wines. The sweet wines tend to be more balanced than the dry, which tend towards the acidic. The Uncle Charlie, or "Dirty Old Man," is a Cayuga-Catawba blend that is sweet and crisp, with a cranberry finish. Similarly, the Aunt Clara, or "Sweet Old Lady" is a similar blend, but is a white instead of a blush, and is the sweetest wine on the menu.

However, on the dry end of the scale, two wines are particularly notable for their uniqueness. The Dry Cayuga was initially made as an experiment. No other wineries in the Finger Lakes area makes a Dry Cayuga, so Lakeshore started out with a 70 case run, just to see how it would do. With a clean, crisp flavor reminiscent of a Pinot Grigio, the Dry Cayuga has become Lakeshore Winery's best-selling white wine, and they are now on their second run of double the size. The Corot Noir is based on a new hybrid grape from Cornell, the Corot, and the wine, which has a rich cherry finish, was released in summer 2013.

Lakeshore Winery also aims to demonstrate how food can change the flavor of a wine, and vice versa. The Uncle Charlie and Corot Noir tastes are served with spaghetti pretzels, while the Red Hot Mama and Cabernet Franc come with a chocolate fudge brownie sample.

Extras:  In addition to the usual wine accessories and winery-branded apparel, Lakeshore Winery offers several unique treats in their gift shop. Spaghetti-flavored pretzels, chocolate-covered Oreos and cheesecake will satisfy any grumbling stomachs, while the nostalgic in the group may wish to bring home a trivet, glass chimney or wine bottle candle-holder.

Insiders' Tips:  For the holiday season, consider picking up the holiday label of the sweet Red Hot Mama wine: Rudolph the Red. And if you are visiting during warmer weather, Lakeshore Winery does have a dock for those arriving via boat.

Address & Contact Information: 5132 State Route 89 Romulus, New York 14541. Telephone: 315-549-7075, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Jan-Apr: Sat-Sun 12:00-5:00; May-Dec 12:00-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance

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