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The New York Wine Train

Finger Lakes is one of the more gorgeous regions of New York and the region produces quality wine. Now there is a train trip designed to explore the wineries of the region!

The Finger Lakes of western New York make up an abundant wine producing region. This area is what makes New York the second largest wine producing state (behind California) in the US. Named for their long thin shape, the Finger Lakes (and the region surrounding them) make a climate perfect for growing grapes and producing many different types of wines – from dry champagnes to full bodied Pinot Noir. With flavors rivaling those found in French wines, the 30 plus wineries of the Finger Lakes region have become a well loved draw for tourists – and wine train tours Finger Lakes area offers are also a fantastic way to pass time here.

The Finger Lakes Scenic Railway (315-374-4994) is a fantastic way to see the Finger Lakes area – but it is not specifically geared towards wine tours. Instead, this railway is available to tourists visiting the Finger Lakes region who want to delight in a nostalgic ride along a section of railroad track dating back to 1835. Reopened as a commercial and freight track back in 1995, this 118 mile long section of track offers commercial customers a way to transport their items through central and western New York. In 2000, the Finger Lakes Scenic Railway opened its services up to passengers who wanted to relive the train travel experience.

Public excursions are scheduled every month of the year, with parties, dinners and other activities included along with the train ride. You can also hire the train for private excursions – some people choose to book the Railway for parties and weddings, while others choose to take group wine tours and other trips along the railroad. Once your ride on the rails is finished (it starts in Geneva, New York and you can also return to this depot), you can choose to explore one of the three main wine trails located in the Finger Lakes region.

While there are no specific wine train tours Finger Lakes offers, you can certainly delight in the Seneca Lake Wine Trail after a scenic trip on the Railway. With 31 vineyards located on this trail alone, you will be sure to find a winery that produces a wine you will delight in. Starting in Geneva at the northern tip of Seneca Lake, and ending in Watkins Glen, you will find all of these wineries dotting the shores of the lake. Well loved Finger Lakes wineries like Fox Run Vineyards and Penguin Bay Winery and Champagne House are located among the selection of wineries here, and this area is a perfect compliment to your railway ride.

Enjoying the scenery of western New York while visiting the many vineyards in the Finger Lakes area can turn a small trip into a longer, more relaxing one. Be sure to plot plenty of time to do some sightseeing as well as wine tasting when you try the wine train tours of Finger Lakes.

Xavier Moldini is with



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