Buttonwood Grove Winery Review
Address: 5986 State Route 89 Romulus,New York 14541.
Phone Number: 607-869-9760
Tasting Hours: Jan-Mar: Fri-Mon 10:00-5:30; Apr-Dec: 10:00-5:30
Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Cayuga Lake AVA, New York
Reviewer: Julie Grice
Review Date: 10/6/2013
Reviewer: Julie Grice
While the wines at Buttonwood Grove Winery are fine in terms of flavor and quality, the real draw is the Finger Lakes property itself, with its cozy-looking exterior, seasonal landscaping and on-site waterfall and livestock.
The Place:  Festive, seasonal landscaping around the exterior of Buttonwood Grove Winery welcomes wine lovers to the property. The large wrap-around deck and adjoining patio are inviting and tempt visitors to take a few minutes to enjoy the view post-tasting before moving on to other Finger Lakes wineries.
The tasting room is larger inside than expected, but unfortunately, the interior is more bland that the cheery, cozy exterior would suggest. A gift shop takes up most of the available floor space, wrapping around the registers and tasting bar. It is filled with wine-themed accessories, local pottery, grape pies, biscotti, jewelry and more. And in the autumn, the stars of the gift shop are the seedless Concord grapes.
The Experience:  It wasn’t difficult to find a spot at the tasting bar on the rainy Sunday afternoon of our visit. The staff was friendly and efficient, if not appearing a bit rushed and disinterested. At Buttonwood, the cost of a tasting is a bit on the high end for the area, ringing in at $4 for six pours. But if you love the wines enough to take a bottle home, you can recoup $2 of your tasting fee with your purchase.
The Wines:  Buttonwood grows many of its own wine grapes, and what they don’t grow, they buy locally. Redbud, a peppery blend of Corot Noir, Noiret and Cabernet Franc grapes, is a nice dry red. In terms of white wines, the Riesling 2011 is notable. With its clean peach and apricot flavors, it is one of the best whites on the menu. However, the Gewürztraminer 2012 is also a solid choice. Those who aren’t fans of fruity wines should be forewarned that the Morning Glory, while listed as a semi-dry white wine, is actually peach-based with a little Riesling blended in. While it is a fine wine, it can be a bit surprising to an unsuspecting taster.
Of the seventeen wines on the standard tasting menu, the clear standout is the sweet Blackberry Briar. The wine is true to its name and tastes like pureed blackberries. If you ask, the staff might give you a sample of a Blackberry Briar slushy, in addition to the regular tasting pour. In addition to being an “easy drinker” in both liquid and frozen form, it would make a nice reduction for finishing a dish.
Extras:  Three Buttonwood Grove wines aren’t on the regular tasting menu, but can be sampled for an additional $1 each. These include the Diva, a sparkling wine; Vermillion Bliss 2009, a dry red; and Miss Kassie, a port.
Insiders Tips:  Dogs are welcome at Buttonwood, as long as they are leashed, so feel free to bring your canine friends along. If you aren’t in a rush, take some time to wander the property. You may spot Melody the Scottish Highland Cow or one of the three grazing goats on your way to the winery’s own waterfall.