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Life in the Finger Lakes: Genuinely Good People, Uniquely Wonderful Wines

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Our Latest Visit with Heron Hill Winery on Keuka Lake, NY

By Jim Moore, Chief Finger Lakes Enthusiast,

Our most recent visit to Heron Hill Winery was yet another chapter in our ongoing love affair with this enchanting destination high above the shores of Keuka Lake. As frequent patrons and wine club members of the winery, we knew we were in for something special, and once again, Heron Hill exceeded our expectations, leaving us with cherished memories and a deeper connection to its story.

Even though we arrived a bit later than the usual wine tasting seating hours, the familiar greeting from Chris, the tasting room manager, instantly put us at ease. His warm welcome reassured us that our spontaneous visit was more than welcome, and after being seated he provided  a tasting experience that felt like a continuation of our ongoing journey through the world of Heron Hill wines.

Stepping into the tasting room is different from any other winery on the lake. The rustic elegance of the space, coupled with the breathtaking vista of Keuka Lake through the expansive windows, immediately enveloped us in a sense of belonging. This familiarity, combined with the anticipation of rediscovering our favorite wines, created an atmosphere that was both comforting and exciting.

As Chris guided us through the selection of wines, it was apparent that my affinity for Heron Hill’s red wines was not unique. While all the wines at Heron Hill have a distinct character, the reds held a special place in my hearts. Kathy, my wine tasting partner and beautiful wife, prefers dry white wines, but does not hesitate to try the reds and Heron Hill.

From the nuanced Pinot Noir (Chris referred to it as “the $10.00 Pino”) to the captivating Cabernet Franc, each sip carried the essence of the region’s soul. On this stop the 2019 Baco Noir was especially good – strong cherry on the first sip and transitioning to a note of strawberry in the finish. It had enough body to keep the sweetness from being too sweet.  

What struck us once again was the genuine passion that fueled every aspect of Heron Hill Winery. Our conversations with Chris and the stories on the labels made us aware of the winery’s sustainable practices that mirror our values, and the commitment to excellence that remained unwavering. 

As we left the winery with our wine club selections and a bottle of 2019 Reserve Baco Noir for me and a 2019 Classic Unoaked Chardonnay for Kathy. In addition to accommodating us late in the day, the winery also did not hesitate to switch one of the bottles in our wine club selection for something Kathy preferred (after business hours no less). Genuinely  good people, uniquely wonderful wines have always been our experience at the winery.

Learn more about Heron Hill Winery here: Heronhill.com

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