Leidenfrost Vineyards Review
Address: 5677 State Route 414 Hector,New York 14841.
Phone Number: 607-546-2800
Tasting Hours: May-Nov: 10:00-5:00; Dec-Apr: Sat-Sun 10:00-5:00
Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Seneca Lake AVA, New York
Reviewer: Julie Grice
Review Date: 3/23/2013
Reviewer: Julie Grice
The Liedenfrost family has been making wine since 1947 but only began producing commercially in 1990. Since then, they have gone on to create some of the most impressive dry red wines in the Finger Lakes region. The vineyard and tasting room are located on the southeast edge of Seneca Lake.
The Place:  The Liedenfrost Vineyards tasting room is housed in a simple timber-framed building. From the parking lot, the building doesn’t look all that exciting, especially in the winter. But the view from the deck out back, which overlooks the vineyards and Seneca Lake, more than makes up for the ho-hum exterior. Inside, the tasting room is cozy, and the U-shaped bar takes up much of the space. Local artwork adorns the walls and hangs from the ceiling, and peanut shells crunch underfoot around the bar. Beautiful wooden rafters contrast with the white walls and ceilings, and cases of wine line the room.
The Experience:  On the day of our visit, the tasting room was full of visitors, but we managed to find a space at the bar and were pleased to hear that six pours cost only $2. There was only one person working at the time, despite it being a busy Saturday, so the wait between pours was relatively long. However, our server was still willing to answer our questions, and when she got back around to us, she enthusiastically told us about the wines we chose as she poured.
Currently, the tasting room is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, but rumor has it that they will soon be open for tastings seven days a week.
The Wines:  Liedenfrost Vineyards specializes in dry reds and features some of the best in the region. They boast an impressive line-up of Baco Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, two Pinot Noirs and a few blends. Of the reds, the Merlot 2008 was most remarkable; it had a smooth, full-bodied flavor with fewer tannins than most dry red wines. The plummy Baco Noir 2011 was also particularly enjoyable.
Though they are known for their dry reds, Liedenfrost also has a selection of wonderful white wines. The semi-dry Gewurztraminer 2010 is especially delightful with a rich and lush fruity flavor. The Dry Riesling 2009 is citrusy and refreshing and has just enough residual sugar to make it well-rounded.
Nearly all of Liedenfrosts wines cost between $8 and $16 a bottle, making these high-quality wines extremely affordable.
Extras:  The winery features work from local artists in the tasting room, so the décor changes on a monthly basis. To celebrate the new art, Liedenfrost hosts an art opening and wine reception on the first Friday of each month in the tasting room.
Unlike most tasting rooms, Liedenfrost is pet-friendly. Dogs are welcomed inside with water and a biscuit.
Insiders Tip:  Bowls of peanuts are scattered around the bar and peanut shells litter the floor. If you have a severe peanut allergy, Id sadly advise you to skip a Liedenfrost visit.