Standing Stone Vineyards Review
Address: 9934 State Route 414 Hector,New York 14841.
Phone Number: 607-582-6051
Tasting Hours: Sun-Fri 11:30-5:00, Sat 11:30-6:00
Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Seneca Lake AVA, New York
Reviewer: Julie Grice
Review Date: 4/12/2014
Reviewer: Julie Grice
The Place:  The tasting room at Standing Stone Vineyards is housed in a cute little yellow house with teal trim on the eastern shores of Seneca Lake. Vineyards bridge the gap between the tasting room and the waterfront, and the tasting bars overlook both the vines and the lake.
Inside, the furnishings are a bit bland. There are a few plain bars and slightly shabby carpet, but it is hardly noticeable thanks to the excellent service form the moment visitors step through the door.
The Experience:  Guests are greeted at the front door, led to an open space at the tasting bar and introduced to the two tasting options. For $1, visitors can be taken through the Intro Tasting, and taste the 2013 Chardonnay, 2012 Dry Vidal, 2012 Riesling, Smokehouse Red and 2012 Riesling Ice. Alternatively, $3 gives guests five pours of the regular wines, and one dessert wine tasting.
The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful, and the pours are sizeable. Our server was talkative and readily shared everything he knew about each wine, as well as facts about the Finger Lakes region and his personal experiences. When we were trying to decide between the 2009 and 2010 Merlot, he encouraged us to try both and see which we liked better.
The Wines:  Standing Stone Vineyards is the place to go for drier wines. The menu states the year in which the grapes were planted for each varietal, so guests can truly get an idea of the history of their wine.
One of the newest releases, the 2013 Chardonnay is a light, not too dry, white that is perfect for a spring evening. The Pinot Noir, a blend of the 2010 and 2011 harvests, is another particular standout.
Of the two Merlots, the 2010 wine is the more flavorful, reminiscent of blueberries and chocolate. But the best-selling red is the Smokehouse Red, a vinifera blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Pinot Noir.
Both the 2012 Vidal Ice and 2012 Riesling Ice are almost overwhelmingly sweet, with 20% residual sugar, though the Riesling is a little rounder and slightly less cloying.
Extras:  There is a small gift shop filled with local foods near the front door. In addition to wine, guests can pick up dipping sauces, cheese, salsa, honey, barbecue sauce, bread, chocolate-covered Oreo cookies and chocolate. Anyone who really loves Standing Stone can pick up a branded glass or hat as well.
Insiders Tips:  In general, Standing Stone isnt the place to go if you love sweet wines, as the only ones on the menu are the ice wines. While you could pay a bit extra to taste the other ice wines, instead use your extra tasting cash to try something off the reserve menu. Just $1 gets you the taste of a reserve wine, with an even bigger pour than in the regular tasting.