5 Tips for a Finger Lakes Wine Trail Getaway

My family and I have spent 95% of a 35 year career in the upstate New York Finger Lakes Wine Trail Region, and despite growing up in the southeast; I can’t imagine a better place to live. So you can imagine we are quite familiar with the Finger Lakes region and its wine country.


The last few years my career took me to short term assignments in California, Virginia, Florida, and Colorado, all places with some established wine industry that we visited on several occasions. At the conclusion of these assignments it was time to retire … a good time to spend the summer getting reacquainted with the Finger Lakes Region again (to include it’s growing wine industry). As a result, I am writing several articles on my research and resulting travels.


In this article I will discuss my thoughts on those things to consider if you are planning a Finger Lakes getaway. By now perhaps you have noticed that I am a planner by heart (and though I have experienced many different job types during my career, I was trained as an engineer, which should tell you something). So while I can occasionally be convinced to do a spontaneous short trip, I am more in my comfort zone when I do my homework first.


My tips for your getaway planning consideration:


Decide how much time you wish to spend

3-4 hours, 7-8 hours, or maybe a getaway weekend. Factor in your starting location, which may dictate your event sequence and how many events can be accomplished. Note that you should allow at least 30 minutes as a minimum for most winery tastings. Most of the wineries open at 10 AM and close around 6, though there are some exceptions. Several of them offer tours at specific times, which general will add a minimum of 30-45 minutes.


Finger Lakes Wine Trail … selecting the wineries to visit

If you have done several previous tours, this may just reflect your favorites. If not, you’ll want to decide how to select the best ones to visit and, in our opinion, there are more selection factors to consider than just the best wine. We will dedicate an article on this subject next week.


nice lunch
Plan a nice lunch location.


Including a nice lunch or dinner?  

Again, you may know some favorite restaurants on your route. Many or the wineries have some snack food, like nice cheese and crackers, that may be what you are looking for. A few have restaurants with some impressive menus and chefs. And we found some nice restaurants and menus along the trails, particularly in some of the towns you’ll travel through on the lakes. We are ones that will go back to favorites, for sure, but are always scouting out new favorites. The details of this subject will be covered in our recommended tours over the next few weeks.


Other priorities for your tour besides wine tasting …

if you are planning a getaway weekend this option should be a must as the list of possibilities is large and diverse with lots to see and do. You definitely need at least a minimum plan for a weekend, with at least flexible options and timeline. If you are combining events with wine tasting, it is usually a good idea to save the wine tasting for the afternoons and mingle other short events in between wineries if you route plan permits.


Allow time for the unexpected

no matter how great your research and plan, something you didn’t know about will usually catch your eye. You would be surprised how many things we literally stumbled upon on our summer travels.

range of activities
Plan a range of activities.


Think outside your normal range of activities

one very different activity that we stumbled upon this summer was a nice four winery tour on Cayuga Lake that can be done by boat. Two of these wineries have restaurants. If you own a boat you can put your boat in at a marina mid-lake and do the tour in 4 hours or so. There is at least one boat tour that has set up shop in Ithaca to offer stops as part of his tour.


We will share our winery selection criteria in an article next week, as well as several tours we recommend based on summer travels/visits.


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Stay tuned … please bookmark our blog page or send us an email for copies of future posts on these subjects. 


So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you.


 Lessons are all around you. In many situations, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.


All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.


When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.


Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.


Are you devoting enough energy to improving your continuous learning for yourself and your team?


More reading on travel recommendations from Digital Sparks Marketing’s Library:
4 Extraordinary Vacation Ideas and Recommendations
4 Awesome Activities Touring the Thousand Islands
8 Awesome Things to Do in the Finger Lakes Region
12 Amazing Finger Lakes Resorts for Getaway Celebrations
Mike Schoultz is a digital marketing and customer service expert. With 48 years of business experience, he consults on and writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+FacebookTwitter, Digital Spark Marketing, and LinkedIn.
5 Tips for a Finger Lakes Wine Trail Getaway