Friday, October 28, 2011

Foliage Findings in Wine Country

Seasons are built in changes in scenery.  I was once told that the four seasons in New York State are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction. Despite the tales of never-ending winter, there four distinct scene changes in Upstate. Over the last two weeks the trees have started to change colors.  We're approaching peak leaf-peeping season, or, for those not from the northeast, driving out to the country and to look at the pretty colors. In Upstate New York there are untold numbers of roads, parks, and trails to admire the technicolor forests.

As beautiful as this time of year is, I find myself the most frustrated when trying to pictures of the dramatic scenes around me.  I am by no means anything more than a shutter-happy amateur when it comes to photography.  Just the same, I always feel like the detains are lacking in my attempts to capture the elaborate color palette of the fall.

Mountain overlooking Warwick Valley Winery
With the threat of all the leaves disappearing and particularly stressful work weeks behind us, my friend Erica and I set off through the woods, literally, to Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery.  Depending on which way you come from there are some seriously winding roads to get there but the view is fantastic.

Road to the winery
Cayuga Lake was my first wine tasting experience back in September and I underestimated how busy the winery would be on a Sunday afternoon.  The tasting bars did a good job keeping the masses in order and happy.  The tasting itself was a good deal ($5 for seven samples of wine and cider plus a souvenir glass) but it was obvious that the main reason you go to Warwick Valley is to spend the day.  Everyone from the locals to Manhattan escapees were claiming tables and blankets on the lawn armed with a bottle from the winery/distillery shop and munching on food from the cafe.

Back garden of Tasting Room and Shop
It was sweater weather at its finest as Erica and I enjoyed hard apple cider and baked brie surrounded by orange and yellow maples.  I got out my trusty point-and-shoot, and tried to snap some decent pictures but they still don't do the colors justice. The relaxed and picturesque environment was just what we needed and the cider didn't hurt either.  I can't wait to go back for an artisan pizza and wine, and maybe attempt some more artistic photos.

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