AWG Correspondent

Julie Grice

Sheldrake Point Vineyard Photos

Sheldrake Point Vineyard Review

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

Reviewed: May 18, 2013 by Julie Grice
Published: May 26, 2013

The Place:  Sheldrake Point is at the quintessential Finger Lakes winery location, situated with a beautiful overlook of Cayuga Lake on one side and a view of the vineyards on the other. The winery grows all its own grapes, so the vineyards are expansive.

The tasting room is located in a sweet yellow building surrounded by a well-tended garden. Each plant is labeled with a little chalkboard sign, and the garden is so nicely laid out that it makes visitors want to rush to the nearest greenhouse to buy their own flowering bushes after their tasting. Inside, the tasting room is calm and quiet, and the bar runs the full length of the longest wall. For the busiest of days, there is a second tasting room in the back as well.

The Experience:  The servers are friendly and generous with their pours. Three dollars gives you five tastings plus a complimentary pour, which in May 2013 was the 2011 Pinot Gris. The staff seems knowledgeable, informing tasters not only of the flavor and origins of the wine, but also its history. At the end of a tasting, they may encourage you to walk out back to find the pond, which is described as “Thoreau-esque.”

Dogs are welcome inside, and the staff keeps a jar of treats behind the bar for their canine visitors.

The Wines:  Sheldrake Point is known for its Rieslings, Cabernet Franc and dessert wines. Cabernet Franc is the first red wine that took hold in the Finger Lakes region, our server informed us, and the 2010 Cabernet Franc was by far the best dry red we tasted. It was well-rounded with a little oak flavor and a smooth finish.

But where Sheldrake Point really shines is in its Rieslings. The 2011 Dry Riesling was crisp and tasted of Granny Smith apples with a hint of floral flavors. Even the staff tasted it with us, and it was clearly their favorite wine on the menu. Everyone in our tasting party ended up buying a bottle to take home. The 2011 Riesling was also excellent; the 2.4% residual sugar provides suppleness that perfectly balances the wine's crisp acidity.

Extras:  Like many of the region’s wineries, Sheldrake Point offers a variety of local food products to take home with your wine. However, their selection is a bit more varied than you usually find. On top of the usual salsa, cheese and maple syrup, you’ll find Finger Lakes salad dressings, peanut brittle, pickled garlic scapes and mustards.

Insiders’ Tips:  If you enjoy Rieslings, consider skipping the regular tasting and opt instead for the Riesling flight. For $8, you’ll sample the 2011 Dry Riesling and the 2011 Riesling from the regular menu, as well as the Reserve Riesling. The flight is paired with cheese as well. Alternatively, if you’re craving sweeter wines, try the dessert wine tasting, which is $5 for two pours.

If you have time, take a walk around the property after your tasting. The lake views are breathtaking.

Address & Contact Information: 7448 County Rd. 153 Ovid, New York 14521. Telephone: 607-532-9401, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Apr-Oct: 10:00-5:30, Nov-Mar: 11:00-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

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