Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mardi Gras Wine Festival

Cayuga Lake Mardi Gras Wine Festival
Finger Lakes/ Cayuga
Feb. 7th 2015

THE ABSOLUTE BEST FUN!!!!!!

This weekend was totally GREAT! Couples (Although Mary's husband meet up with us later) on this wine tour with a twist.
With a total of 14 wineries on the tour, we were instructed to stop at each winery taste samples of wines eat Mardi Gras inspired FOOD, and play the scavenger hunt along the way. Wine tasters got souvenir wine glasses and the designated drivers got mugs. We also got beads at each stop, a recipe card, and a chance to win more prizes.

BLOGGER DISCLAIMER:
I am not going review each winery/wine. First off, I wouldn't be able to differentiate between a bottle of thousand dollar wine and an $8- clearance bottle...likely I would pick the clearance bottle. I will note what I personally enjoyed, Secondly...I was much less TASTING wine then CHUGGING wine on this event, therefor my opinion might be slightly altered. I will however, voice my personal thoughts on the experience (that of which I remember) and suggest/encourage and rave about the best parts of this weekend!!

FIRST STOP and Registration: Long Point

( I tried to get a picture of each winery we hit..as the day went on and the wine flowed freely...I lost track of some of them.)
 We registered at Long Point winery and this was our starting point, We were the first there...Mark drove, I  rest my case. Here is Mary signing in. Below we discuss the map and plan of attack. The plan is to hit as many today as we can.


My amazing husband endured our antics all day and drove us to each winery. He also wore this Squid hat without ANY COMPLAINTS!!! Here he takes his chance on winning additional prizes...NOPE!! Not this time!

(below)Rich gets some beads. Thank God for Rich, Tammy's husband, he went along behind our intoxicated butts picking up our left behind tickets, cards, tokens, wine glasses and minds though out the day. He was also our scavenger hunt finder. Thanks to Rich we each had a completed scavenger hunt card to turn in at the end.
 All ready to take on the Festival.

 (above) Tammy started her day collecting beads by stealing her husbands...by the end of the day she was definitely the bead collecting whore..she would beg, wager and steal these gems as the day progressed...this women  has skills. (Below) An example of the recipe card with the food we got to try. This is Cajun Stuffed bread. It was pretty good!
 Here is an example of one of the scavenger hunt clues. I submitted my card so I can't remember what the clue was...but this bottle and crown was the answer.
Members of the meet up group started at Long Point as well and we pretty much hit each winery with each other!!! I of course meet and expanded my circles of friendships with strangers along the way.

 SECOND STOP: King Ferry Winery

Tammy and Rich checked in here, and got their wine items. Next winery was several miles away in Ithaca, NY.......this winery has a movie theater in the back. You can drink wine and catch a film. I remember this scavenger hunt clue was how many couch's are in the movie theater?
This winery had hot hard cider to try....YUMMMMY!!! We saw more and more of these kits you can buy to make hot wines with spices called mulling or mule wines. I actually enjoyed them. Popcorn Balls were the King Ferry eatable, (not sure what that has to do with Mardi Gras....but maybe..)


THIRD STOP: Six Mile Creek Vineyard. 




This is where I purchased my first bottle of wine for the day...(it was gone before we got to the next winery) I cannot recall the name of the wine, but it was also the answer to the scavenger hunt. 
 





It was to light out to see this lighting all shiny. but what a great lamp idea.!!!

FOURTH STOP: Americana Vineyards (This had to be my personal favorite and where we spent the most time.)

This winery had it all. Food, hot wine, wine slushies, FUDGE, and one very cute (I was told) server who allowed us multiple tastes...( I should have got a picture of him). This is also where we connected with some of the meet up members. Marie, June and          became our companions for several future stops after Americana. 

 Lovely ladies..June and Marie.

 Having a few tastes..
I cannot remember these ladies names, but I met them at Bolt Castle a few months ago. Great Fun!

 The SLUSHIES!!!!
 Trying some of the goodies, We got some wine for the road here too...

FIFTH STOP: Bellwether Hard Cider and Wine Cellars


I should mention that the ladies in this party (including myself) were feeling quite good by this stop, and much of the rest of my wine tour story may be much more fragmented as we proceed. Bellwether had the best food items Hard Cider Beignets....these were sooooo good. This was also the first place we had an extra prize winner. I should also state that Hard Ciders RULE!!! They had a hot Hard cider that was super good!
 (Just looking at Tammy you can tell how we were feeling.VERY GOOD.)
This kitty was enjoying the attention from the patrons..

SIXTH STOP: Lucas Vineyard. (home of the Nautie wine). This winery is perhaps the most well know with some of their popular Nautie labels like Miss Chivious, Miss Adventure, and Miss Behavin.
I cannot remember which one of these three ladies I liked the best, but enjoyed the several sips.
 I meet this lovely couple while we were waiting for a some tasting and the cajan Dirty Rice with smoked sausage food tastings. I wish I could remember names.  I  know the guy had said he was an elementary school teacher. They were both very sweet.

SEVENTH STOP: Hosmer Winery

 I don't remember much about stopping here, it was about at this time I had consumed quite a but of alcohol.

There had been several wineries located in this area, so we walked to a few of them. 

Friendly hugs...as we head to the Thirsty Owl.

EIGHTH STOP: Thirsty Owl Wine Company

 We reconnected with Marie, June and
 and some additional people I don't know.

 Just around the corner...

NINTH STOP: Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery

 There goes Mark as we make our way to the next place, We spot a car off the Rd on our way. So glad we had our D&D.

The copper oven is part of The Cayuga Ridge Estates...we found these fun guys to offer up some wine tastes.


 This was when Tammy started soliciting her bead mission. I think she was able to score several beads and the gained two boa's off these two ladies.


TENTH STOP: Toro Run



 Here is a close up of Tammy's beads...notice the new red boa she scored too. She got one for Mary as well.
 Tammy was trading places in line to the bathroom for beads, She was really  stacking up.
 (notice Mary now has a purple boa...)
 Toro Run had Cajun shrimp for their food taste, I am sure I enjoyed the wine, but I really don't remember by this point,

ELEVENTH STOP: Buttonwood Grove Winery
  (Somewhere down there is Cayuga Lake.)
 Everyone LOVED Marks hat...had to get a shot of him and this guy....



TWELFTH STOP: Goose Watch Winery

 We caught back up with Kim and company last time we had seen them was at Long Point,
 Mark WON more Beads!!!

THIRTEENTH STOP: Knapp Winery and Vineyard ( I caught the sign as we were leaving across my husbands lap with a slight buzz in my head...not bad considering.)


Tammy WON a prize...a Mardi Gras mask.
 Do these ladies look like they are having the best fun...
Time was ticking. All of the winery's close a 5pm and we have three left.....we rushed to the next one,..

FOURTEENTH STOP: Varick Winery and Vineyard.

Apple Butter bars was the food tasting, I can not recall much about the wines we drank, but there were dozens of dipping sauces to test that seemed to go on and on and on. I know I ate a lot of these because by that time I was STARVING.
 This was the last winery we made it to that day...we ran out of time. I think the husbands had had enough of all of it anyways,.
 Rich is here taking care of our recipe cards. We really do have some GREAT guys.
Here are some more RANDOM strangers that I found. I really have no idea what their names were, but we all had such a great time.
 Whomever they were...they were all very nice!


Only two wineries left on the tour and it was after 5pm. Our hotel was past Swedish Hill Winery and the last stop Montezuma was past our hotel. We decided to skip Swedish Hill and hit Montezuma the following day.
WOW what a day!!! We had reservations in Seneca Falls, so we were off to the Hotel. Mary's husband meet us and we went to Abigals for dinner.


Mary and Brian left late that evening, but the following morning we made one more stop.

FIFTEENTH STOP: Montezuma Winery.

 We were a little early for wine tasting, and quite honestly I had enough wine to last me a little while, but we did want to make it to at least as many as we could. (We missed only one) Rich had found the answer somehow to the missed winery question so we submitted our scavenger hunt cards. None of us won the grand prizes,

 We had such a great time, I can't wait for the next event.  Until then......





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