Wine tours are a fun, and often educational, way to explore New York wine country. There are wine tours for every type of traveler -- you can get adventurous in a kayak or hot air balloon, or keep things a little more low-key and travel by car or limo.
A hot air balloon ride is one of the most breathtaking ways to take in the picturesque wine country scenery. Companies like Liberty Balloon Co. take you up in the air for a guided wine tour. You can launch from wineries, lakeside, or a local park or bed-and-breakfast for a unique wine country experience. Remember to dress in layers, because balloon rides normally start early in the morning when it's chilly, and it warms up while you're up in the air.
More active travelers might want to check out New York Wine Country by bike or kayak. Cyclists can take guided bike tours between wineries, like a tour of North Fork wineries by Adventure Cycles & Sports. Bike tours often include a picnic lunch along with visits to regional wineries. Many New York State wineries are located near lakes and rivers, so kayak trips are a great way to see the countryside and get a little exercise at the same time. You won't see too many rapids in upstate New York, but you will encounter beautiful scenery, wildlife and, of course, wine!
Looking for a more relaxed trip through wine country? You can experience the charm of the Finger Lakes without any paddling on a cruise. Companies like Cayuga Lake Cruises take you out on the water where you can enjoy cocktails and regional foods on their ferry boats.
A bus or limo allows you to check out more wineries while still taking things easy. Every region has bus and limo tours, so it's best to do some research to find a tour that's right for you. Tours can range from very specialized, private events, like the Hudson Valley Wine Country Bachelorette Wine Tour, to a professionally guided luxury limo tour of Long Island wineries.
Of course, you can also rent a car and tour New York wine country on your own. Traveling solo lets you explore at your own pace. The trick is to plan ahead, so that you don't spend more time on the road than at tastings. You'll need to find wineries you want to visit, and some areas of New York wine country even have trip-planning tools on their Web sites to help you create your own customized tour.
For more wine articles, check out the links below.
- America's Grape Country Wine Festival. "About the Festival." (July 21, 2011) http://www.agcwinefestival.com/about/index.html
- Berger, Laurel. "Tastes of Local Bounty, From Vine and Sea." The New York Times. June 18, 2010. (July 21, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/nyregion/20dineli.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1311275805-/NJSRGZLqWelfUH+w0beAg
- Calandrelli, Bryan. "Looking Back at the Niagara Wine & Culinary Festival." New York Cork Report. Aug. 16, 2010. (July 21, 2011) http://www.lenndevours.com/2010/08/looking-back-at-the-niagara-wine-culinary-festival.html
- Cayuga Lake Cruises. "About Cayuga Lake Cruises." (July 21, 2011) http://www.cayugalakecruises.com/aboutus.html
- Corning Leader. "More than 80 wineries featured at Finger Lakes Wine Festival." July 11, 2011. (July 21, 2011) http://www.the-leader.com/highlight/x910598370/More-than-80-wineries-featured-at-Finger-Lakes-Wine-Festival
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- Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest. "Wine - Food - Fun!" (July 21, 2011) http://www.hudsonvalleywinefest.com/
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- Liberty Balloon. "Finger Lakes Wine Country Balloon Tour." (July 21, 2011) http://www.libertyballoon.com/finger-lakes-wine-country
- Long Island Wine Country. "The Region." (July 21, 2011) http://www.liwines.com/default.ihtml?page=theregion
- New York City Wine & Food Festival. "About the Festival." (July 21, 2011) http://www.nycwineandfoodfestival.com/2011/about.php
- Niagara Wine Trail. "What is Ice Wine?" (July 21, 2011) http://www.niagarawinetrail.org/pages/nwt_ice_wine.html
- NYC Crown Limo. "Wine Tours." (July 21, 2011) http://nyccrownlimo.com/?page_id=30
- PRWeb. "New York's Biggest Wine Tasting Event Returns to Time Square's Best Buy Theater for Two Sessions on Saturday, February 5, 2011." Jan. 5, 2011. (July 21, 2011) http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/NYCWinterWineFestival/prweb4936404.htm
- Shuff, Tim. "Chill in New York's wine country." Adventure Kayak Magazine. Nov. 24, 2009. (July 21, 2011) http://www.adventurekayakmag.com/features/features-destinations/125-paddling-the-finger-lakes.html
- Uncork New York. "Niagara Escarpment & Greater Niagara Area Region." (July 21, 2011) http://www.newyorkwines.org/WineCountry/Region.ashx?id=7
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- Wine Institute. "American Viticultural Areas by State." (July 14, 2011) http://www.iwineinstitute.com/avabystate.asp
- Wine Trail Traveler. "New York." (July 14, 2011) http://www.winetrailtraveler.com/newyork/newyork.php