Votes are in: Finger Lakes takes top spot
FINGER LAKES--According to a popular vote, Finger Lakes wineries have scored the top position in the USA TODAY newspapers' promotion for "Best Wine Region" throughout the country.
The process for the selection is all about urging people to vote online. USA TODAY first has a panel of industry specialists partnered with the newspapers 10 Best online editors to pick the initial 20 nominees. The top 10 winners were then determined by popular vote. USA TODAY and their online site then promotes the regions and encourages people to vote for their favorite establishments. Daily voting for the same or multiple locations is part of the process for many.
In August, the top 10 winners for the "Best Wine Region" across the country included the following areas:
1. Finger Lakes - New York
2. Lodi - California
3. Leelanau Peninsula - Michigan
4. Santa Barbara County - California
5. Walla Walla Valley - Washington
6. Texas Hill Country - Texas
7. Grand Valley - Colorado
8. El Dorado - California
9. Willamette Valley - Oregon
10. Yadkin Valley - North Carolina
New York's picturesque Finger Lakes region is home to three distinct American Viticultural Areas, Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. Visitors to the area will find more than 130 wineries, many specializing in Riesling.
The online competition also scored individual businesses for "Best Winery Restaurant," "Best Winery Tour," "Best Tasting Room," "Best Wine Country Hotel" and "Best Wine Festival." Additional top 10 winery finishers in the competition also included Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars (Dundee, Best Winery Restaurant, eighth Place); Herman J. Wiemer Vineyard (Dundee, Best Winery Tour, seventh Place); Fox Run Vineyards (Penn Yan, Best Tasting Room, seventh place); Dr. Konstantin Frank (Hammondsport, Best Tasting Room, 10th place); Belhurst Castle (Geneva, Best Wine Country Hotel, third place), and The Finger Lakes Wines Festival (Best Wine Festival, fifth place).
F.L.X. Table (Geneva) for its designation as the nation's "Best Winery Restaurant," and Fox Run Café at Fox Run Vineyards (Penn Yan) which placed third in the same contest.
The Finger Lakes wine region now includes some 140 wineries and tasting rooms, four wine trails, more than 9,300 acres of vineyards, and 54,600 tons of grape production.