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Lucas Vineyards
by
K.L. Sullivan

Lucas VineyardsSummary: Lucas Vineyards provides a friendly tasting room to visit. When visitors arrive, a staff member is quick to greet them at the door. The tasting counters occupy areas along two walls and the other areas of the room have cases and bottles of wine to purchase along with many items to browse. This is a truly family enterprise with Mrs. Lucas, her two daughters and son-in-law working fulltime throughout the tasting room, winery and vineyards.

The landscaped approach to the entrance of Lucas Vineyards tasting room has an abundance of flowers including bright yellow lilies. A pathway composed of large, various shaped flat stones leads visitors between the gardens. Immediately upon entering, a staff member greeted us. A staff member greets all visitors as they enter the tasting room. Only one percent of the wineries we visit have a greeter at the door. This is a terrific idea and adds to the total experience. Stephanie Lucas Houck is emphatic that visitors to the tasting room always be welcomed.

Lucas VineyardsThe Lucas family moved from New York City in the 1970’s where Mr. Lucas was a tugboat captain. You'll notice the nautical theme on many of the wine bottles. According to Jeffrey Houck, son-in-law and winemaker, they were “looking for a nicer life.” Soon after arriving, the Lucas’ planted ten acres of grapes. Eventually they grew enough grapes to sell to the Taylor Wine Company until the Taylor Wine Company ran into difficulty and no longer purchased their grapes. The Lucas family established their own winery and began producing their own wines. Today Lucas Vineyards has 35 acres of grapevines. More than 60,000 visitors stopped at the tasting room last year. The most popular wine is Tug Boat Red with sales of over 10,000 cases. Total wine production is 23,000 cases.

The weather in the Finger Lakes is not always predictable, resulting in the loss of some grape varietals during a harsh winter. Cayuga White vines do quite well here despite the cold climate with risks of spring and fall frosts.

Lucas VineyardsThe wine selection is long. We tasted several wines including the 2007 Dry Riesling, which had a floral nose and a fruit with peach taste. The aftertaste had fruit then dried to mineral. The Cayuga White 2007 offered a floral nose, a peach and fruit salad taste. The fruit dried out on the aftertaste. Semi Dry Riesling 2007 had a floral nose and citrus taste. Again, the fruit dried on the aftertaste. Vignoles 2007 had a fruit nose of nectarines, apricot, and peach with a fruit salad taste. The aftertaste was fruit and sweet. Miss Behavin’ is a proprietary blend. The nose is of an American white grape. The taste and aftertaste are fruity and sweet. The Extra Dry Sparkling Wine is produced with the Cayuga White grape. The nose was apple. The taste was apple with cream and the aftertaste was very crisp and cleansing with apple nuances.

Lucas VineyardsOther wines we tasted included 2006 Syrah Reserve that had a red fruit jam nose. The taste was fruit jam and then pepper. The aftertaste had pepper with soft tannins. Cabernet Franc 2006 had a cherry and pepper nose and taste. The aftertaste was of fruit and tannins. Tug Boat Red 2006 is a proprietary blend with a fruit and licorice nose. The taste was of fruits including raspberry and the aftertaste was fruit. Lucas Vineyards also produces an ice wine, Vidal Blanc Ice 2007. The nose was apricot with a taste of apricot and honey. There was a long aftertaste of fruit and honey.

Lucas VineyardsAfter, before or during your tasting be sure to browse the gifts available. On the day of our visit, July 3, a special offer was available in celebration of Independence Day. A box of three wines, red, white and blue were available at a special price. In case you’re wondering, the blue wine was a wine with the name of Blues bottled in a blue bottle.

When you visit Lucas Vineyards, take your time and enjoy the ambiance of the tasting room, the friendliness of the staff and the wines. Be sure to observe the inspiring views of Cayuga Lake from the tasting room windows.

 

Lucas Vineyards
3862 County Road 150
Interlaken, NY 14847

GPS N 42° 62.848' W 76° 71.036'


 

 

 


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