Love wine more than you love life itself? If so then this epic guide to the best Cayuga Lake wineries of all time is for you.
I mean, not only do I LOVE wine like whoa, but I have lived in New York for well over 30 years.
Plus, my family and I used to travel to Lake Cayuga every chance we could get. This way baby Kelly could make use of the playground while my relatives would sip on pinots a plenty.
So, if you’re dying to visit the Finger Lakes and Cayuga Lake in particular, then use this expert’s guide to the best Cayuga Lake vineyards.
Trust me, I’ll give you the inside scoop on all the best wineries on Cayuga Lake and will tell you exactly what you should order.
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Table of Contents
Best Cayuga Lake Wineries
1. Americana Vineyards
Americana Vineyards was first opened in 1981 and is one of the original members of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.
Additionally, this family-friendly winery is located on the west side of Cayuga Lake, around 15 miles north of Ithaca, New York.
See, Joe Gober bought Americana Vineyards in 1998, and then in 2001, the winery moved into an 1820s swing barn that was transported, board by board, to its current site.
In total, this is one of the best wineries in Cayuga Lake that creates over 20 award-winning wines, with a range that includes familiar varieties like Chardonnay and Riesling, as well as customer favorites like Baco Noir and Apparition (those are my favie faves too).
Plus, you’ll love taking your dog for a walk down by the pond and can join family and friends for a delicious lobster roll or bowl of homemade soup in the Crystal Lake Cafe, located in the original Cayuga Lake winery building.
Local Tip: Just be sure to book in advance when visiting with parties of 6 or more.
Address: 4367 E Covert Rd, Interlaken, NY 14847
Hours: Open Friday and Saturday from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: Wines start at $10.99 per bottle.
2. Buttonwood Grove Winery
Dave Pittard and his wife Melissa purchased Buttonwood Grove Winery in early 2014. Since then, they have worked hard to expand their Cayuga winery, increasing the size of the vineyard and adding a new winery building.
Eventually, their hard work paid off when their 2016 Riesling was named Best Wine in New York State at the 2017 Governor’s Cup.
So, this Cayuga winery produces a wide range of delicious red, white, and rose wines.
And in addition to their Riesling (Get it. It is the stuff dreams are made of), the range includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Antonia Marie, their sparkling blend of Chardonnay and Cayuga White wine grapes.
Additionally, the winery runs live music events in the summer and features an outdoor seating area with stunning lake views and cozy fire pits.
Plus, If you want to stay longer, and enjoy the best glamping in upstate New York, then four luxury glamping cabins are available between April and November.
Tours are also available by reservation only, and reservations are highly recommended for tasting sessions.
Address: 5986 State Route 89, Romulus, NY 14541, United States
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Friday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Price: Standard 30-minute tasting starts at $15.00 per person.
3. Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery
This stop on the Cayuga Lake Wine trail is located in the heart of the Finger Lakes wine region.
Now, owners Tom and Susie Challen are passionate about creating wine that is centered around sustainable production and responsible vineyard cultivation.
The result? Optimal fruit production and consistent quality that yields award-winning wines.
So, in addition to familiar varieties like Chardonnay and Riesling, the range of Cayuga Ridge Estate wines includes a Cayuga White wine created from grapes grown in the oldest Cayuga White vineyard.
They also produce popular fruit wines such as the delectable Peach Essence (my fave) and sparkling Cranberry Frost.
Delicious home-prepared food is also available Friday through Sunday from the Tastes of the Finger Lakes Café and Bakery (the baked goods are bananas level awesome).
Just know that group winery tours are limited to 15 people, and reservations are required for groups of 6 or more.
Address: 6800 Route 89, Ovid, NY 14521, United States
Hours: Open daily from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: $8.00 per person for a tasting featuring four wines.
4. Hosmer Winery
Another Cayuga Lake winery focusing on sustainable and environmentally-friendly wine production is Hosmer Winery.
Owned by Cameron and Maren Hosmer, this Cayuga Lake vineyard and winery is located on the lake’s western shore.
It also features some of the largest and oldest vineyards along the Cayuga wine trail, including some areas that were planted over 50 years ago.
So, Hosmer Winery’s focus on vineyard stewardship results in consistently high-quality wines that regularly win awards.
Therefore, grapes include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as some less familiar varieties.
In particular, the Hosmer Winery Rieslings and Cabernet Francs are exceptionally excellent, setting the benchmark for these varieties across the nation.
Plus, the winery regularly hosts events, including dinners and live music sessions. So, stop by one of the best Cayuga Lake wineries and see what all the fuss is about.
Address: 7020 State Route 89, Ovid, NY 14521, United States
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm from November through April.
Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm from May through October.
Price: Tastings are $12.00 per person and include five wines and some crackers.
5. Knapp Winery
Located close to Seneca Falls, Knapp Winery was established in 1984 and is now owned by Cole and Karen Wilson.
They have created a Finger Lakes wine experience that is not to be missed.
After all, this Cayuga Lake winery boasts some of the oldest red vinifera varieties on the Cayuga Lake wine trail.
In fact, they craft premium red wines including a Cabernet Franc, and their excellent Blaüfrankisch, which was awarded ‘Best in Class’ in the 2022 Governor’s Cup.
However, their range also includes popular whites like Riesling and Chardonnay, delicious fruit wines, and small-batch spirits, including brandy, port, gin, and vodka.
However, in addition to hosting some of the best Cayuga Lake wine tastings, Knapp Winery also offers wine and chocolate tastings.
Plus, additional wine and food pairing experiences are also available in the Field & Vine restaurant.
It’s worth noting that the maximum group size for this Cayuga Lake wine tour is 12 people.
Reservations are also generally recommended and are required if you are booking a wine tasting for four or more people.
Address: 2770 Ernsberger Rd, Romulus, NY 14541, United States
Hours: The tasting room is open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: Wine tasting starts at $12.00 per person and includes 6 wines.
6. Long Point Winery
Long Point Winery lies on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, with an estate that stretches over 72 acres of premium grape-growing land.
Owned by Gary and Rosemary Barletta, work began on this Cayuga Lake winery in 1999.
Since then, Long Point Winery has earned a reputation for producing top-quality dry white and red wines, with their Syrah, red Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling wines all winning several awards.
You’ll also love that Long Point Winery offers tours and tasting sessions hosted in their beautiful tasting room, which offers guests spectacular views.
But, group tours at this Cayuga Lake winery are limited to 15 people, with reservations required for groups over 10.
Address: 1485 Lake Road, Aurora, NY 13026, United States
Hours: The tasting room is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: Wines start at $14.99 per bottle.
7. Lucas Vineyards
Lucas Vineyards is a family-owned wine producer and the first Cayuga Lake winery since it dates back to 1980.
Therefore, they produce consistently excellent wines and have won many awards throughout their five decades of fine winemaking.
See, their success started from their very first 1980 vintage of Cayuga White wine and Estate Red wine, making them one of the best Cayuga wineries of them all.
Now, you’ll find a diverse range of wines at Lucas Vineyards, including estate-grown vinifera wines, méthode champenoise sparkling wines, and Iced wines.
However, this Cayuga winery is also known for its nautical-inspired ‘Tug Boat’ and Nautie wines.
Sadly, group winery tours of Lucas Vineyards are limited to six people, and reservations are not required. Plus, tasting sessions have the benefit of add-on snack options.
Address: 3862 County Road 150, Interlaken, NY 14847, United States
Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: Wines start at $13.99 each.
8 Montezuma Winery
Montezuma Winery has been producing creative yet delicious wines for well over 20 years.
And their epic vinos come right from their winery on the north end of Lake Cayuga, making them one of the best Cayuga Lake vineyards of them all.
Now, in addition to traditional varieties like Cabernet Franc and Riesling, they create decadent dessert wines and fruit wines like their popular Cranberry Bog variety and Double Gold Medal-winning Ice Pear wine (this is the one I ADORE).
But, if you’re looking for something a little different, their Voleur range features unrefined, unfiltered, and skin-on wines, while the Hidden Marsh Distillery crafts small-batch spirits, including Bourbon and Maple Liqueur.
Now, their large tasting room offers wine-tasting sessions with various flight options and tasting sessions for spirits and local craft beverages too.
There’s also a gift shop stocked with a range of gifts that make for the best souvenirs from New York, including homemade fudge and other snacks.
And while this Cayuga Lake winery welcomes groups of all sizes, reservations are required for groups of 12 or more.
Address: 2981 US Route 20, Seneca Falls, NY 13148, United States
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: $10 per tasting with 6 wine samples
9. Six Eighty Cellars
Dave and Melissa Pittard purchased the property at Six Eighty Cellars in 2020.
So, this is one of the newer Cayuga Lake wineries, where they use a combination of cutting-edge technology and ancient-style terracotta, clay, and stone vessels to create exciting new wines.
In fact, the name Six Eighty Cellars comes from the vineyards’ 680 ft elevation above Cayuga Lake, which gives them both stunning views and ideal grape-growing conditions.
Now, these classic Cayuga Lake vineyards are planted with classic vinifera grapes, including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as more unusual varieties like Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Meunier.
This allows Six Eighty Cellars to express greater creativity in their wines, setting them apart from other top Cayuga Lake wineries.
In fact, the Six Eighty Cellars wine-tasting experience is equally creative since it pairs delicious wines with artisanal food samples.
Now, reservations are highly recommended, but walk-ins will be accommodated if possible.
Groups are also limited to a maximum of 10 people, and reservations are required if you are visiting with a group of six or more.
Address: 3050 Swick Rd, Ovid, NY 14521, United States
Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: Tastings start at $25.00 per person but include a selection of five wines, artisinal cheese, and charcuterie.
10. Six Mile Creek Vineyard
Lying just south of Cayuga Lake, Six Mile Creek Vineyard is the oldest Ithaca winery and tasting room, having started wine production well over 30 years ago.
The current owners, Mark and Amy Renodin, took over in 2015 and have strived to increase production while maintaining the highest standards of quality at te best Cayuga Lake winery.
And all of their hard work was recently rewarded in 2019 when their 2016 Cabernet Franc was named “Best of Show” at the Governor’s Cup,
In addition to its excellent wines, this Ithaca winery also produces a range of spirits distilled from local grapes, including vodka, grappa, and limoncello.
Plus, their stunning tasting room sits in a beautifully-restored 19th Century Dutch Colonial Barn and offers a range of tasting events.
After all, the beautiful setting, with its panoramic valley views, ponds, and gardens, makes Six Mile Creek Vineyard a popular destination for celebrating weddings and other special occasions.
That being said, group tours at this Ithaca vineyard are limited to a maximum of 12 people, and reservations are required for groups larger than six people.
And while walk-ins may be accommodated, a wine tasting can only be guaranteed with a reservation.
Address: 1551 Slaterville Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
Hours: Open daily, May through November, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Open December through April on Sunday through Friday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: $8.00 per person for a selection of 6 wines.
11. Swedish Hill Winery
This Cayuga Lake winery is a three-time Governor Cup winner, demonstrating that their commitment and passion for creating excellent wines throughout the past 30 years have not been wasted.
In fact, the Swedish Hill Winery story goes back much further than that, as the Peterson family planted the first vines back in 1969.
Originally, these grapes were destined for another winery, but the doors to Dick and Cindy Peterson’s own winery eventually opened in 1986.
In terms of location, Swedish Hill Winery lies eight miles south of Seneca Falls on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.
It is from here that a pick for the best Cayuga Lake wineries produces an extensive selection of 50+ wines, ranging from classic Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc wines to more innovative blends.
Hard cider, grape juice, and craft beer are also available for anyone who doesn’t drink wine.
Additionally, seated wine-tasting sessions with wine flights take place both in the tasting room and, when weather permits, outdoors on a deck overlooking a fountain and frog pond.
Address: 4565 State Route 414, Romulus, NY 14541, United States
Hours: Open daily from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: Wines start at $11.99 per bottle.
12. Thirsty Owl Wine Company
Owned by Ted Cup, the Thirsty Owl Wine Company covers 150 acres on the western shore of Cayuga Lake.
So, this Cayuga winery has some of the most stunning views in the Finger Lakes wine-producing region.
Now, THE Thirsty Owl Wine Company first opened its doors in the fall of 2002 with a range of just four wines.
Their wines now include everything from estate-grown whites, like Riesling and Pinot Gris, to reds including Malbec and Pinot Noir, and delicious Ice wines.
So, you’re sure to find a wine that suits your taste at one of the best Cayuga Lake wineries.
Over the years, the Thirsty Owl Wine Company has won many prestigious awards, including the John Rose Award and the Governor’s Cup, making them one of the best wineries on Cayuga Lake.
And in addition to offering tasting sessions in the tasting room, which can be accessed from the land/water, you can enjoy a delicious lunch and a glass of wine on the deck of the winery’s bistro.
Just be aware that reservations and call-aheads are not taken for tasting sessions at this Cayuga wine trail stop. Groups are also limited to a maximum of 10 people.
Address: 6861 State Route 89, Ovid, NY 14521, United States
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, except on Sundays when they open at 10:30 am.
Price: Bottles start at $10.95 each.
Map of the Best Cayuga Lake Wineries
Best Cayuga Lake Wineries FAQs
How many Wineries are on Cayuga Lake?
There are 16 different wineries on Cayuga Lake, all of which are on the Cayuga Lake wine trail.
Which Finger Lake has the Most Wineries?
Seneca Lake has the most wineries in the area and is home to over half of the wineries in the Finger Lakes.
What is Cayuga Lake Known for?
Cayuga Lake is known for its gorgeous waterfalls and awesome gorges.
How many Wineries are in Finger Lakes NY?
There are over 130 different wineries in the Finger Lakes region of New York.