mad in pursuit journal


Seneca Lake, From deck at Fox Run VineyardsRoad Trip: Garlic, Jam, and Wine

It's garlic time in beautiful Yates County. An amazing array of garlic varieties — who knew? — were on display at yesterday's popular Garlic Festival. People were sampling the raw garlic, warding off vampires and other living creatures.

To our surprise the Festival was packed. This was because it was held at a winery and everyone was buzzed on wine samples. The stretch limos and tour buses were disgorging their passengers by the dozens — this was clearly not the first stop on the day's winery tours since all the ladies had the giggles.

I gave up trying to elbow my way through the crowd at the tasting bars. We bought lunch at the cafe, sat out on the deck overlooking Seneca Lake and I drank a civilized glass of Arctic Fox.

I've decided to save the planet by switching to New York State wine. I'm not that fussy a connoisseur to require my vino be shipped from Italy. All that freighter fossil fuel, all those uninspected ports, all those decaying bridges being pounded by giant trucks — oh, the humanity. I will need to adjust my palate from the so-so Chardonnays and Pinot Grigios to the NYS Reisling specialty, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice.

Windmill Farm & Craft Market, Penn Yan NYNext stop: Windmill Farm and Craft Market. This place was way downscale from the trendy wineries that line the slopes of the Finger Lakes. The main appeal is that it is in Mennonite country and gives the market a picturesque appeal, what with women in their chaste prairie dresses and humble bonnets. We bought some homemade jams and salsa, but most of the stores are full of crappy bric-a-brac, lots of it imported from Asia.

Overall: our lovely ride in the country proved I'm easy about wine but snobbish about crafts.


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Fox Run Vineyards, home of the Garlic Festival.

Windmill Farm and Craft Market, Penn Yan (Yates County) NY.