Founded in 1991 by Susie and Tom Challen, Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery in Ovid, Seneca County, produces options ranging from Riesling and Chardonnay to Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Visitors craving sweetness even have reason to stop by for Cranberry Essence, a fruit wine that boasts 5 percent residual sugar.
Seeing no need to hoard their knowledge, the Challens organize a Vigneron program annually. The lease arrangement lets participants tend to their own stretch of grapevines at the winery and produce wine, with the owners’ guidance.
In addition, home winemakers may purchase grape juice by the gallon or pick grapes for home processing during one or two fall weekends. Call for exact dates. Pickers must provide their own fruit containers.
Tasting room hours: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Reservations
required for groups of 11 or more.
Wheelchair accessibility: Restroom not fully accessible.
Tasting fee: $2 for six samples. $2 extra to sample the dessert wine. $3 per person for groups of 11 or more.
Amenities: Free winery tours offered from Nov. 15 to May 15 at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
On-site restaurant: The Copper Oven serves wood-fired pizza made from locally sourced ingredients on weekends in spring, summer and fall.
Photo courtesy of Cayuga Ridge
Cayuga Ridge vineyards.