I’m working on several stories after my recent trip to the Finger Lakes — but in the meantime, I wanted to share my latest column for the Suffolk Times, which can be found online on northforker.com

Over the past several years, my family has fallen head-over-heels in love with the Finger Lakes region of central New York. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the country that offers spectacular sunrises and sunsets, fishing, boating, wine tasting, great food and farmer’s markets, a relaxed pace and plenty of relaxation. In some ways, it’s a lot like the North Fork — except it’s much more affordable. We usually rent a lakefront cottage for a week for what a night or two in similar accommodations would cost here.

When I visit the region with my family, my opportunities to meet with winery owners and winemakers are limited, however, so last week I took a couple days off from work and made a quick solo trip with no other focus beyond tasting as many wines and meeting with as many people as I could. I succeeded in that regard, tasting with 11 winemakers and one brewer during my short trip, leaving me with dozens of pages of notes and hours of recorded interviews to sift through.

While I work through all of that material, here are six reasons you should visit the Finger Lakes this summer.

Riesling. No surprise here, right? This region has earned its place atop all the riesling-producing regions in the United States. A handful of Long Island wineries are even buying fruit or juice from the Finger Lakes for their own bottlings. From piercingly dry and austere examples — the Ravines Wine Cellars 2014 Dry Riesling — to the Red Tail Ridge 2013 Block 907, a richly honeyed riesling with wonderful balancing acidity, and all points in between, there are pristine, distinctive versions of most any style of riesling available. Other spots to visit include Hermann J. Wiemer, Red Newt, Anthony Road Wine Company and Kemmeter Wines.

Read the rest of the column.