How do I plan a wine tour along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail?
The first step to planning a wine tour is to find transportation. You’ll need to have a general idea of how many people will be in your group and how long you want the limo, bus, etc for. To the transportation company, your day starts when the group is picked up, and ends when you’re dropped off.
Some of the transportation companies will help you set up where to go and when, and others simply want your planned schedule. If you have a group of 8-10 or more, the wineries require reservations. How long you have your transportation for is a big factor in planning your day, so take that into consideration. Plan on spending 45 minutes to an hour at each winery so everyone can taste, shop, take photos, etc. Allow yourself plenty of time. If you’re behind at one winery, you’ll be behind the rest of the day, which could also affect other groups touring.
Here is a downloadable PDF with some more tour-planning tips!
How much do tastings cost?
Each winery varies, but it’s generally $4-12 per winery per person. Some specialty wines, with limited supply, such as ice wines, may have an additional charge.
Do I need reservations?
Yes and no. Although each winery has a different group policy, if your group is 8 or more, we recommend that you make a reservation with each winery so they can make sure they’re staffed appropriately for your group.
Do you offer packages?
How long should we plan to visit each winery?
This may vary depending on how large your group is, but to allow travel and tasting time as well as time to browse the gift shop and use the restrooms, plan on having 45 minutes to an hour between each winery.
How long does it take to drive between wineries?
Montezuma Winery to Swedish Hill Vineyard: 10.7 miles / 14 minutes
Swedish Hill Vineyard to Varick Winery & Vineyard: 5.6 miles / 8 minutes
Varick Winery & Vineyard to Knapp Winery: 1.5 miles / 2 minutes
Knapp Winery to Goose Watch Winery: 1.1 miles / 2 minutes
Goose Watch Winery to Buttonwood Grove Winery: 1.8 miles / 2 minutes
Buttonwood Grove Winery to Toro Run Winery: .8 miles / 1 minute
Toro Run Winery to Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery: 2.2 miles / 3 minutes
Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery to Thirsty Owl Wine Company: .3 miles / 1 minute
Thirsty Owl Wine Company to Hosmer Winery: .8 miles / 1 minute
Hosmer Winery to Lucas Vineyards: 4.8 miles /6 minutes
Lucas Vineyards to Americana Vineyards: 4.8 miles / 7 minutes
Americana Vineyards to Six Mile Creek Vineyards: 17.5 miles / 29 minutes
Six Mile Creek Vineyards to Long Point Winery: 27 miles / 40 minutes
Long Point Winery to Montezuma Winery: 20.9 miles / 29 minutes
Do you provide transportation?
The trail does not provide transportation; however, here is a link to some stellar local tour companies. We only offer paid transportation packages with our 4 annual Trail events.
Where does the wine trail start and/or end?
Starts at your first sip and ends with your ride home. 🙂 There technically is no particular beginning or end. The trail is self-guided, so you can start and stop anywhere you choose.
What is a ‘wine tasting?’
A tasting consists of half to an ounce of wine of different varieties to sample. Tastings are meant to help guide you to the wine(s) you would like to purchase.
Are the wineries open when there isn’t a scheduled event?
Yes! All but one of the wineries on our trail is open year-round, and a few are only open during the weekends in the winter months. Be sure to check the wineries page for hours before visiting.
How do I find out what events are going on?
Do any of the wineries have restaurants?
Knapp Winery’s Vineyard Restaurant: April- November – Lunch – 11:00AM – 5:00PM
Thirsty Owl Bistro: Open Sunday Through Thursday 11:30 am to 5:00 pm, Friday & Saturday 11:30am to 7:00pm.
Americana Vineyards’ Crystal Lake Café: Monday, Wednesday-Saturday 11am to 8pm, Sunday Brunch 10am to 2pm, Dinner 3pm to 8pm, clopsed Tuesdays
Toro Run: serves Tapas during winery hours
Buttonwood Grove Winery: BBQ foods during our Friday night deck parties in July and August – check their website for dates and details.
Are there other things to taste besides wine?
Yes. Our wineries also consist of a cidery, 4 distilleries , a meadery, a taproom, and a brewery. Many offer NYS beer by the bottle, as well.
Do my tickets include transportation?
No, the tickets do not include transportation; however we do offer packages with transportation.
Are my tickets only good for one day?
The event tickets are good for the entire weekend, with one visit per winery. Some try to see all in one day, and others spread it out.
Why must I choose a starting point and why is it important?
A starting point is where you will pick up your event items; tickets, glasses, recipe cards and other items specific to each event. Starting points also help us manage the flow of people, to enhance your experience, without too many bodies crowded into one winery all at the same time.
Can my ticket be refunded, returned, changed or exchanged?
Tickets are nonrefundable, and cannot be exchanged for another event. If the event is 2 weekends, it cannot be switched for the other weekend. The ticket, however, can be transferred to another person if you’re unable to attend.
If I purchase a ticket for an event that is 2 weekends, can I go the other weekend rather than the one I purchased?
No. Each weekend has a specific amount of people that can be allowed in order for the wineries to be able to prepare the right amount of food. If you switch, you or another attendee may not get the promised items from the event.
Is the event ever cancelled?
Events are never cancelled, even winter ones. Put on your parka and let the wine warm you up!
Do I need to make reservations for my group on an event weekend?
If your group is 15 or more, and you have already booked your own transportation, call the Trail office at 1-800-684-5217 and we will help you set up an itinerary for that day. We will even notify the wineries on your behalf.
Tickets are no longer available online; can I purchase them at the door?
Yes, and no. Call the trail office to get an exact answer. Each event is different. Some events sell out completely while others will still have tickets available at the door.
What does my ticket include?
Although each event is different, your ticket will generally include: a souvenir wine glass, a recipe collection, a wine & food pairing per winery visited, and up to 3 additional wine tastings per winery visited.
During events, are the wineries open for general visitors who do not have event tickets?
Yes, you’re always welcome, but will not receive any of the event items, such as the souvenir glass, the food tasting, recipe cards, etc.