Inspire Moore Winery has become famous among my family and friends for an odd reason; their bathroom has one of the best views. Seriously. When you look out the window you see rolling hills, lush vineyards, and a picturesque red barn. I will admit I’ve even been there once just to use the bathroom. Don’t worry, they also have an interesting and tasty selection of wines for you to try.
Inspire Moore Winery is located at the south end of Canandaigua Lake in the town of Naples, about an hour drive. The winery itself is in a historic building that was once a tavern, then a stagecoach stop and eventually carriage house before being turned into the winery. The history is clear in the oak beams and harwood that dominate the space. The winery was founded by Timothy Moore, and sustainability is priority- you can see it in their bottles which don’t have the plastic capsule around the neck and mouth of the bottle, and have the logo and wine information screen printed onto the bottle rather than waste paper for a label.
Wine Tasting at Inspire Moore
For a tasting fee of $5, I was able to sample six different wines. I also paid an extra dollar to try one of their limited release wines- which was totally worth it. (Tasting tip: If you’re going with friends, choose different wines for your flight. That way, you get to try a broader range. Often the amount they pour is more than enough for two people to have a couple good sips.)
They were offering a nice range of dry and sweet wines, including red, white and rosé. If you’re not interested in wine, they do have two New York beer taps, which while we were there were pouring Climbing Bines and Captain Lawrence Brewing. We stuck with wine, and sampled many of there offerings. Some of my favorites, and the most interesting were these:
2016 Rhythm- Gruner Veltliner: As the tasting room manager at Dr. Frank’s once told me in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, “It’s Gruner, like Tumor”. This unique wine has notes of citrus and stone fruit on the nose, with high acidity and a spiciness that lingered on the palate.
2015 Gratitude: This wine is a blend made from barrel fermented Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. It isn’t aged in oak, however, so if you dislike oak you may still enjoy this wine. It was one of our favorites from the tasting. The wine smelled like apple, vanilla, and pear, and was slightly floral. It had a nice lingering mouthfeel, but enough acid to make sure it didn’t get too cloying.
2016 Grace- Dry Blaufränkisch Rosé: Cherry, strawberry and watermelon dominate the nose of this fragrant wine, and it finishes out with a clean minerality and acid. Rosé wine is super hot right now, so its fun to try one made from an unexpected grape (though I didn’t get the meatiness and spice I usually expect from Blaufränkisch.
2014 Wisdom- Cabernet Franc: I’m a sucker for a good Cab Franc, it was the first type of red wine I ever liked and it has always stuck with me. The nose had notes of black cherry, green pepper, and something vegetal or herbaceous that I couldn’t identify. These flavors continued onto the palate with a big chewy tannin and nice cleansing acidity.
In addition to their normal wine offerings, they have a section for their ‘Reserve’ wines, which are limited in production. These cost an extra dollar to taste. We absolutely love Blaufränkisch, and it was totally worth the extra dough.
2013 Blaufränkisch: The wine had surprisingly floral nose, along with dark berries, leather, and nice meaty notes. When sipped it has a weight and depth to it that makes it a hearty red wine to sample, which is balanced out by a big chewy tannin. We compared this side by side with their 2014 Change, a Blaufränkisch with 5% Cab Franc added. While the two had similar notes, the 2013 had a depth of flavor and complexity that made it stand out. You can see in the picture, even the color between the two was dramatically different (the deep purple ruby of the 2013 which was in the purple lettered glass, versus the lighter purply-red of the 2014 in the green lettered glass).
Planning Your Visit
Hours: The hours that the tasting room is open varies by month, so definitely check ahead of time. They are usually open on the weekends, with some openings on week days during December and Spring.
Tasting Fee: $5 for 6 wines, $1 for each sample of the reserve wine
Group Wine Tasting: The winery isn’t really set up for groups to randomly show up, so if you have 8 or more make sure to call ahead. They have a fantastic group tasting area that looks out over the vineyard, but you’ll need to call in advance. The group tasting fee is $8, but you also get your own personal staff member to lead you through.
Wine Prices: Their wines range from 12.99 for a white blend to $44.99 for their reserve Merlot. If you’re buying multiple bottles, you get a discount from 5-15% off.
Other Amenities: Remember how I said they have a lovely view? You can get yourself a glass of wine or beer, a chunk of cheese, and hang out on their deck. There is also a great little lunch spot next door, and a cute antique shop down the street.