Last summer when we were staying at the beautiful Gathering Hill Farm, we noticed that there was a new winery located next to the property. When we investigated a little further, we found out that it was Ryan William Vineyard. We didn’t have time on that trip to visit, but we made a promise that we would do it the next time we were in the area. Did we mention that they serve brunch? Yeah. Easy to make this place a priority.
About Ryan William Vineyard
Ryan William Vineyard is an estate winery, growing and hand-picking their own grapes. Located on the southeastern edge of Seneca Lake, the tasting room used to be limited to a small barn. Now, the winery is in a large restored barn that was originally built in the 1860s. The Tasting Bar(n), as it is called, is a gorgeous open space, with a deck overlooking Seneca Lake. They have a range of food at the Tasting Bar(n) from brunch options like omelets and breakfast sandwiches, to snacks that can be enjoyed throughout the day. The barn is also host to a range of dinners and events, like live music and expanded tastings.
We started off our tasting experience with brunch, sitting out on the deck, enjoying the late morning breeze off the lake. I had a fantastic vegetarian omelet that was light and fresh, a perfect start for the day, and Keith enjoyed a heartier pulled pork breakfast sandwich. Once our bellies were full, we headed back inside and bellied up to the bar for our tasting.
Tasting at Ryan William
We started off our tasting with the 2015 Grüner Veltliner. When we tried Ryan William’s wine in 2014, it was the Grüner that stuck with us. Also, Ryan William was the first to plant Grüner in this region, so you’ve got to add it to your sampling list. The nose has notes of pear and soft lemon, that turned into a more bitter (but still pleasing) lemon with hints of white pepper on the palate, with a medium acidity and oily mouthfeel.
Next, the 2014 Dry Riesling. It has a nose of lime, tangerine and green apply, with an oily but clean mouthfeel, a kick of acidity, and nice lingering notes of lime peel and slate.
Our research into the winery revealed that the Chardonnay was what most people were talking about, so we tried the 2014 Barrel Aged Chardonnay next. The nose has big notes of vanilla, almond, cooked yellow apple, and melon. These continued on the palate but didn’t linger, a bright acidity gives it a clean mouthfeel.
From here, we transitioned into the red wines, starting with the 2012 Pinot Noir. The nose started with bright black cherry and spice, that continued onto the palate with woody notes (they said sandalwood in their notes, but I’m not exactly sure how that tastes so I’m going with woody), a chalky medium tannin and a nice acidity.
We finished with the Barn Red, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot that has notes of raspberry and cherry jam, leather, and mocha. It has a light mouthfeel, chewy but not overpowering tannin, and a lingering hint of mocha.
Planning Your Visit
Hours: The Tasting Bar(n) is open Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to Dusk.
Tasting Fee: $5 for 5 samples.
Group Wine Tasting: They don’t specify what size of group requires a reservation, but if you’re over five people, I’d suggest calling in advance. There is lots of space for tasting, but the actual tasting room counter doesn’t hold a ton of people, especially if it is a busy weekend.
Wine Prices: Their wines range from $15 for their blends to $60 for the late harvest, with most around the high 10s to low 20s.
Other Amenities:Kitchen hours are a little more limited, open until 3 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, until 2 p.m. on Monday, and all day Saturday. Snacks are always available. It is nice knowing that there is a place serving breakfast, lunch and snacks all throughout the year. Sometime when you’re wine tasting in the off season it can be a little tough to find food.
We had a fun morning eating and tasting at the Ryan William Tasting Bar(n). It is a beautiful location and a great way to kick off a day of wine tasting. Next time, I would definitely combine the tasting with the brunch so that I could see how the wine paired with the food. This would also be a great place to stop mid-wine tasting for a cheese board, snacks and tasting.