Jimmy Buffett Hunting

     We have just returned from another wonderful trip to the wine country of the Finger Lakes Region of New York.  The weather was summertime hot with temperatures in the low to mid 90’s.  The weather may have been unusual but the welcoming hospitality and the genuine “glad to see you” attitude of the area’s population was unchanged.  A boat captain told me that a cold wave in late spring had caused a 50% loss in  the grape crop and a loss of nearly all of the cherry harvest this year. 

     We had set out early on our planned route down the east side of Seneca Lake and it was going great when an unexpected sighting caused me to make a quick U-turn and head back up Rte 414.  The parking lot at Hazilitt 1852 Vineyards tasting room was full, which was strange because we had experienced a lighter than normal turn out at the other wineries.  We pulled into the lot and parked next to the Tiki sign that pointed the way to the Tiki tent.  As we walked to the front door I couldn’t help notice the large rusting propeller guarding the entrance.  The music of Radio Margaritaville poured out of the tasting room as we opened the door and the eclectic interior was revealed.  After finding our place at the bar we were greeted by Todd, an outgoing and personable young man who no doubt would feel at home in Key West as he does here in the Finger Lakes.  Todd takes us through our flight of wines with his knowledgable description of each along with his lighthearted wit and humor.  When I ask about the large tattoo on his right arm he proudly told me that it is a reproduction of an original painting he had done and that it will be incorporated into a full sleeve tattoo that he has planned out.  After purchasing a bottle of the winery’s signature “Red Cat” wine Todd told us that Hazilitt 1852 had acquired a winery in the nearby town of Naples because they needed its capacity to meet the over 500,000 gallon demand for that wine.  We bid everyone goodbye and continued south on Rte 414 looking forward to our next parrothead adventure.  Fins Up!  Hazilitt 1852 Vineyards can be found at 5712 Rte 414  Hector, New York.

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