Wagner Vineyards Review
Address: 9322 State Route 414 Lodi,New York 14860.
Phone Number: 607-582-6450
Tasting Hours: Jan-mid Mar: Mon-Sat 10:00-5:00, Sun 12:00-5:00; Mid Mar-Dec: 10:00-5:00
Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Seneca Lake AVA, New York
Reviewer: Caroline Helper
Review Date: 2/24/2012
Reviewer: Caroline Helper
Wagner Vineyards is a winery and brewery run by five generations of the Wagner Family, making it one of the oldest wineries of the region. The fact that Wagner Vineyards also produces a line of hand-crafted Ales and Lagers makes this winery especially worth a visit.
The Place:  Wagner Vineyards sits on the Eastern shore of Seneca Lake and offers generous views along with a restaurant, the Ginny Lee Café, that is open daily May through October, and the Wagner Valley Brewing Co – making it a place where it is easy to spend most of a day. While the property offers lovely views and extensive grounds, the actual buildings, and especially the tasting room, are tired and in desperate need of a renovation. This is a place where, if you can manage it, youll want to spend most of your time outside rather in the dark wood-paneled and largely unpleasant buildings of the winery and brewery.
The Wines:  Wagner Vineyards makes some strikingly beautiful and affordable Riesling, as well as what is perhaps the regions best Gewurztraminer a semi-dry iteration that can be picked up for a measly $13/bottle. The winerys dessert wines are also quite impressive, and the Vignoles Ice Wine made from the native hybrid, Vignoles, are especially worth a try. The Winerys Featured Wine Tasting includes a selection of Wagner Wines (a generous 7 or 8) for $4/person and the fee can be applied towards a purchase of $20 or more.
Extras:  The Wagner Valley Brewing Co. is the other operation onsite and also worth checking out. There is a wide range of beers available to suit every taste they make a honey wheat, pilsner, oatmeal stout, a couple different IPAs, porter, ale, lager and a handful of rotating seasonal specialty brews. The Ginny Lee Café serves a simple menu of sandwiches, salads, and pizzas and the sites views make it a place worth spending a couple of hours with a glass of wine or beer. Guided winery tours are offered (at no charge) weekdays at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm and on weekends at 11:30am and 1:30pm.
Insiders Tip:  Dont skip the brewery! The beers are all produced from locally-sourced ingredients and provide a refreshing break from the wine tasting. Theyre also pretty delicious. The season peaks Labor Day through Thanksgiving in the fall with weekend visitors flooding the region for wine tastings, foliage viewing and observing harvest activities. If you enjoy crowds and dont mind possibly having to wait for a tasting, fall weekends are a fine time to visit.