Hosmer Winery has been around since 1985, and in that time has developed into a formidable producer of good quality wines.
Hosmer wines have been recognized with a raft of prestigious awards, but the winery retains a fun, friendly touch. Hosmer was voted Best Finger Lakes Winery in the most recent Ithaca Times readers poll.
The tasting room is expansive, with high ceilings and lots of natural light. A big crew of workers took care of a large group of visitors. Our servers at the tasting bar were knowledgable about what they were selling, and personable in sharing it.
A look around the room showed about two dozen wine competitions won by Hosmer varieties. What intrigued us, though, were a couple of off-beat offerings exclusive to Hosmer.
One was a dessert wine - the only one Hosmer makes - called Raspberry Royale, a fortified (i.e., high alcohol) wine infused with locally-grown raspberries. It has a lot of strength and flavor, and is the kind of drink you can't drink much of and remain lucid, so it is a good drink to get visitors to go to bed.
The other Hosmer exclusive we liked, and bought, was Sangria. At the other end of the wine spectrum from the dessert wine, it is a light and welcoming wine to celebrate the start of a summer evening. It is also a good buy (ahem), at $10 for a 1.5 liter bottle.
Hosmer was the last of our stops. Altogether we spent about four hours patronizing six wineries, one eatery (and checking out 2 others), enjoying much scenery (personally I have a limited capacity for scenery, but this was about right), and tangentially visiting Sheldrake, a tough place to define (town, hamlet, settlement?), oddly befitting its most famous resident, the late Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone.
We had fun, stayed legal, got to know our region better, and got ready for our '07 vintage of house guests. You can find more information at www.cayugawinetrail.com, which will also direct you to individual winery websites.
for Ithaca Grog