You may have friends or family that moved away from Western NY and whenever they visit and they have to get one of our beloved local dishes they can't find outside of our area. We are lucky to live in this beautiful corner of the world and doubly fortunate to have incredibly talented restauranteurs around every corner and more than ever they need our support. So the next time you order take out from your favorite local spot, here are suggested Deer Run wines to pair with some iconic Rochester/Western NY dishes.
1. ZWEIGLE'S RED HOTS & WHITE HOTS
This is not just a hot dog. People who grew up eating Zweigle's long for that familiar snap and juicy flavor that is so well-renowned in Western NY. With its roots in Rochester, NY opening up in 1880, Zweigle's has been serving up hots to the local communities for over 140 years. Today, they're still family owned and operated, five generations later!
Pair Zweigle's Red Hots with Deer Run Corot Noir
Pair Zweigle's White Hots with Deer Run Moscato
2. RED OSIER ROAST BEEF ON WECK
Our family had the pleasure of working alongside "Red", his wife, and two sons when they sponsored the 2019 Thursday Night Summer Concert Series at Deer Run Winery. I will admit that summer I had more than my fair share of Red Osier's Beef on Weck sandwiches with piping hot au jus for dipping and horseradish cream sauce. Red Osier's roast beef is lightly seasoned, no fatty strands to contend with and the simple sandwich is purely delicious!
Pair Red Osier Roast Beef on Weck with Deer Run Marquette
3. CHICKEN FRENCH (aka, Chicken à la Rochester)
I was amazed when I discovered that Chicken French isn't a staple across the country; the rest of the nation doesn't know what it is missing! That's okay, we will keep it as one of our favorite dishes and happily serve it up at weddings and special events!
Pair Chicken French with Dry Riesling
4. FISH FRY
There are many great places to get an awesome fish fry in our area. In Western NY our traditional fish fry is made with haddock. The delicate flaky white meat rocks when coated with a beer batter or panko crust finished with a freshly squeezed lemon wedge. Many restaurants claim to have the best fish fry in town. I recommend that you be the judge!
Pair Fish Fry with Chardonnay
5. BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS
People around these parts take chicken wings very seriously. Western NY has pretty much perfected the chicken wing and in doing so, we have set an incredibly high standard for other states to attempt to meet. While I know wings go well with beer, we can still pair wine with wings. My suggested pairings come down to the sauce selected to dress the wings.
Pair Wings with BBQ sauce with Runway Red
Pair Wings with Boss Sauce with Vignoles
Pair Wings with Country Sweet with Conesus Red
Pair Wings with Frank's Red Hot with Conesus White
Pizza is life and life is pizza. Well, maybe not, but people everywhere love pizza and when I looked up how many pizzerias there are in Rochester, I lost count somewhere around 320 and it seems every restaurant serves some form of pizza! The combinations of toppings, sauces and what you can do with pizza is limitless and your best bet is order your pizza they way you like it and have your favorite wine to go with it!
Pair Pizza with your favorite wine!
7. THE GARBAGE PLATE
If you missed comedian Jim Gaffigan's appearance on The Conan O'brien show last year, Jim Gaffigan brought Rochester's garbage plate obsession into the national spotlight. Jim loved our garbage plate so much that during quarantine, he made and posted a "Let's Get Cookin'" video showing how to make a garbage plate at home. Recently, for my nephew's birthday, my sister made a garbage plate buffet which was incredible and so much fun! I recommend you try a garbage plate buffet for your upcoming spring or summer gatherings (Yes! We will be gathering again!!).
Pair Rochester's Garbage Plate with Runway Red
Deer Run Winery submitted four wines to be scored by the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) and each of the wines entered, 2018 Riesling, 2019 Marquette, Conesus White, and Runway Red, garnered a Silver Medal and received the distinction of being "Highly Recommended" and rated a "Best Buy". BTI is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and has a panel of professional judges who rate spirits, wine and beer. Blind tastings are performed in a manner of randomly selected flights and judges sample no more than 30 beverages in a climate controlled setting over a 2 to 3 hour period. The reviews published below are those given by the professional panel of judges at the Beverage Testing Institute covering the 2021 New York Wine Classic:
Deer Run Winery 2018 Riesling - 87 Points, Silver, Highly Recommended, Best Buy
"Straw color. Aromas and flavors of fallen apples and lemons, floral honeycomb, exotic tropical fruits, and radish with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-long finish displaying suggestions of honeyed dried peach, starfruit, hint of herbs, and minerals with no oak flavor. An intriguingly earthy and uniquely flavorful Riesling that delightfully dances to its own beat."
Deer Run Winery 2019 Marquette - 87 Points, Silver, Highly Recommended, Best Buy
"Ruby black color. Interesting aromas and flavors of honeyed black raspberries, nettles, mace and cinnamon bark, blood and ink, and vanilla extract with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish conveying accents of marinated beets and olives, pomegranate, grilled carrots, and turnip greens and stems with light oak flavor. A dry, super savory red that will excel with game."
Deer Run Winery Conesus White - 88 points, Silver, Highly Recommended, Best Buy
"White gold color. Sweet aromas of white grapes, pineapple slices, watermelon candies, and quince with a supple, vibrant, dry light body and a polished, interesting, medium-length tangy citrus relish and pressed flowers finish with no oak flavor. A outgoingly fruity yet bone dry white that offers crowd-pleasing flavor to all."
Deer Run Winery Runway Red - 87 Points, Silver, Highly Recommended, Best Buy
"Burnt sienna color. Roasted aromas of melted toffee, caramel macchiato, bubbly berry pie crust, and brown butter with a round, lively, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long artisan pickles, roasted berry and citrus, and spiced nuts finish with crunchy, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A lively and mouth watering red that will invigorate at the table."
Each of these wines are available for purchase at Deer Run Winery and some may be found in your local liquor store.
A "Best Buy Four Pack" which includes each of the wines rated above is available for purchase from Deer Run Winery and may be purchased here.
January's Wine of the Month is Dry Riesling at Deer Run Winery. Our 2018 Dry Riesling has notes of Meyer lemon and pickled ginger with a crisp, dry finish. This versatile white wine can be paired with a myriad of dishes, notably Asian, BBQ, fish, pork and so much more! As owners George and Joan traveled South earlier this month to over-winter, I wanted to prepare a special meal for them the night before they left. Many of my meals start with the wine and then I work backwards to see what I can make that would pair well and highlight the notes in the wine. I realize most people pair wine with their already chosen food, but thus is the life of a family who lives, breathes, and sells wine!
I wanted to focus on our Dry Riesling's citrus notes and decided on lemon-thyme chicken with homemade gnocchi. I had never made gnocchi before, but read some food blogs and it seemed simple enough. I also have a potato ricer in my repertoire of kitchen gadgets, so I decided to give it a try!
The gnocchi recipe I used called for boiling whole potatoes and peeling them afterwards so they avoid becoming waterlogged. I decided to do this step in the morning to break up the amount of work needed to be done in preparation of our dinner. After peeling the potato, using a knife while holding the potato on the end of a fork, I left the whole potatoes on the counter to cool until the afternoon. That was a mistake on my part. It was much more difficult to rice the potato once it had cooled down. Note that the potato should be pressed through the potato ricer while it is still hot. Anyhow, I brought the dough together with flour, salt, egg, and potato and rolled out strips as instructed, cut in to small pillows and rounded those over fork tines and, voila, I had homemade gnocchi! I was quite proud of myself at this point, but I had piled my little pillows on the counter, which was another no-no. When it came time to throw them in the boiling water, many of the pillows stuck together and I had to tear them apart. Next time, I will lay them out on a parchment lined sheet pan or on a floured surface.
For the chicken, I heated a cast iron skillet and browned the chicken thighs on both sides which had been sprinkled with sea salt and cracked black pepper. I removed the chicken from the pan then added butter, chopped garlic, thyme, lemon peel zest and the juice from one lemon and stirred that up to bubbling. I deglazed the pan with Dry Riesling (about 1/4 cup) and let it simmer to cook out the alcohol. I then added flour to soak up all the butter and liquid in the pan and whisked in chicken stock and bit of half and half to make a cream sauce. I added the chicken to the pan and set it aside. After quickly cooking the gnocchi in boiling water ( it takes less than 1 minute to cook), I combined the gnocchi with the chicken and lemon-thyme cream sauce. Dinner was ready! The 2018 Dry Riesling paired incredibly well with this dish and I had Joan ooh-ing and aah-ing at the table so much that George had to tell her to quiet down!
I share this with the hope that you carve out a night of cooking a new dish with a friend or a loved one. When you are indulging on the "fruits" of your labor we hope you pair it with the fruit of ours! Cheers and Enjoy!
Find the Lemon-Thyme Chicken Recipe I loosely followed here.
Find the Gnocchi recipe I used here.
Purchase Deer Run's 2018 Dry Riesling or semi-dry Riesling here!
As we are approaching Valentine's Day, a popular day for proposals, we wanted to highlight some of the very best reasons that make Deer Run Winery such a wonderful place to hold a wedding! If you are dreaming of your future wedding, then this post is for you!
1. Beautiful Grounds – There is no need to find a separate location for stunning wedding photos. Our wedding couples have access to our picturesque vineyard all day, so your photographer can capture the moments you will want to cherish forever! Deer Run Winery also has beautifully maintained gardens and a pond, making for a gorgeous, natural setting.
After your vineyard ceremony, guests will make their way to our outdoor pavilion for the reception, combing the ambience of a tent with a barn-like style. Beautiful woodwork, stone flooring, and romantic bistro lighting bring the term “Country-Chic” to a whole new level!
2. Convenient & Unique Location- It is no secret that Deer Run Winery is the oldest operating winery on beautiful Conesus Lake. We offer a country-style wedding venue, located minutes from the beautiful historic village of Geneseo, NY. Deer Run winery is conveniently located near 390, making it easy for guests to travel in from Rochester and Buffalo! There are plenty of excursions nearby that your guests can enjoy while in town visiting, such as Letchworth State Park. We also offer shuttle and hotel recommendations should you be looking to house guests traveling in for your special day!
3. Delicious Award-winning Wines – With the local beverage industry booming, give your guests a taste of what New York State has to offer! Deer Run Winery offers bar packages solely showcasing NYS craft items. Start your bar off with 6 of our best-selling Deer Run wines, then expand to add in special select craft beer & spirits! While many wedding venues are limited to mainstream, bulk sold items, we give our couples the opportunity to be creative and customize their bar package.
4. Flexibility to Choose your Own Caterer –The food is a particularly important part of a wedding. We want to make sure our couples choose what works best for them and for their guests! After all, you know your guests better than we do! While we do supply a recommended list of caterers, we allow you to select one of your choosing. Feel free to select a caterer that provides the cuisine you enjoy most and what works best within your budget! Served, buffet, stations, and food trucks…we have had it all! Let our Deer Run Event Team act as the liaison between you and your caterer. We will work with them to ensure your dining experience is flawless with no stress on your end!
5. Experienced Event Team – Hospitality is our passion! With combined experience totaling nearly 40 years, our team has perfected the planning process and execution of weddings & events. We will guide you through the planning process step by step, from start to finish to ensure no detail is missed! We will meet with our couples throughout the planning period and coordinate the “run of show” day of! We will assist with setting out décor, ensure we are keeping to a timeline, and maintain open communication with your vendors throughout the day. Our mission is to make your dream wedding come to life!
If you are interested in scheduling a tour of Deer Run Winery, please email firstname.lastname@example.org; we would love to meet you!
Last weekend we welcomed guests for our annual Candlelight Night event, but this year instead of folks mingling and walking from station to station for their five food and wine pairings, we had each group seated in our event room and tasting room. Our staff served up five courses to guests seated at their tables and a good time out was enjoyed by all! Some people enjoyed the pairings and asked for recipes, the number one requested recipe was the Creamy Mushroom Soup which I have shared with the public before. This is a delicious soup, even if you don't love mushrooms, you will love this soup! It pairs perfectly with our 2018 Traminette. Don't skimp on the fresh thyme. Fresh herb are best and lend a wonderful aroma and flavor to this soup that would be lost with dried thyme. Where the recipe calls for wine, I used Deer Run's 2018 Chardonnay. Chardonnay and mushrooms are a win-win combination!
The Jalapeno Popper Corn Dip served with tortilla chips and Conesus White also struck a chord with many who sampled it! I did reduce the number of jalapenos and used a combination of fresh jalapenos and canned green chiles which imparted great flavor without making it too spicy. If I was making this for a group of friends, I would have used straight jalapenos, but I always hear my mother in law, Joan Kuyon's, voice in my head whenever I am cooking something for large groups, "Don't make it too hot-spicy!" I added the scallions right into the crockpot, to allow those flavors to meld a bit while keeping warm in the crockpot. This is an easy appetizer to serve to a group and the ease of having it in a crockpot means it stays warm on the counter. In the blog post the author mentions using sour cream or mayonnaise, I opted for sour cream in my version.
For the Gorgonzola-stuffed prosciutto-wrapped dates, the ingredients are all listed in the name, making this one a no-brainer, but I will expand on how to pit and stuff a date for those who may have no prior experience with handling dates, just like me! I had never purchased dates and didn't even know they contained a pit, so I had to cut a slit in the date lengthwise and push the ends together like one would do to open up a coin purse and push out the pit with my gloved finger. The date opens up easily and is the consistency of a large raisin, sharing that sweetness level as well. Just a side note, I was not certain if the dates needed to be washed or not, so I did rinse them off well and I would recommend a good rinse before cutting into them. For the cheese stuffing, I used 1 part cream cheese, 1 part blue cheese crumbles and 1 part Borgonzola (a creamy Gorgonzola Brie). Scott, my husband and winemaker, thought "Borgonzola" sounded like a cheese from Star Trek made by Borgs.... Anyhow, I whipped the three cheeses together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Using a mason jar lined with a sandwich baggie, I scooped the mixture into the sandwich baggie and readied my home-made piping bag. The dates have a natural pocket, once you remove the pit, which is perfect for stuffing and you can use a myriad of ingredients to make cute appetizers for your next party. They are bite-size and don't crumble (depending on your filling) making them a good appetize in my book! I piped the mixture into the date and wrapped with a third of a slice of prosciutto. Done and easy! This is a great recipe to pair with Deer Run's Vignoles and overall I would say it was a hit or miss appetizer with the crowd. Some guests loved it and some didn't eat it. Ah well, dates are unique and blue cheese can be a turn off, hence why I creamed it with cream cheese, but I did try one myself and they really were a nice balance of sweet, tang and salt and pretty darn tasty!
Sliced beef on crostini paired with Deer Run's 2019 Marquette was a nice and easy appetizer as well. This is a perfect recipe for those who want to serve cute appetizers, but are short on time and cooking space. Take crostini, spread with Cabot Horseradish cheddar spread and top with thinly sliced roast beef. We sell Cabot horseradish spread in our tasting room! Crostini can be purchased at the store or you can make your own by slicing baguette bread, arranging the slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil , salt and pepper bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes and, voila, you have crostini! Now you can easily assemble this no frills, delicious appetizer and if you want to make it a bit more fancy, add caramelized onions to the top and omit the roast beef for the vegetarians in your group! Easy and delicious!
For the flourless chocolate cake, I cheated and purchased this one at the store. For my own sanity, I would say it was worth it and everyone loved it. When hosting a large dinner or party you have to decide when its necessary to make it from scratch or to purchase at the store. In this case, the cake was deliciously rich and fudgy and paired incredibly with our red dessert wine, Dockside - no one was disappointed!
This November hallmarks 17 years of business for Deer Run Winery owners, George and Joan Kuyon. I interviewed George, Joan and their son, Scott separately to find out how they each feel about reaching this milestone.
George was in the production building assembling a wood countertop for the new lab space when I came in out of the blue and asked him what he feels has been his greatest challenge as a business owner. I believe most small business owners would agree with him when he said the greatest challenge has been "paying for things". Deer Run Winery would not be a brand or a place for folks to get together on Conesus Lake if it wasn't for George's tenacity to keep the business afloat all these years. It has been a blessing and a burden for George and Joan, who continue to financially support the business as it grows larger.
Are you happy with where the winery is today? I asked George. He replied, "Yes, very happy. I never thought it would go this far. By the grace of God, Scott showed up at just the right time...that made me very happy". Scott had been working as a manager of a marina in Florida and decided to move home after George built the winery, just before it opened. George and Scott have worked closely together for the better part of two decades as a father and son team of commercial winemakers.
"What has been the greatest highlight of the last 17 years?" George didn't miss a beat and answered, 'It's Scott and how he has taken the winemaking to another level."
I phoned Joan, and asked her what she feels has been the greatest highlight as owner of Deer Run Winery for the last 17 years. She replied , "The winery brought Scott back to us". And are you happy with where the winery is today? I asked. Joan replied, "I'm proud its a family-run boutique business that has grown to include weddings and a wine club."
I appeared in my husband's (Scott's) office and sat down opposite him to ask him what he feels he has learned about himself over the last 17 years working at Deer Run. "Patience, lots of patience". Scott went on to add, "I have a better grasp on critical thinking. Farming grapes and making wine has taught me small changes can lead to large results over time if you have the patience to see it through. Some [changes] take years to show up. Winemaking techniques and styles can take 6-8 months to show up in a bottle. We get better by learning and experimenting." Lastly, I asked Scott if he is happy with where Deer Run Winery is today. To that he replied, "Overall, I am happy we are still around!"
Congratulations George, Joan and Scott! Your determination and drive has led to a successful business enjoyed by so many people from all over the world! Many folks have fond memories associated with their time spent at Deer Run Winery. May you continue to host good times and great people over delicious glasses of wine for many years! Cheers!!
Do you ever feel like you circle around each year wondering what to get for your loved ones at Christmastime? If they are a wine lover, Deer Run's 12 wines of Christmas is the perfect gift for any wine lover this Holiday Season. The line up includes 12 award-winning Deer Run wines, 12 mylar wine bottle gift bags and each wine will come with its own postcard including the wine specifics and pairing ideas! Gift one bottle a day, gift 12 bottles on Christmas or gift one bottle to 12 co-workers or friends, any way you go about it, the case savings is a great deal you won't want to pass up!
We are taking preorders now for pick up after December 01st. Available for pick up at Deer Run Winery only. To order your 12 Wines of Christmas case, click the link below!
We welcomed 50 guests here this past Saturday for our Tapas in the Vineyard event and were blessed with beautiful weather, friendly faces, and delicious food & wine! To ensure social distancing we welcomed groups of 6 guests every 20 minutes. Guests arriving checked in with our staff in our event room, collected their wine glass and began with the first pairing: spicy polenta cake topped with smoked pulled pork paired with our gold medal awarded 2018 Corot Noir.
Afterwards, folks strolled outside into the vineyard where we set up three additional stations. Their first vineyard stop was at George's garden where they enjoyed a caprese skewer paired with 2018 Traminette. The basil and grape tomatoes were picked from the garden just hours before and skewered with fresh mozzarella balls.
Guests were close enough to smell the smoke coming from Scott's station further up in the vineyard where he was grilling up the portobello mushrooms and skirt steak with chimichurri sauce tapas paired with our gold medal awarded Runway Red. The skirt steak was purchased from Wilson's Beef Farms in Canaseraga and the quality was phenomenal! Scott used this chimichurri sauce recipe and marinated the meat for 24 hours resulting in an incredibly tender and flavorful bite. Personally, this was my favorite tapas of the evening.
Once guests finished their garlicky steak and mushroom bites they walked to the opposite side of the vineyard where they were greeted by me! I was serving up goat cheese, fig and honey spread on crostini topped with chopped pistachios which was paired with 2018 Vignoles. An easy appetizer to make and serve at your next dinner party. The robust flavor profile of the Vignoles pairs very well with goat cheese and honey notes in the wine were accented by the honey in the spread; I received many compliments on this pairing! Unlike the recipe states, I chose to whip the fig jam and goat cheese together until lit was light and fluffy and layered the dip with honey. The base was a sea salt baguette crostini which is a newly added product made by Monk's Bread from the Abbey of the Genesee. The final pairing was served in our tasting room. We ended on a sweet note and paired Cherry Cocoa Cove with chocolate cherry bombs!
Many guests stayed a while afterwards and enjoyed the sunset while sharing a bottle of wine among friends and family in their group. And while the evening glow and heat receded over our beautiful part of the world, the night seemed to hold a magical feeling as so many of our events do. These special occasions give us the opportunity to meet our customers in person and listen to their candid comments about our wines. The most popular comment heard this past Saturday evening was, "When will we be holding another Tapas event?" and to that I say hopefully we will be getting together again soon! ;)
If it has been a while since you visited our tasting room, we invite you to join us again! But before you visit, here are a few tasting room updates post-pandemic:
Conesus Lake today
Overnight Accommodations: The area has gown in residents and there are many gorgeous lake homes available for rent through sites like Airbnb and VRBO and there is no shortage of activities that one can enjoy when visiting Conesus Lake! Not looking to stay a whole week? Look into our local hotels: The Hampton Inn Geneseo, The Quality Inn and The Rodeway Inn.
Craft Beverage Trail: A few years back, five breweries and a cidery opened in Livingston County and along with Deer Run Winery and Eagle Crest Winery, the craft beverage producers teamed up to create one of the newest trails, The Livingston Libation Loop. This trail has bold flavors, quirky characters and award-winning brews and wines that will make you want to stock-up & take home the liquid deliciousness to enjoy after your day of sampling!
Hiking & Rafting: Just a 20-minute drive from Conesus Lake, lies "the no. 1 state park in the nation" Letchworth State Park. Voted no. 1 by USA Today in 2015 and again in 2020 by HomeToGo, ranking Letchworth as the #1 Most Extraordinary State Park in the nation! We are very fortunate to have a picturesque "grand canyon of the East" in our backyard! While hiking the trails at Letchworth, you can stop for a picnic or have lunch served at the park's, Glen Iris Inn. For those who seek a bit more adventure, check out the Class I & II river rapids white water rafting through Adventure Calls. I enjoyed a trip down river a few years ago with my family and it was hysterical and thrilling all at the same time. I recommend proper footwear as my sister was disappointed to have lost her Michael Kors sandal when disembarking from the raft!
Kayaking/Boating: Conesus Lake is a smaller lake than some of its larger sister lakes and due to its size we have smaller boats on our water. The quaintness of our lake makes it perfect for kayaking. Tropical Creations on Conesus Lake is open 7 days a week throughout the summer and in addition to kayak rentals, they offer private charters, paddle board and boat rentals. Side note: Located about a 25 minute drive East of Conesus Lake, lies another Finger Lake, largely overlooked: Canadice Lake. Canadice Lake is a watershed for the city of Rochester. Due to its watershed status, no large boats are allowed on its waters (nor is skin contact, so no swimming here!) and its shores are completely natural and do not boast homes, like many of the other Finger Lakes. Kayaking is allowed and those interested in a more remote and quiet setting will enjoy the serenity that surrounds Canadice Lake. Contact John Kenny of Canadice Lake Outfitters for kayak rental information!
Dining: Now that you've worked up an appetite, our area has no shortage of restaurants to appeal to many different palates! For pizza, check out Vincenzo's in Lakeville they have two locations and the phone number to the local pizzeria is 585-346-2030. For hearty large-portion Italian "like Grandma used to make", visit Fratelli's. Looking for lake front dining? Look no further, The Beachcomber on the South West side of Conesus Lake and Hook & Spoon at the North-end of the lake got you covered! Hankering for some BBQ? Go on over to the 3 Legged Pig for slow-roasted pit BBQ and a popular lineup of house made sauces! Maybe you imbibed a bit too much last night and are looking for a hearty breakfast - visit our neighborhood Lakeville Diner for a classic, no frills meal that is both delicious and easy on the wallet!
Morning Coffee: Looking for great coffee? Visit Little Lakes Brewing for fresh house-made pastries and coffee that's roasted right in house. It's a little location bursting with flavor and wonderful morning smells! For those of you who are Dunkin' Donuts fanatics, we have three locations within a 5-mile radius, so apparently residents of Livingston County "runs on Dunkin'"! Hey Canadians, we have a Tim Horton's in Geneseo too!
For the kiddos: The kids will love spending time in the lake or above the water, jet-skiing or boating, whatever you decide, but we also have a great little adventure center located at the corner of Rt. 256 and 20A, Minnehan's Fun Center. Minnehan's has arcade games, go-karts (for big kids and a smaller one for smaller kids), mini golf, outdoor laser tag, a batting cage, indoor bounce house and obstacle course with a ball pit. This place makes kids happy!! There is also a restaurant onsite and an ice-cream service window!!! The family can spend a few hours here and leave full and happy :)
Geneseo is also home to a movie theater, bowling alley and our Main Street offers a historical feel with its own classic movie theater, restaurants and shopping. Our little town has a lot going on making Conesus Lake a prime spot to spend with your family or honey on your next vacation! I hope to see you soon ;) Be sure to stop in and say hi! -Marie K.
The History of Conesus Lake
Conesus Lake is the westernmost Finger Lake, located just 30 minutes South of Rochester and an hour and a half West of Buffalo, she has been a tourism destination since the 1800's. Conesus Lake shorelines were surveyed and mapped in 1789. In 1882, Conesus Lake Junction was added to the Erie Railroad bringing excursionists to the Lakeville Dock at the north end of Conesus Lake, unloading its passengers, the same spot where Vitale Park is located today. From there men, women and children would board the McPherson/Starrucca steamboat, Jerry Bolles' Jessie steamer, Musette, Swan, Conesus Excursion Boat, Lulu Sailing Yacht, Captain Dan Walkley's: H. T. Jaeger, J.A. Ritz, Alice M, Rochester, and Mat Toohey's Margaret and Hope boats. Moonlight Boat Excursions would have music and laughter joining the lapping of the water to the shorelines.
Passengers were taken to different hotels and inns around the lake and part of the Erie Railroad ticket included a boat ride and a stop at Long Point Park. Early 1900's amusement rides were at Long Point and the Long Point House/Inn provided accommodations for visitors. In 1898 the first enclosed Dance Hall was built where orchestras and fiddler bands played while men and women danced the night away or listened from their horse and buggies. In 1895 began the Livingston County Picnics held at Long Point where accounts of 20,000 were in attendance. Many Band Tournaments, Buffalo and Rochester Cyclists Excursions and American Red Cross Picnics attracted people to Long Point Park and Conesus Lake. Early aviators and enthusiasts were coming to Conesus Lake to participate in the hydro-aeroplane schools held at McPherson Point, The Thomas School of Aviation in 1913 and Walter E. Johnson School of Aviation in 1914.
Later Conesus Lake visitors would visit Long Point for the Big Band Orchestras to dance and socialize in the newly built 1923 large Dance Hall and in 1949 Roller Skating concessions were added. In 1950 the new Allan Herschell Amusement Rides attracted visitors and many Family Reunions, Company Picnics, Livingston County Sheriff Deputies Dance/Balls, Coca-Cola Days, Sheriff Deputies Kiddies Day and Political Rallies were held at Long Point Park. A visitor had their choice of boats rides at Long Point Park from Bert DeGarmo's Islander, Martin Weiss' Rocket, Colonel Tooey's Chris Crafts Speedboats: Hy-Ball; Riot, Flash, Thunderbolt, Comet, Thorobred and Thorobred-1. The last excursion boat on Conesus Lake was the Lee M transported from Silver Springs, Florida resort on an adapted Coca-Cola Truck and relaunched at Long Point Park in 1959 and sold in 1970.
Written by Lore DiSalvo, Honorary Historian of Long Point Park
I am the winemaker's wife. Scott and I married in 2014 and I transitioned from a hospitality manager to a grape farmer's wife, event coordinator and blog author.