Cheese Trail & Seneca Lake Wine Trail partner for pairing events

The Finger Lakes Cheese Trail has partnered with the Seneca Lake Wine Trail for a third year to host a series of intimate wine and cheese pairing events this winter. Preferred Pairings is a series of three monthly events in which the creameries of the Cheese Trail pair with different members of the Wine Trail to offer select pairings of reserve wines and artisanal cheeses to their audience.The first in the series is February 28, from 10:00am-5:00pm, and pairs 10 wineries with 8 creameries. The series is starting later this year to take into account winter weather and will continue into spring. The other two Preferred Pairing dates are March 21 and May 16. Tickets for all three dates are available now through the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. “We’ve worked really hard to get the event organized early again this year so we could have these tickets available before the holidays,” explained Paul Thomas, Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. “They would make great gifts for the wine and cheese connoisseur on your shopping list. So we wanted to make sure both Trails’ supporters had that option.”The events work similar to a Wine Trail event, in that each event in the series is ticketed, and attendees begin their day at their designated starting winery. But that’s where the similarity ends. Instead incorporating the entire Wine Trail into the course of a weekend, the Trail has been split into three groups, with each group playing host to the creameries of the Cheese Trail a different month — February, March and May. At the each host winery, their visiting cheesemaker will be on hand to discuss their farm, their process and their cheeses. A winery representative will also be on hand to discuss their winery, their process and their wines. Together the two partnered businesses will offer paired samplings to the attendees. The winery will have those wine and cheese pairings available in a special packaged deals for attendees. Attendees can also buy the wines and cheeses separately should they prefer.Tickets to each event are in the series are limited to approximately 200 per event, or 20 per winery, and are only $20 per person in advance. “The idea is to create a smaller, more educational event for our audience who really want to have the time to explore our reserve wines, understand artisanal cheese, and learn how to put the two together to bring out the best flavors of both,” explains Liz Stamp, of Lakewood Vineyards and member of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. “By dividing the Trail into three manageable groups, extending the event over the course of three months, and limiting the number of attendees, each winery has a chance to really showcase some of their higher end wines.””Doing this event as a series makes it more manageable for the members of the Cheese Trail,” agrees Carmella Hoffman of Sunset View Creamery in Odessa, just outside of Watkins Glen. “Each month we work one-on-one with a single winery to develop the ideal wine pairings for our cheeses. We get to know their product better and they ours. And in the end, it’s the customers who will really benefit, being able to attend an event that’s been carefully crafted to allow time for them to really delve into the subtleties of the wines and the cheeses and really understand what makes a great pairing.”The pairings for all three months are:February 28:Zugibe Vineyards with 4 Tin Fish FarmThree Brothers Wineries & Estates with Heaven Scent FarmVentosa Vineyards with Muranda Cheese Co.Ravines Wine Cellars with Crosswinds Farm & CreameryBelhurst with Side Hill Acres Goat FarmWhite Springs Winery with Kenton’s Cheese Co.Fox Run Vineyards with Muranda Cheese Co.Serenity Vineyards with Sunset View CreamerySeneca Shore Winery with Sunset View CreameryAnthony Road Winery with Keeley’s Cheese Co. March 21:Miles Wine Cellars with Muranda Cheese Co.Villa Bellangelo with Side Hill Acres Goat FarmHickory Hollow Wine Cellars with Finger Lakes Dexter CreameryGlenora Wine Cellars with 4 Tin Fish FarmFulkerson Winery with Heaven Scent FarmCastel Grisch Winery with Sunset View CreameryJ.R. Dill Winery with Sunset View CreameryAtwater Winery with Crosswinds Farm & CreameryWagner Vineyards with Keeley’s Cheese Co.Lamoreaux Landing with Kenton’s Cheese Co.Kings Garden Vineyards with Muranda Cheese Co. May 16:Torrey Ridge Winery with Muranda Cheese Co.Earle Estates Meadery with 4 Tin Fish FarmFruit Yard Winery with Finger Lakes Dexter CreameryRock Stream Vineyards with Sunset View CreameryLakewood Vineyards with Kenton’s Cheese CoChateau Lafayette Reneau with Crosswinds Farm & Creamery Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards with Muranda Cheese Co.Penguin Bay Winery with Heaven Scent FarmStanding Stone Vineyards with Side Hill Goat FarmBagley’s Winery with Sunset View Creamery In between the March and May Preferred Pairings events is Wine Trail’s popular Spring Wine & Cheese Weekend, April 24-26. This event is also co-sponsored by the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail, and will feature the Trail’s cheeses in many of the dishes at the wineries all weekend long. Also there will be creameries at select wineries over the course of the weekend. Tickets for this much larger event are also on sale through the Seneca Lake Wine Trail website.

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