Sip transit glorious Finger Lakes

One of the problems with the rapidly expanding number of wineries in New York's Finger Lakes is tourism.

Not that the area doesn't want visitors. Just the opposite. Trouble is, too many of them are potentially dangerous drivers as they move from winery to winery, tasting their wares.

Some enterprising types have been offering a combination of a rental car complete with driver, and even a linkup to a bed-and-breakfast with that service. However, that doesn't do much for the many boaters who pull up to shore and want to visit more tha one winery but have no wheels.

Thus, the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce has begun offering weekend bus tours to local wineries -- four wineries on the west side of Cayuga Lake on Saturday, and four on the west side of Seneca Lake on Sunday.

"The wine tour was in response to boaters coming in not being able to get a limousine or a rental car because they were booked up for the weekend. So they were stuck in the harbor," said Dominic Christopher, the Chamber's executive director. "We're ready for big groups anytime."

Traffic is particularly heavy during the summer months when boaters show up at the state's canal system harbor in Seneca Falls. For $25, they now can take the bus right at the harbor. Of course, the weekend tours, which began June 3 and will run through Oct. 8, aren't limited to boaters. They're available to anyone on a space-available basis.

Meanwhile, a trackless Wine Tour Trolley will also be offering a similar service for visitors in the Geneva area starting Saturday, June 10.

Mike Fitzgerald, who owns a limousine and private tour coach service, bought the trolley which had been used in tourism businesses in New Orleans and Buffalo. Tours on the 26-seat vehicle will cover five wineries in a six-hour period through Dec. 2 at $45 per person.

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bibliochef said...

They finally moved the "trackless trolley" off of Pulteney Park in Geneva, where it was a bit of a parking menace. . . . But maybe it'll help reduce the drunken consequences of the not-so-serious wine touring folks and let others have fun!

Where do you eat when you hit Finger Lakes wineries?

William M. Dowd said...

My FL dining is quite eclectic. As a confirmed B&B patron, breakfast is taken care off by the hosts. After that, it's wherever I happen to be when I get hungry.

(Since one of my several professional tasks is reviewing restaurants, the serendipity appeals to me since I'm usually on a specific dining schedule.)

In recent visits, I've enjoyed everything from the casualness of the Brown Hound Bistro at the Arbor Hill Grapery to the history of the Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles to the surprise of Tastings at Wegmans.

By the way, kudos on your excellent Web site. (For others reading this, it's located here.)

Larry Wright said...

Finally, an alternative to weaving along country roads after too many tastings.