From sparkling waterfronts to breathtaking scenery and world-class wineries, Yates County, NY, is filled with everything that gave Finger Lakes wine country its name. Located in the very heart of the renowned wine region, Yates County embraces all the best that New York State has to offer. Recreation, relaxation, tasting and touring – it’s all here.
The topography that helps to produce some of the country’s finest wines varies from steep hills and valleys in the western townships of the county to relatively flat land in the northern townships to gently rolling hills and valleys in the south, east and central portions. The County is host to a large agricultural base that also includes a thriving Mennonite population. Some of the various types of agriculture include dairy and crop farms, grape vineyards, and apple orchards.
Although wine made the region famous, the art of brewing world class beer has not been overlooked, and visitors to the region are well advised to experience Climbing Bines Hop Farm which is located on Route 14 between Geneva and Watkins Glen on the west side of scenic Seneca Lake. The hopyard is a 1.5 acre planting that consists of seven cultivars and nearly 1,500 hills. The farm is dedicated to growing premium New York State grown hops for the local brewing industry and beyond, with practices are rooted in the philosophy of sustainable agricultural and environmental consciousness. The Climbing Bines hopyard includes a mix of aroma and high alpha hops. The cultivars include Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Hallertau, Magnum, Nugget, and Willamette. They offer premium freshly harvested wet and dried whole leaf hops for regionally distinct specialty ales.
Abandon Brewing Company produces stellar crafted beers, delivered with exceptional service. Beers crafted at Abandon are many and varied. The beers range from the likes of a 3.6% Munich Dunkel to 10.2% BA Imperial Stouts. Within an 1800’s reconditioned barn on a hill overlooking Keuka Lake & Keuka College. The barn has been outfitted with original and handcrafted wood while the building corrections were crafted and fitted by local Mennonite carpenters and builders.
Four out of five members of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail are in Yates County. Keuka Spring Vineyards are in an excellent location for growing and ripenening wine grapes. Sloping towards Keuka Lake on the east side of the east branch, with nutrient-rich Honeoye silt loam soil, the vines receive plenty of afternoon sun, an extended ripening season, and are protected from early frosts in the fall and late frosts in the spring by the slope of the hill and its proximity to Keuka Lake.
McGregor Vineyard produces some of the oldest Vinifera grapevines in the Finger Lakes, including Black Russian Red grapes, Serekysia and Saperavi. By growing their own grapes, they can monitor the ripeness of the fruit and carefully hand-pick them at just the right balance of acid, sugar and pH.
Vineyard View Winery features over 15 wines and vintages from 2012 to the present. They include a variety of wines from dry vinifera such as Riesling and Cabernet Franc, along with unique hybrids varietals as Traminette, and Valvin Muscat.
Hunt Country Vineyards has been honored by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation during the 2018 New York Wine Classic for their 2016 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, which was judged to be the best ice wine in the state.
It matters not whether you’re a beer or wine connoisseur, a visit to Yates County is sure to satisfy your thirst for a memorable experience.