The region won best in the nation for its wine industry with high honors in several categories in USA Today's ranking

Just in time for the fall grape harvest and one of the region’s busiest seasons for visitors, a nationwide poll ranked the Finger Lakes America’s Best Wine Region. With more than 130 wineries and nearly 10,000 acres of vineyards, the Finger Lakes took the top spot in the USA Today’s 10 Best competition.

It was the only wine region in New York state to make the top 10, with California regions listed along with those in a few other states.

In the USA Today’s 10 Best competition, three restaurants in the Finger Lakes made the top 10 in the Best Winery Restaurant category. F.L.X. Table in Geneva took the number one spot. After the announcement, F.L.X. Table tweeted: “Boom! Just want to say thank you all for all the support! As always, we could never do what we do with out the support of our team, our peers and our fans! Thank you so much!”

One of Ontario County’s newer restaurants, F.L.X. Table is an intimate, 14-seat venue at 22 Linden St. In 2017, it was named USA Today’s Best New Restaurant in the country. Co-owners Christopher Bates and Isabel Bogadtke say they “continually push for renewed culinary excellence and innovation” and it has served them well.

Also in the top 10 in the Best Winery Restaurant category: Fox Run Cafe at Fox Run Vineyards overlooking Seneca Lake near Penn Yan in third place; and Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars in Dundee, also in Yates County, at number eight.

Fox Run also made the Top 10 list for Best Winery Tasting Room, with Dr. Konstantin Frank in Hammondsport at number 10. For Best Wine Country Hotel, Belhurst Castle in Geneva ranked number three.

The competition had a panel of experts partner with 10 Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. The announcement last Friday marked a big week for Finger Lakes wines that “crushed the last week of August through several events celebrating the industry,” stated Sam Filler, executive director of Canandaigua-based New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

Filler and others including Don Bombace, owner of Bombace Wines & Spirits in Farmington, were at the Great New York State Fair where tastings, workshops and other events culminated in awards. Top winners of the New York Wine Classic were recognized at a ceremony at the Finger Lakes Welcome Center. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball presented the Governor’s Cup Award to Keuka Spring Vineyards, the Governor’s Cider Cup Award to Kite and String Cidery (Finger Lakes Cider House) and the Winery of the Year award to Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery.

At the state fair, Filler said twice daily wine education classes showcased New York state wines’ quality and diversity. Bombace led classes, letting fair-goers in on the "Secret World of Wine" and the "Great State of New York Reds!"

“Our classes were so popular that even Senator Gillibrand and Lieutenant Governor Hochul attended a Native Wines of New York seminar led by Glenora Winemaker Steve DiFrancesco,” Filler wrote in his blog.

For more about awards and what's new in New York's wine, visit https://www.newyorkwines.org/