Atwater Estate Vineyards is located in Burdett in the Finger Lakes on the southeast side of Seneca Lake. The winery is owned by Ted Marks and was opened in 2000. Since our visit they have now opened a tasting room in Watkins Glen.
The view from the tasting room overlooks the magnificent vineyards which are between the winery and the lake. When we visited, it was harvest time and the mechanical harvesters were hard at work. The winery has 50 acres of estate vineyard and 60 acres planted in total. They have sixteen varieties of vinifera, hybrid, and native grapes planted right now. The wines they produce are 90% estate wines. In New York, 85% of the wine you produce has to be estate grapes in order to call yourself an estate winery. Atwater Estate Vineyards produces around 7,000-8,000 cases of wine a year.
In the tasting room, you stand at the tasting bar to do a tasting. There is a tasting fee for your selection of six wines. The wines are poured from the uncorked bottles. Oyster crackers are available to cleanse your palate.
Donations to various organizations are given upon the sale of certain wines. One such wine is the Cecil Chardonnay which was created for The Paleontological Research Institution of the Museum of the Earth located in Ithaca, NY. Stone Bridge White and Stone Bridge Red benefit the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, NY.
Other wines we tasted were:
- Dry, semi-dry, and bubbles Riesling
- Pinot Gris
- Riewürz (blend of Gewürztraminer and Riesling)
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Franc
- Big Blend (33% Blaufränkisch [also known as Lemberger], 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, 8% Syrah)
- Sweet Catawba (blend of Catawba and Cayuga)
- Sweet Chancellor (blend of Chancellor and Catawba)
- Celsius (Vignoles as an iced wine)
There is a nice gift shop available with glasses, ceramics, crackers, cheese, mustard, and candles. Atwater Estate Vineyards has a wine club for their wine lovers.