Three Brothers Winery plus One

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Three new wineries have erupted in a field that used to just house Nagy's New Land Vineyard Just south of Geneva off Rt 96A. New Lands' tasting room had been the lone winery in the northeast quadrant of Seneca Lake for almost 20 years. Then Ventosa Vineyards opened up a few miles up the road and started (we hope) a trend toward filling in the northeast quadrant of Seneca Lake's massive collection of wineries.  Dale Nagy recently partnered with a new owner who has opened up "3 new wineries" at the same location.  The math gets a little fuzzy, but 3 Brothers Wineries is really 4 wineries.  Here is the breakdown.

3 Brothers Wineries (formerly Nagy's New Land Winery)

  1. Bagg Dare Wine Co formerly Rogue's Hollow Winery
  2. Passion Foot Vineyard and Wine Barn
  3. Stony Lonesome Wine Cellars
  4. War Horse Brewing Co (formerly Barley Yard Brewing)

To set the stage, there are literally 4 separate buildings which make up the tasting rooms on the property.  You get out of your car once and walk to each of the 4 wineries.  Each building is unique and is supposed to communicate the personality of each winery.  This part I think is pretty clever.  Bagg Dare is themed as though it is set in a Louisiana Bayou serving wine from bottles that are shaped more like whiskey bottles than wine bottles.   The Passion Foot is love themed.  Nagy's is what it has been, a rough sawn room on posts in the middle of a vineyard.  While Stony Lonesome is a big structure with beautiful decks and places to hang out including what looks like a nice little cafe.   The illusion is a bit of fun, but it's not really 4 wineries.   They are each serving wine made by the same winemaker (Dale Nagy).  So he makes 30 something wines and they divide them up among the themed rooms.  (Seems like a lot of eggs to put in one basket to me.)  My guess is that the 4 winery theme will work well to spread out visitors in the summer and fall, but in the winter, the reality of having to heat 4 tasting buildings will sink in and they will end up moving them all into one.  They offer individual paid tastings at each tasting room  or you can purchase a "passport" which saves you a dollar if you are planning to taste at all 4.  They also offer that if you purchase a bottle at each place they will throw in an extra bottle of their choosing.

Bagg Dare Wine Co

Looking like a cross between a pirate ship, a dive bar and a Louisana bayou the path leading to the tasting area and the bar itself is a lot of fun.  Comical signs and phrases are spoken and written.  The wine is definitely on the sweet side with a lot of blending.  The labels and the names say it all:  such as Ride'er All Night, a red blend of Riesling, Leon and Merlot with 5% residual sugar, or Skirt Lifter, a Niagara, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Cayuga blend at 4.5% residual sugar.  Interesting sweet combinations that could be good on a very hot day.  My only complaint is that they were all around $14-$15 a bottle which is a bit pricey for a sweet wine in this area and tastings were done from plastic thimble cups (meant to look like shot glasses).  We bought one bottle as a gag gift and moved on. 

Passion Feet

Another highly sweet set of blends but this time all themed around passion, desire and love.  Again funny names and labels were entertaining to read and funny to have the server say the names.  Names like 90 Seconds of Heaven for a Peach, Riesling blend at 4.5%RS or Backseat Bounce for a Noriet, Riesling, Concord blend at 5%RS made us laugh and maybe even blush a bit.  Anyone who likes sweet wine will enjoy the tasting.   This time the wine was served in plastic cups that tried to look like wine glasses but really weren't much better for swirling than the plastic thimbles at Rogues.  Wines here ranged from $14 to $18 which I think is way off the mark for sweet wine in the Finger Lakes. 

Nagy's New Land

The rough sawn tasting stand  sits much the same as it always has.  Mainly varietal wines with several dry wines on the tasting here, but really nothing that left us feeling great.  Riesling, Chardonnay, Chambourcin, Cabernet all served from plastic thimbles without a dump bucket in sight.  Prices were more in line with Finger Lakes varietals in the neighborhood of $12-$18.   (UPDATED 1/2011  No longer exists)

Stony Lonesome

This building which obviously got the most money put into its construction also has received the best wines from the collective production.  With varietals like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, there were a lot more here that appealed to our taste buds.  Some of the reds were young but overall there were some that made us consider them for our own wine rack.  I enjoyed the Savignon Blanc as it is not a common varietal for this region.  Not a perfect wine, but enjoyable and I like thinking that they are working on growing it here.  Tastings in Stony Lonesome were done with actual glasses which made the experience more enjoyable.  Prices were appropriate at $13-$27.

Overall I like the concept of the "4 different wineries" but I think being new that they still have some kinks to work out.  The $7 passport would have been better if with the passport you were given an actual wine glass you could take with you as you make the rounds.  It also wouldn't be bad to work in a few dry wines into Passion Feet and Rogue's Hollow so that there would be something for everyones' taste in all 4 wineries.  The current arrangement left us unable to work toward the incentive of the free bottle as we just could not find a bottle to purchase at each tasting room (and we tried).

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