June brought a wide array of adventures in and around the Finger Lakes, two of my favorite involving wine and the outdoors. I went to a Gewurztraminer (say that fast three times) wine tasting at Keuka Spring Vineyards on Keuka Lake, just outside Penn Yan, with my parents earlier in the month. I was thrilled that they were hosting an event like this because Gewurztraminer became my favorite wine when I first tried with Alsatian grape at a wine and food exhibition in Rouen--it's smooth, earthy, a bit sweet. It was a gorgeous day and we sat under a white tent with sommeliers who enthusiastically described the origins of the grape, the wine-making process, and guided us through five varieties of pressings. Years ago we visited Keuka Springs in late November for a holiday-themed tour (I of course drinking grape juice), so it was great to return and experience the vineyard in the summer. It's in a stunning location with Keuka College across the lake in clear view, and a very friendly staff. I hope we can go back for their other wine and tasting events later in the season.
Taking notes on the technique and grape sourcing while indulging on their crudités, brie and crackers, java-rubbed pork loin, and chutneys all regionally-sourced.
This past Friday, I went on a mini-hike with Kristen and Deonza at Grimes Glen. I've been there a few times because it's so close, just off Main Street in Naples. Despite it's close proximity to the village and even residences just beyond the park driveway, it's a wonderful shaded area with smooth shale creek beds, clear water (that wasn't too cold), and a few waterfalls. The park management even encourages exploration; there's permanent ropes tied to tries along the waterfalls so they can be scaled. I scrambled up both of them, feeling more confident than the first time I visited a few years ago because of muscle memory from the climbing wall. I always forget how magical, albeit crowded, the glen is, and I hope we go back again soon and trek in further.
The second waterfall.
The view from the top of the second waterfall, which has three drops.
Climbing up was never the problem, it was always how to go down! The hills were muddy from past nights' rain and other visitors, making it hard to gain traction.
Climbing up the first waterfall!
I feel like the majority of my posts during the summer unabashedly promote how awesome the Finger Lakes are, but hey, I'm proud of where I live. Come visit me!