LOCKPORT, NY — Today, I listened to NPR’s Morning Edition while driving by farms and Lake Michigan. No deadlines, no beat checks, no IFB checks and no scanner traffic. Life outside of the newsroom feels good. I’m a recovering workaholic settling into her vacation. According to the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center – my mind and body needed this vacation.
It’s good for you.
We’re visiting my in-laws in upstate New York. We’re in Lockport, near Lake Ontario.
The other day, we went to an outdoor mass with Lake Ontario as the backdrop.
Lockport is hot and humid. Everyone is quite friendly and they love their steak, potato and wings. Our neighbors are families, farmers, cows, horses and endless fields of corn. I can’t wait to throw some sweet corn on the grill! I also can’t wait to introduce my in-laws to the gourmet wonders of the bacon explosion.
Yesterday, I stumbled on hidden gems in Lockport’s wine region. I was a little worried when people raved about the ice wines. There are so many apple/cherry/fruit fields in this area. So, it makes sense that ice wine would play a starring role in the Niagara Wine Belt.
Still, I fell in love with two wineries on our wine tasting tour.
We stopped at Eveningside Vineyards in Cambria. The wine tasting room was inside a tiny barn. The winemakers played a jazz vinyl record. Iced wine fans were a little disappointed with this spot. As for myself, I was impressed with the reds. The 2005 Merlot tasted fruit-forward, bold, with a nice, jammy finish. I also enjoyed the 2007 Shiraz – smoky nose, complex and finished off with berry tones. Eveningside folks said they’ve been experimenting with Hungarian Oak casks. Plus, they’re getting some wonderful grapes from the Long Island region.
Freedom Run Winery is also importing grapes from Long Island. This Lockport winery has a beautiful tasting room with leather seats for the bus tours. (At times, It felt like we were racing those buses to the next winery. I’m not a fan of crowds at the wine bar.)
I liked the Cabernet Franc at Freedom Run. It’s a well-made red with a peppery nose. It popped in my mouth and it had a smooth finish. The winery folks said the combination of clay and limestone at their vineyard helps build craft the character of some of their wines.