Sparkling Ponds Winery Tasting Room

The Chautauqua-Lake Erie Winery Stay You Don’t Want to Miss

Sparkling Ponds Winery is certainly one of those under-rated wine stays that you don’t want to miss. Situated on a 20-acre vineyard in the Chautauqua-Lake Erie region of western New York, this largely hidden gem packs a big punch and is ideal for a girlfriend’s getaway. Just steps away from the farmhouse-turned tasting room, visitors can enjoy a stroll through the vineyard or sit with their favorite glass of vino next to one of the three ponds on site.

Hiking trails are nearby, as well as beach access. But this isn’t just a summer destination. Winter brings gifts of its own. If you think it’s impossible to grow grapes in such a harsh winter climate as northwestern New York, think again. This agritourism travel destination draws visitors year-round.

The Expansive and Enduring Erie Wine Region

The Chautauqua-Lake Erie region is the largest U.S. grape growing region east of the Rockies. Home to over 30,000 acres of vines, this grape-belt was carved out by glaciers eons ago. Leaving behind a rich soil, that when combined with a climate moderated by Lake Erie and the Alleghany Plateau, creates the perfect conditions for cultivating grapes.

Grapes grown in this region end up in glasses all across the globe. Numerous American and European varietals are grown here. From Concord and Niagara grapes to cabernet franc, chardonnay, merlot, and pinot noir, the Chautauqua-Lake Erie region boasts a 150-year tradition of fruit production and wine making made possible by the lake itself. The shear expanse of the water moderates the climate.

The lake offers cooling breezes in the summer while gathering heat in the fall to help extend the growing season. In the winter, the moisture picked up by lake effect winds creates snow that insulates the vines from the brutally cold temperatures of the north shore. In the spring, the ice and snow prevent early bud break from swinging temperature changes, saving the crops from disaster.

Even so, not every year is a success. Extreme temperature swings have been known to devastate early grape buds. Thanks to the pioneering work of the Lake Erie Grape Research and Extension Center, heartier and more cold-tolerant varieties are being developed to enhance the region’s growing efforts.

Sparkling Ponds Winery Accommodations

One of the best parts about the accommodations at Sparkling Ponds Winery is the size. Escaping to the newly renovated, 3-bedroom, 2 full bath Cape Cod-style home provides enough space for a friend’s getaway, a bachelorette party getaway, or can even be enjoyed by three couples traveling together. Just steps from the tasting room, the home offers privacy with the convenience of staying along the Erie Wine Trail.

The expansive living room provides plenty of room for relaxation and the fully stocked kitchen is a dream to cook in. Outdoor areas include a patio and a fire pit area to gather around in the evenings with wine that can be purchased right next door.

Renovations were completed in October of 2018 and include quartz countertops, maple cabinets, and updated bathrooms. Each bedroom has a queen bed, and one includes queen bunk beds. Those choosing a longer stay will appreciate the home’s washer and dryer, and those working while away can be assured the wi-fi is steady and reliable.

Exploring the Erie Wine Trail

Spanning over a 50-mile stretch along the southern side of Lake Erie are 23 wineries. Known as the Erie Wine Trail, there is no shortage of activities to do at each one. Year-round events such as vineyard walks, farm-to-table dinners, and cheese and chocolate pairings make travelers into repeat visitors. In the fall, harvest celebration weekends offer family fun with a sip of tradition.

Tours of the Lake Erie Wine Country can be arranged with Locale Wine Tours. Board the 12-passanger tour bus that guides visitors through area history, complete with a tour guide and sommelier. Curated wine flights are at each stop. One stop also provides wine and food pairings for hungry sippers. Book a scheduled tour online or ask about a private tour with pick-up at your hotel or winery stay. This is one of the safest and most satisfying ways to indulge.

Destinations like these are filled with enough activities to keep travelers coming back year after year. For more information about the lake region, contact the visitor’s bureau or email us at AgritourismTravelBlog@gmail.com. Happy Travels!

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