Heron Hill Winery Review
Address: 9301 County Route 76 Hammondsport,New York 14840.
Phone Number: 607-868-4241
Tasting Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00-5:00, Sun 12:00-5:00 (Sep-Oct open at 10am daily)
Region: Finger Lakes AVA, New York
Reviewer: Caroline Helper
Review Date: 6/22/2012
Reviewer: Caroline Helper
Heron Hill Winery is situated in one of the most scenic spots in the region and offers absolutely breathtaking views of Keuka Lake from an updated and architecturally dazzling tasting room that is meant to evoke the inside of a wine barrel.
The Place:  Heron Hill winery has been around since 1977, making it a stalwart of the region. Heron Hills tasting room, designed in 2000, has garnered a reputation for the winery as one of the most innovative and attractive wineries on the East Coast. The winerys café, Blue Heron Café, makes this a great winery to designate as a lunch spot, too, especially with the views afforded of beautiful Keuka Lake.
The Experience:  Heron Hills grape grower and owner, John Ingle often says that Heron Hill has boot prints in the vineyards, not tire tracks. People maintain the vines at Heron Hill, not machines. This personal approach and commitment to quality are the guiding principles behind the winery and have remained constant through the years. The tasting room at Heron Hill is one of the most beautiful spaces in the region, with a long bar set against a long wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that afford guests a view of Keuka lake as they go through their tasting.
The Wines:  Heron Hill grows over 20 different varieties with much more of a focus here on Vitus vinifera (grapes of European origin). Here, as at other wineries in the region, Riesling is the star. Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Lemberger are all in attendance, too, but none are quite so exquisite as the Rieslings, which range from dry to sweet. Heron Hill also makes a line of wonderful dessert wines that are worth a sip.
Extras: Blue Heron Café is a good place to sit and sip some Finger Lakes wine while enjoying a solid, if not especially exciting, lunch. The winery offers a variety of tasting plans for groups throughout the day, and limo and bus groups need to call ahead for reservations. Group tastings are $5/person.
Insiders Tip:  Maker sure not to miss out on the winerys exclusive Eclipse Series that feature spicy Pinot Noir, and blends made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Heron Hill also offers a schedule of themed dinner events and live entertainment throughout the summer and fall.