This upcoming Friday, July 13, oenophiles from disparate corners of the world will congregate at Watkins Glen, New York, for the 16th yearly Finger Lakes Wine Festival. Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan Cheese, this year’s sponsor, will inaugurate the weekend festivities with Launch of the Lakes, an evening affair that will involve fireworks, togas, and, of course, wine.
Saturday & Sunday
The next two days – both running from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. – will boast a diversity of activities: seminars, cooking demonstrations, pace car rides, arts and crafts, and bountiful food. It goes without saying, though, that what guests are most eagerly looking forward to getting their hands (and palates) around is the Festival’s mind boggling collection of 600 varieties of wine. Indeed, this gathering presents wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts with a rare opportunity to sample an unprecedented number of wines, from an unprecedented number of wineries, within a convenient, dedicated space. And just in case that old adage about too many choices yielding indecision happens to hold some truth, the festival’s planners have come up with a clever way of guiding ambivalent guests: themed tastings, with categories such as “dry Rieslings from dozens of Finger Lakes wineries.” Among the event’s preeminent providers will be Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, a winery celebrating both its 50th anniversary and the unheard of number of gold medals – 51, to be exact – it has received this year alone. They will be offering Gruner Veltiner, the top white grape grown in Austria, as well as acclaimed Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Rieslings.
Finger Lakes Wine Festival participants seeking an exclusive, high-profile event might want to consider purchasing an entry into the Riedel Experience, a premier wine tasting function scheduled for Saturday. These VIP tickets include regular two-day access to the festivities as well as access to a private tasting with Riedel executives and local vintners that will feature live performances and appetizers prepared by celebrity chef Matt Levin, of Philadelphia’s Square Peg Restaurant & Bar. As a bonus, VIP guests will also get a free pace car ride, a bottle of reserve wine, and a five piece Riedel Vinum XL wine tasting kit.