Upper New York State’s Finger Lakes, a pastoral world of 11 lakes shaped like fingers, has 120 wineries that produce this country’s finest Riesling. Yet, other than a few wineries along the larger lakes, it is barely known outside the state. Even less known is the area whose lakes are the size of little fingers and whose wineries are equally small.
In this small-lake setting, Eagle Crest Vineyards stands out as one of the area’s best and, at 141 years, one of the oldest. It began as O-Neh-Da, a sacramental wine producer, which it still is. I was highly impressed with its Unoaked Chardonnay, Dry and Semi-Dry Riesling and Cabernet Franc under its 8-year-old Eagle Crest label. It sells its wines through its website.
Diane and Timothy Moore named their 6-year-old winery Inspire Moore and give their wines inspiring names. I particularly recommend Gratitude, a Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio blend; Peace (Pinot Grigio); Joy (Dry Riesling); and Truth, a Bordeaux grape blend. They are distributed nationally and online.
Among Casa Larga’s wines are three Chardonnays, the same wine aged 15 months — one in French oak, one in American oak, one in Hungarian oak. I found the French the silkiest and most elegant; the Hungarian well-integrated; the American, however, was overwhelmingly oaky. Casa Larga has national distribution.
But most wineries here do not. They are small, family operations tucked into a glorious setting of lakes, waterfalls, gorges and acres of state parks.
Thorpe Vineyard is owned by Fumie Thorpe, who came to the United States from Tokyo 30 years ago to study meteorology. She never returned. Instead, her father bought her this small winery, and Fumie learned to be a winemaker and vineyardist. Tasting with her recently, I liked her Unoaked Chardonnay and Semi-Dry Riesling.
At Young Sommer Winery, a husband and wife team produce an admirable Gewürztraminer and Semi-Dry Riesling and the red Lemberger.
John Brahm’s family has been involved in wine since the early 1900s. Today, he has Arbor Hill Grapery, where he sells his pleasant Semi-Dry Riesling and Traminette, from a French-American hybrid grape whose main parent is Gewürztraminer.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced plans to take over an existing hotel in Switzerland. The property is undergoing extensive renovations in preparation to open at the end of next year as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern. The property was previously Hotel Palace Luzern, on the shores of Lake Lucerne and in the heart of the city; it originally opened in 1906.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.