Naples, NY


Another favorite stop for us when we visit upstate New York is Arbor Hill20180610_152936…I am not sure that you would actually call it a winery. It is more of a Disneyland for Grown-ups. There is a small complex of fun things to do here. In the main building there is wine tasting. For $5 you can taste 6 different wines. The fee is refundable depending on what you purchase.

There is another building behind the Gift Shop / Tasting Room and that is called Brew and Brats. I have checked this out a couple of times. The brats are delicious and there are several kinds to choose from. I have tried both the hot andouille sausage and the sort-of hot chicken supremo. A friend tried the milder sherried wine sausage. They were all excellent. They also have some tempting side dishes. I have enjoyed their sauerkraut as we as the German potato salad and would recommend both.

You can certainly enjoy a pitcher of craft beer with your brats, as we did. The Turtle Crawl Porter is robust and flavorful, and the Frog Hollow Pale Ale hit the spot of a warm day. You can also have a glass of wine or a home-made root beer.

Arbor Hill has lots of fun events Often on Friday nights they have open mic night and steak night. There are often Saturday concerts.

We really enjoyed the gift shop. It is loaded with delicious items and great gift ideas including the famous “Naples Grape Pies”. There are lots of grape items – from candies to dressings and preserves. You can even take home their sauerkraut and one of the items I had to have – Frog Hollow Pale Ale Pub Mustard and the Horseradish Pretzel Dip.


I guess that we were having so much fun that the only thing we tasted on our visit was the craft beer. That means another trip coming up this fall with a promise to try ALL their wines.



Susan’s Score – I can’t score the wine yet, but I would definitely come for the craft brews, brats and fun!

Hazlitt Red Cat

1 Lake Niagara Lane, Naples, NY

It is summer and that means I have been spending time in New York State’s Finger Lakes Region. What better way to spend that time than to check out some of Canandaigua Lake’s wineries.


Six generations of the Hazlitt family have been farming in the Finger Lakes Region since 1852. In 1985, Hazlitt Vineyards was born. They produce Hazlitt Red Cat and advertise it as unpretentious and I do agree with them.20180610_155310

On the day we visited, the tasting room was busy – very busy. Kia was pouring for us and she had a great sense of humor and a relaxed friendly attitude. Leandra popped over from time to time to help and to make sure we were enjoying our tastings. There was a lot of energy in the tasting room and it was clear that people were having a great time. This is a fun place!

My friend, Theresa, and I have very different tastes in wine, so as you will see we tasted a wide variety:


2016 Sauvignon Blanc – $15 – Nice dry white – a bit of a rough finish

2014 Merlot – $24 – a good “Tuesday Wine” for the price – maybe good with a meat lover’s pizza

2013 – Cabernet Sauvignon – $24 – Grapes from the 1852 vineyard and a silver medal winner

2014 Cabernet Franc – $25 – This was my favorite wine that we tasted, and a bottle followed me home. Definitely a good choice with red meat.

NV White Cat – $8.49 – Theresa really liked this semi-sweet white – it comes in various sizes

NV Cabin Fever – $8.49 – You have to try it – it is served with chocolate! It is a semi-sweet blush that would be great to drink ice cold in the hot tub!

NV Bramble Berry – $9.49 – Made with the Catawba grapes of your youth – Bramble Berry feels like it should come in a juice pouch.

Hazlitt Red Cat also has a variety of logo’d apparel, wine related gift items and snacks – bread with cheese spreads, cheese and crackers and chips and salsa. There are tours available of the facility and walking trails that you can enjoy. We also tried a wine slushy. It was super cold, and I think you could drink way too many of them on a hot day. If you are not a wine drinker, premium hard ciders beer is available.

Check their website for live music and other special events. And, very important to me, they donate to and do fund raisers for the local Humane Society.


Susan’s Score – Is Red Cat the greatest wine in the world? No. Will I visit their tasting room most times that I am in the Finger Lakes Region – Yes!  The wine is good, but more important the place is fun, and they don’t take themselves too serious. The servers are knowledgeable and have personality plus. Go – you will have a good time.