Way back when I was pregnant and living in Michigan (oh, that wasn’t way back? It was only 6 months ago? Are you sure? Cause it feels like a lifetime ago…) I contacted an awesome photographer to take some maternity and eventually newborn photos for us. God bless Google, cause it’s how I find everything and I ended up with an outstanding set of pictures. What does this have to do with tea in China or our blog? Well, it turns out that Morgan of Morgan Dawson Photography is also Morgan, wife of Evan Dawson, local journalist for WHAM 13, editor of the New York Cork Report, and author of Summer in a Glass. It’s not like she shows up and announces her husband is this guy everyone knows; she mentioned in conversation that he was interested in news…Anyway, when we went to pick up our pictures in March we also bought a copy of Evan’s book. Seeing that I was about eleven months pregnant and unable to sleep I read it in two days, loved it, learned about some Finger Lakes wineries we hadn’t been to and decided to plan some visits.
And then we have a baby. And two months later I desperately want to wash my hair, get dressed and spend some time without said colicky baby. So we decided to head off to Morgan’s husband’s book signing and a visit to Fox Run Vineyards, Red Tail Ridge and Billsboro. If we’re lucky we may even stop at Ports for dinner!! The GPs are watching the Rad One and we are off in the convertible, sadly with the top up as its a bit cool and rain looks eminent.
First stop, Fox Run for lunch and the book signing. Fox Run used to run its own café and often held wine pairing dinners with their chef, but recently the business has changed. The café is now called Opus and is a separate business (although inside the winery) run by the former chef. The menu hasn’t changed, a variety of salads and panini, but the wine selections are offered at a separate check out. I assume this is simply for business purposes. In talking with Scott, the owner, we also learned that the wine pairing dinners are no longer being held and understandably so; we loved them and so did the 20 other regular couples who attended. The goal of those dinners was to build new business; all it really did was attract the same devoted folks over and over. I’m sad they’re gone, but I totally understand why. Anyway, lunch was two panini (mine without cheese but full of pulled pork, not very traditional!) and a bottle of Fox Run Dry Riesling. It was even nice enough to sit outside and enjoy the view of Seneca Lake. This was the same lunch Jake and I shared on our second date—I was super late because I won an age group award at the Keuka Tri (scroll to 35-39 if interested) and had to clean up a bit but still showed up with sweaty braided hair and race numbers marked on my arms and legs; I’m amazed that Jake went out with me again!
We also chatted with Morgan, Evan, and Fox Run’s winemaker Peter Bell; got two books signed; bought a mixed case of wine (riesling and pinot noir, both reserve), and tasted a few others.
The day’s weather was improving and we took the convertible, top down this time, to Red Tail Ridge. There are two great reasons to go here, both unexpected. One, it’s a LEED certified winery. In other words, super green. Two, rosé. Really. We bought two bottles.
Most of the wineries close their tastings rooms at 5PM so we had about 30 minutes to stop at Billsboro once we’d finished at Red Tail Ridge. The Billsboro tasting room is not actually on the same property as the vineyards that produce their grapes-the grapes are grown much further south on the eastern side of the lake, while the tasting room is on the north west side (Evan’s book does a much better job than I in explaining terroir—basically, the dirt/geography/climate is better for grapes/wine over there…). It’s a restored 18th century barn nestled in some trees. What it lacks in lake view it makes up for with hand hewed beams and chocolate and wine pairings! We bought wine here too…a syrah.
Our plan was to head home, but when we called the GPs they said go to dinner. So we did. We’d been meaning forever to go to Ports Café but never seem to find it open. Tonight we were in luck! Although we had dinner at a wholly unnatural time for us (5PM) and did not take pictures or write down what we ate or our instant impressions, I can assure you I ate the best veal chop I’ve ever had for dinner, then for lunch and again for dinner, and that wasn’t just Mom’s Night Out Freedom talking. MMMM.
When we got back it was like the boy hadn’t even missed us.