One of the perks of living in Central New York is its easy access to the Finger Lakes. Drive about an hour west, and there you are, in wine country.
Greenwood Winery, DeWitt’s first winery, opened last month. It is at 6475 Collamer Road (Route 298), a couple miles east of Carrier Circle.
If you don’t mind a little dust and construction (of a bar and bistro, adjacent to the tasting room), you can sample wines there several days a week. You can also purchase wine by the glass or bottle and enjoy it on the patio, overlooking the small vineyard.
Greenwood Winery is an artisan winery owned and operated by local real estate developer Tom Greenwood. Wines are made from grapes grown in DeWitt and in the Finger Lakes. The tasting area shares space with sparkling new storage tanks and crush pads.
Most of the grapes Greenwood is growing are cold-hardy varieties developed by Cornell University and the University of Minnesota: Traminette, Noiret, Chancellor, Marechal Foch and others.
Eight wines are available for tasting: four whites, a blush wine and three reds. Our $5 tasting included our choice of five wines and came with a souvenir glass.
The Traminette, a crisp white wine, might remind you of some of the sunny Gewurztraminers you’ve enjoyed in the Finger Lakes. The two reds we sampled, Noiret and Enthusiasm (Chancellor), were a pleasant surprise: dry but not bone dry; full-bodied and flavorful, with a clean, smooth finish.
They definitely have a place at home, as we transition from light summer meals to heartier fall and winter fare, like soups, stews and braised meats.
Bottles of wine range from $10 to $14.
The tasting room also features a small gourmet food section, with local and regional food products, like Thousand Island River Rat cheeses and mustards, artisan breads, olives and cured meats – and other items that pair nicely with wine.
Greenwood Winery won a Gold medal for its Baco Noir at the recent New York Wine and Food Classic, considered the Oscars of New York wine. It was not available to taste when we visited but will be, eventually, we were told.
Greenwood Winery tasting room hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 399-0835 or go to Greenwood Winery
Margaret McCormick is a freelance writer and editor in Syracuse. She blogs about food at EatFirst.typepad.com . Follow her on Twitter at @mmccormickcny.