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.
It’s entirely possible France’s most noteworthy eateries define the term “destination restaurant.” Examples of how some of the more enduring Paris restaurants have approached this is compelling. While hot spots like Le Drugstore changed with the times and tastes of clientele, others, like Café de la Paix, steadfastly stay true to the roots and recipes that have delighted guests for generations.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s staying power is rooted in the way it delivers continuity and consistency for long-time loyalists of the Grand Velas brand and anybody else seeking a luxury, all-inclusive experience. One of Grand Velas’s hallmarks is its activities, amenities and restaurants across its three buildings can be enjoyed by all guests, enabling them to do the destination their way. This is particularly important when groups have different ideas of how they want to spend their vacation time.
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In 2025, Riviera River Cruises will launch two ships with sailing itineraries on Europe’s Danube and Douro rivers. Riviera Radiance will sail the Danube and offer six itineraries, including one exclusively for solo travelers, and three holiday itineraries. Riviera Rose will be based on the Douro River and sail one itinerary.
JetBlue, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are some of the airlines now charging passengers more to check bags at the airport than to purchase the service online in advance. In an effort to cover higher costs, more airlines increased baggage fees in 2024.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
Condor Airlines recently introduced Condor Cards, a membership program that allows frequent Condor passengers to receive additional benefits. The two card options include World Activity Card, tailored to the needs of sports enthusiasts, and World Family Card, offering benefits for families or friends traveling together on vacation.