New York is known for many things! Great restaurants, late nights, and adventures everywhere you turn. One of the many great things besides Manhattan are the other areas of New York State, including wine country! I had the pleasure of attending Virtual Riesling Camp, hosted by the Fingerlakes Wine Alliance since the in-person trip had to be pushed back due to COVID-19. Luckily for us, campers were able to attend virtually and meet, and taste with the wineries from the comfort of our own homes.

The Finger Lakes is known for its incredible wines and gorgeous scenery. It’s a bucket list item for me, to visit this wine region. They produce wines using grapes grown around the world, but one varietal up there shines the brightest… and that’s the Riesling Grape!

I first discovered Riesling when I lived in Germany for a while, while in Sommelier training. Here is where I fell in love with the grape varietal and all that it has to offer. Riesling is extremely versatile and is produced in a range of styles from dry to off-dry, and even sweet. Riesling still to this day, has a reputation for being too sweet, however many wine consumers are finally realizing there is more to Riesling than they thought. Many of these wines on the market will be fruity and may feel sweeter than other wines you’re consuming, but you must remember, all Riesling is not created equal, so not every riesling you encounter will be sweet!

The Finger Lakes is one of the world’s best wine regions for Riesling, and here you will find it as a part of everyday living. It’s a staple grape that grows well in the terroir of New York State. This cool climate wine region is known for more than Riesling, and also specializes in Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Gewurztraminer. It’s a place where you can spend a weekend enjoying great food, wineries, as well as craft spirits, beer, and plenty of nature!

If you’re looking for some fantastic wines to introduce you to the Finger Lakes, then you’ve clicked the right blog post. We dove into some great wines during our few weeks in virtual camp, and I hope you will absolutely make some time in your summer for some refreshing and fruity NY Rieslings!

Some of my favorite from our tastings were:

Red Newt Cellars- Lahoma Vineyards, 2017 Riesling

Billsboro WineryРSalutí Riesling 2019

Silver Thread- Semi-Dry Riesling 2018

Thirsty Owl Wine Company- 2018 Riesling

Wagner Vineyards- 2018 Dry Riesling

Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery- Dry Riesling 2018

Sheldrake Point- Dry Riesling 2018


Stay tuned for more on the specific wineries I enjoyed, as well as some fun pairings I enjoyed while sipping on these refreshing summer whites! Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love! Please pair responsibly.