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Please don't say "none," which could be my answer. We've visited the area several times and are heading up there again in a week on our way to inns and wineries and more in Toronto, Niagara, and Pennsylvania.

I'm looking for wineries you feel are producing the best wines in the Finger Lakes region. You needn't mention Frank and Wiemer, but I'm open to other suggestions. We liked Knapp a little. Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
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Thanks. I've visited a lot of these and found their dry unfortified wines pretty poor, but it's been 20 months. I'll go up there to see if they've made any headway.We'll be staying at a beautiful inn and even if the wines are unimproved, we'll enjoy ourselves. We can make a little NY/Ontario comparison.

winepro, are you in the Niagara area?
Thanks, Tim (and OW). I've been to the Finger Lakes several times, most recently in November, 2003. I wasn't impressed at all by the dry wines and bought only one bottle- a 2002 Knapp Barrel Reserve Chardonnay. Some of the sweet and fortified wines were very good to excellent, but the sweetness and/or high alcohol do help to mask some imperfections.
It's going to take me quite a while to get caught up here at home and in my office. In a quick summary, I will say the two regions show some clear improvement in three areas. The Vidal icewines which I (and by the way, virtually every body at the Toronto offline) have trashed for being coarse and syrupy, lacking necessary balancing acidity, were far better balanced The second improvement is in the widening number of varietals being employed in icewine production. In the last three years, many more wineries are making Cabernet Franc icewines, and a few more are making them from Gewurtztraminer, and even Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The third area of improvement is in the the dry wines. While the vast majority of wineries in these areas are still producing mediocre wines at best, a few are making real strides. Unfortunately, these few are really distancing themselves from the pack.

To put this concisely, Hermann J. Wiemer and Fred and Willy K. Frank at Dr. Konstantin Frank and Chateau Frank are in a class by themselves in the Finger Lakes. Mark J. Wagner at Lamoreaux Landing deserves special mention here. While a notch behind the previous Wiemer and Franks, his wines were far better, in general, than any other of the area's wineries.

The situation in Niagara is analagous, though there are more than two or three wineries producing the region's top tier.

On this trip, we visited fewer wineries than in previous years, opting instead to spend more in-depth time with our past favorites, sampling some of their top wines, and throwing in a few other wineries for scale. Over the next few weeks, I'll go through my notes and try to post my impressions in an organized manner. We stayed at some lovely inns that deserve to be reviewed here also.

Thank-you to Catskill_zinner for the Lamoreaux Landing recommendation.

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