Finger Lakes Wineries, Perfect Places to Say “I Do”

Dec 20, 2016

If the title of the article caught your attention, then congratulations, to yourself or the love-struck couple on your mind. Did you know that the Finger Lakes Region is one of the nation’s fastest growing destination wedding locations? With its beautiful scenery, abundant with rolling hills, glacial carved lakes, and endless vineyards, it’s the perfect backdrop for every couple’s “big day”. With great scenery comes a plethora of talented photographers on hand to capture the moment along with plenty of places for guests to hang their hats, from quaint rustic cabins to modern chic hotels. Over half the members of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail offer their facilities for a variety of events such as intimate weddings, graduations, reunions, corporate gatherings and more.

Conveniently located just outside the Ithaca city limits,Six Mile Creek Vineyard is the closest of any Trail member wineries to wedding essentials such as lodging, caterers, bakers, and florists. The winery overlooks a picturesque valley and pond, rolling fields, and vineyard. Six Mile offers both indoor and outdoor options, to include the use of the grounds as well as the tasting room.  For ease of planning, their friendly and knowledgeable team also offers wine service and coordination.

Going around the lake,Bellwether Hard Cider and Wine Cellars has an exquisitely manicured lawn with a charming pond by which many happy couples have exchanged vows. They were the first cider producers in the Finger Lakes, and their tasteful expertise is evident in every bottle. 

Heading north along the western shore, Thirsty Owl Wine Company is nearest the lakefront which makes for incredible photos. With The Bistro, on-site catering is offered and the extremely talented Chef Sean Agate is sure to knock your guest’s socks off.  With over 2,000 feet of lake frontage, the property is often host to the ceremony, photo session and reception altogether. Weather permitting, use of a tent is allowed as well as use of the winery’s lake-facing patio. For groups up to 60, the 4-season-friendly Vineyard Room, offers a reception setting completely safe from the elements.

If you’re looking for rustic chic, Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery is the venue for you. The entire tasting room, complete with gothic church lights, is a charming barn with exquisite character. Plus, co-owner Susie Challen is an interior decorator – who doesn’t want one of those on their planning team!?

Next is the Finger Lakes winery with a Spanish flare, Toro Run. Sitting high above the west side of Cayuga Lake, Toro overlooks the longest stretch of lakeshore among Trail members. Their Grape View Terrace accommodates both large and small events with up to 300 guests. Meals are made easy with an on-site caterer. Also offered is a modern hillside vacation cottage that sleeps 8, available to the wedding party or honored guests.

Then, nestled back in the woods, Buttonwood Grove Winery has plenty of room for larger parties and a picturesque setting complete with a pond-side trellis overlooking the lake.  Guests or the wedding party can stay in up to four rustic yet modern cabins that comfortably sleep four adults each. This property, in particular, is always adorned with exceptional landscaping and floral arrangements. For events with less than 80 people, the tasting room is open after normal business, as early as 6pm.

A bit further north isKnapp Winery, which offers a completely customizable experience. Throughout the planning stages, their team, including Executive Chef John McNabb, is available to construct a unique menu complete and built-for-you cocktails with Knapp’s hand crafted cordials. Their beautifully landscaped gardens, grapevine covered trellises, manicured vineyards, and functional barrel room, combine for a charming wine country wedding.

Closer to the northern end of the lake and the historic town of Seneca Falls, Varick Winery & Vineyard is lined with a charming cherry orchard. Their heart-shaped pond, that also overlooks Cayuga Lake, makes a great setting for the ceremony or photo shoot. Also with accommodations, the winery’s 1800’s Inn is adorned with antique country décor in a four bedroom cobblestone home. The property is boat accessible and known for its complimentary edibles from the Country Store.

If when dreaming of your big day, you envision a picturesque east coast wedding taking place while the final moments of sunlight descend beyond the lakeshore, then Treleaven is the perfect spot.  With a dedicated Special Events Coordinator to ensure that everything goes on without a hitch (well, besides the ones getting hitched), the wedding can be completely customized to your liking. Their new outdoor event pavilion, The Hangtime, can accommodate up to 150 guests beginning mid-April through October. It includes a bridal suite and ample space and power for a DJ or band and dancing. For smaller winter receptions, their barrel room seats 70 guests comfortably amid stacked oaked barrels.

For more information on Cayuga Lake Wine Trail event sites, visit cayugawinetrail.com/wineries/weddings.