Sorry...a bit (a lot) slack in getting a few fotos up between being on the road and switching between ipod, laptop and netbook. (excuses..)
Day three we started off at Ventosa Vineyards which as a short blast from the B&B. Very classy looking operation. The "nice" people were probably still at church when we walked in....
Again, good whites but the reds were weak. Very nice venue with a nice view across the lake towards Geneva. If I owned it, I'd be doing a brunch big time. http://www.ventosavineyards.com/
We looped north through Geneva and down the west side of the lake. Geneva is a lovely little town and it was graduation at the local college (Hobart) so the streets were full of parked cars - obstructing some really nice architecture.. I would characterize this area as turn of the century (or late 1800s) industrial. You can tell it had really been prosperous at one time, but sadly that time has passed. The main street was suffering, but the grand dame homes along the street were still impressive.
We moved south along the western shore, enjoying good roads, and terrific scenery. If you tried to visit each winery along the way...you'd need a couple of weeks of touring or a couple of months in the local lockup! We elected to stop at Fox Run Vineyards (again on Gary's say so). http://www.foxrunvineyards.com/
It's a lovely set up, with a view over the lake from a large "house" with veranda. They also run a small bistro as well as the tasting room. A great selection of whites and probably the best reds, but not on par with Cali nor euro/ozzie/SA reds. The also have some quirky tables and such made from barrel staves - but not the sort of thing one collects in the boot of a topdown SLK!
Still before lunch we moved a bit further south to Miles Wine Cellars. http://mileswinecellars.com/
Now this was an interesting stop with lots of history. The house was originally built as a terminus for lake ferries/boat traffic. It was also a stop on the underground railroad for escaped slaves on the way to freedom in Canada. During renovations several 1860s pennies were found in the cellar - a local historian says that it is likely a small offering by escapers for cover and food.
The house is also reportedly haunted - which adds some pizazz to the house which is also a small inn. The winery offers good whites and local reds (I've beat that to death, right?) but also three different beers. They are currently expanding to include the brewery and more rooms for the inn. The view from the bluff is very nice.
Past noon breakfast had worn off so we made our way to the town of Watkins Glen. We stopped at Seneca Harbor (sic) Station and ate at the Village Marina Bar & Grill. A great spot - lots of period pictures etc and a good menu. The food and service were very good. The outdoor patio afforded a great view of the period lake boats departing for the tour of the lake.
We had a brief visit with a touring band of bikers - all from the Niagara Canada area that had been on the road since Thursday. Our ladies agreed that touring a la four wheels beat two up on two wheels. (In our day, Cath and I did enjoy touring on our Goldwing...but with age comes wisdom..and an SLK! Sun, comfort and storage).
The town is charming from our drive through and we plan to return to explore it properly. Clearly it welcomes the motoring crowd and depends on tourism. We made our way from lunch to Watkins Glen track - a brief but pleasant drive up hill. At the tracks we watch the Viper Club enjoying themselves. Bad timing on our part - at noon and 5pm you can do laps behind a pace car for 25$. A flying friend was also there the same weekend and said it was a blast (in his A4).
The weather continued to be on our side so we went back to town to see the gorge. Parking is $5 but otherwise free. You can hike the gorge one way (a shuttle will take you back to the entrance) or out and back (our choice...since the shuttle wasn't running) - 1.5miles and 500ft vertically. It's truly picturesque - mother nature can do some amazing things.