This past weekend, I got the opportunity to do my first ever limo tour wine tasting in the Finger Lakes. I’ll admit I’m usually not a fan of the limo and bus tours of wineries. Too many people concerned more with drinking than actually tasting the wine, but I’ll assure you that this was a classy affair.
Bet the Farm Winery is located in a cute little house in Aurora on Cayuga Lake, and yes, you can park your boat there if you want to do a tasting. It was Nancy Tisch’s idea to start a small winery and food shop, aided by her husband Kit Kalfs and a heaping handful of help from the winemakers at Damiani Wine Cellars. The winery has continued to grow since it began in 2006, and has begun to expand across the lakes.
Wine Tasting at Bet the Farm Winery
Instead of your normal wine flight, Bet the Farm was offering a wine and food pairing for only $8. We were led through the tasting by Chris, who did an amazing job at giving us the back story and notes for each of the wines.
2016 Pinot Gris: We started off with this bright wine with a nose of pear, stonefruit, and slight tropical notes that is complimented by a nice clean minerality. The palate is medium bodied and oily but with a nice acid and lingering earthiness. It was paired with First Light Chevre that made the wine taste brighter and more citrusy.
2016 Traminette: Traminette is a hybrid grape of Joannes Seyve and Gewürztraminer, and usually is too sweet for me. Not this one. It has notes of spicy lemon, peach and lemongrass, with a light body and clean finish. It was paired with Tierra Farm Curry Cashews which made it even tastier and bright.
2016 Cayuga White: This surprising wine has been force-carbonated to give it luscious little bubbles. The nose is lightly peach, pear, with hints of citrus that continue onto the palate. It is a clean, fun, bright summer wine perfect for sipping out in the sunshine. It was paired with a First Light Moon Shot cheese made from goat and cow cheese and brined in red wine. Honestly, I preferred the wine without the cheese, but maybe that’s just because it was so good on its own.
2016 Chardonnay: 60% of this wine was aged in Hungarian oak and the remaining 40% was aged in stainless steel, giving the wine a nice spicy butteriness, but also bright notes of pear and apple. The spicy fruit lingers on the palate with a medium body and nice acidity. It was paired with with Battistoni Summer Sausage that complemented the spice of the wine.
2015 Brut Gamay: We ended with a delicious wine made using the traditional French method of making Champagne. Notes of dehydrated strawberry were paired with a smokiness that made this a fun wine to drink, and it had a clean acidity. Given that only a few wineries in all of the United States make Gamay, this is a wine you cannot miss!
Planning Your Visit
Hours: From April through October, they are open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tasting Fee: $8 for the wine and food pairing, $4 for the wine only, and $2 to try their Brut Gamay
Group Wine Tasting: It’s a fairly small tasting room, so while they don’t require it I would strongly suggest calling ahead.
Wine Prices: The wines are primarily around $17-19 except for the Brut Gamay which runs a little higher (I think it was $30, but that is totally worth it)
Other Amenities: Did I mention you can dock your boat here? They also have wine from other wineries available for purchase, and a range of gourmet foods like cheese, sausage, crackers, and more.