Come Plant Yourself in the Finger Lakes! Spend an afternoon enjoying wine and food pairings at each of the Canandaigua Wine Trails six member wineries. You’ll also receive a wine charm and collect seed packets at each winery to take home, plus the wine trail will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Arbor Day Foundation to help plant new trees. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple and can be bought online at www.canandaiguawinetrail.com or at any member winery. Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information call (877) 386-4669 or visit www.canandaiguawinetrail.com.
No two people see things the exact same way. This is the theme of an exhibit of 50 landscapes by 16 artists at Main Street Arts. See landscapes portrayed in a range of mediums and diverse styles. Opening reception 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2 and on display until May 13. Main Street Arts. 20 West Main St., Clifton Springs, 14432. For more information call (315) 462-0210 or visit www.mainstreetartsgallery.com.
There’s no better way to celebrate the weekend Finger Lakes style than pairing a local beverage with live music at Roots Café in Naples. Kinloch Nelson kicks things off with a solo guitar performance Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. Catch The Lonely Ones on Friday, April 8 at 8:30 p.m. or Mulberry Soul Saturday, April 16 at 8:30 p.m. The Out of The Blue Trio performs Friday, April 22 at 8:30 p.m. and Steve Grills & The Roadmasters wrap things up Saturday, April 30 at 9 p.m. $5 cover for Mulberry Soul and Steve Grills, all others free. Roots Café, 197 N Main St., Naples, 14512. For more information call (585) 374-9800 or visit Roots Café on Facebook.
Spring is finally here! Need proof? Check out the flowers on display at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park. Attend the Spring Wildflower & Orchid Show and stroll through the greenhouses and mansion. Raffle baskets with a variety of items from some of the area’s favorite shops, restaurants, and more will be on sale. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22-24.Tickets are $10 per person, $5 for ages 4-16 and free for children three and under. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte St., Canandaigua, 14424. For more information call (585) 394-4922 or visit www.sonnenberg.org.
It’s officially spring and warmer weather means more hiking! Throw on those hiking boots, get on the trails, and breathe the fresh air. Stop by Finger Lakes Visitors Connection for your free hiking and biking kit. Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, 25 Gorham St., Canandaigua, 14424. For more information call (585) 394-3915 or visit www.visitfingerlakes.com.
Two centuries of art will be on display at Hobart and William Smith Colleges until April 22. The exhibit, titled, “Audubon to Warhol: Two Centuries of American Art on Paper” features American works on paper created from 1820 to the present. It explores technical differences and progressions as well as the various art “movements” of the period, such as social realism and modernism. The exhibit is open 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The Davis Gallery at Houghton House, 1 Kings Ln., Geneva, 14456. For more information call (315) 781-3483.
Why not help with a good cause and learn a thing or two as well? The Iroquois White Corn Project needs volunteers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 for a Shucking Bee! Volunteers will shuck Iroquois white corn, a dietary staple of the Iroquois people dating back over 1,400 years. Help shuck the corn harvest and learn the many uses of this unique agricultural product. Iroquois White Corn Project, 7191 County Road 41 Victor 14564. For more information contact the project manager at (585) 742-1361 or visit online.
Sip and stroll at the Canandaigua Wine Walk, Saturday, March 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. Start at 143 South Main Street and purchase your glass for $8, from there visit various stores for tastings and samples from local wineries and restaurants. This month features the wineries of the Canandaigua Wine Trail! Find something truly enjoyable and perhaps bring some home with you. 143 South Main Street, Canandaigua 14424.
Catch a free film screening at the Main Street Arts Gallery. Thursday, March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. Main Street Arts will be showing the Oscar-nominated film; Finding Vivian Maier. Learn about this mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photos and kept them hidden. Discovered decades later, she is now among the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Main Street Arts, 20 West Main Street, Clifton Springs 14432. For more information call (315) 462-0210 or visit online.
GAËL Brewing, the only Irish-American microbrewery in upstate New York, invites you to stop in to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17. Open from 11 a.m. until the last person leaves, drop by for a pint or two of their Templederry Irish Stout or Liam’s Irish Red. They’ll also be introducing the Crafty GAËL, a collaboration beer produced with Crafty Ales and Lagers in nearby Phelps. GAËL Brewing , 4180 State Route 14, Geneva, 14456. For more information call (315) 220-0190 or visit online.
Gear up for Maple Weekend in New York State. This state-wide event celebrates the production of all things maple. Visit Cumming Nature Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 12, 13, 19, and 20 to learn about maple syrup production and enjoy a pancake breakfast. Stop by the Wohlschlegel’s Maple Farm from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 19 & 20 and April 2 & 3 for a pancake breakfast, walk through the woods to see the sap gathering process, or to take a tour of the sugarhouse! The New York Wine and Culinary Center invites you to take a tour of Kettle Ridge Farm on Saturday, March 19 at 9 a.m., after stop by the center for one of their many maple themed cooking classes!
Your Innkeeper doesn’t get a chance to get out on the weekends too often but yesterday was an exception. Beth and Lydia were taking care of guests at breakfast at the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast. Located just a few miles from Canandaigua, NY, there were no new guests checking in. So, your Innkeeper had a free Saturday and it just happened that it is the weekend of the Naples Grape Festival in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes. I had been one other time in the past 11 years and it was cold and wet that year. This year, the weather could not have been more perfect… a cool 70 degrees and sunny, perfect fall weather.
Grapes and Naples, NY
Naples is a quaint town on the South end of Canandaigua Lake. Home to Inspire Moore Winery, Artizanns (a local Gallery), Joseph’s Wayside Market, Roots Cafe, Naples, NY and a few other shops and restaurants. It’s generally a sleepy town. But, one weekend a year, the tiny town is crowded beyond belief by visitors that want to experience all things grape. Grape pie, frozen grape custard, wine, concord grapes, Niagra grapes and more grapes. And even purple fire hydrants. There are tons of food options, music and many vendors and artists. Your Innkeeper even got a henna tattoo.
For at least a mile or more, vendors line the street. Even before you get to the Festival, vendors sell anything and everything… crafts, yard sale items, baked goods. It’s hard to walk as there are so many people. I don’t know where they all come from, but they come from miles to experience this Festival and it couldn’t be set in a more picturesque valley in the Finger Lakes.
Of course, a visit to the Naples Grape Festival wouldn’t be complete without a grape pie and some grapes. This year, I purchased Jeni’s grape pie and some grapes from Jerome’s U-Pick. Both were served at this morning’s breakfast much to the delight of our guests who had never tasted grape pie before. A grape day was had by all.
Famous for Rieslings and Gewurtztraminer, the Finger Lakes area is the second largest wine-producing region in the US. With more than 80 vintners producing unique selections, you are sure to find a bottle of something to bring home.
On the other side of the lake from our bed and breakfast New York is the Wilhelmus Estate Winery. The Winery is new but the recipes for the wine are from the “old world”. Wilhelmus Kuenen, a Dutch immigrant, brought his family to the States when his son Boud was 7 years old. Wilhelmus started making wine in 1958. He became a very serious wine maker after his retirement in the 1970’s, winning awards across the Northeast. Boud and Karen Kuenen opened the winery in 2007 and named the winery in memory of Boud’s father, the original Vintner.
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