A 9-day road trip in the Advanced-RV Giddy Up takes Andrew and Katharine from Advanced-RV headquarters near Cleveland, OH, along the shore of Lake Erie, and into Canada. Follow along in Part 3 of our 7-part series, as the couple visits an 1800s mansion converted a winery.
From our stay at the Great Western Winery on the southern end of Keuka Lake, we drove up the lake’s eastern shore and crossed over Lake Seneca. Following the western bank of Seneca south, we pulled over at Shtayburne Farm and picked up cracked pepper and mushroom-flavored cheese curds and sharp cheddar cheese. The Mennonites were making cheese on the other side of a window in the shop and were happy to sell us their wares.
We stopped for a wine tasting and lunch at Chateau LaFayette Reneau Winery, which had a beautiful view from a porch that looked across Lake Seneca. We enjoyed their dry Riesling with the cheese curds, cheddar, apples and bread—I think we enjoyed it all the more for the sunny day after so much rain the day before.
Pressing north, we made our stop for the night at the Winery at Marjim Mannor—successfully arriving before closing. Margo (and spouse Jim) happily greeted us. The 9,500-square-foot mansion has a unique appearance and history. Formerly called Appleton Hall, it is built of bricks imported from Italy by its original owner, Shubal Merritt, who bought the property from the Holland Land Company. It features a wrap-around enclosed porch. The mansion, built in the 1800s, was originally a farmhouse and later a summer retreat for the Sisters of St. Joseph convent. The house even has resident ghosts. Margo told us a few eerie stories—everyone seems to die at 3:00 pm in the house, mostly on Thursdays.
We took a pleasant walk down the tree-lined path that the Sisters of St. Joseph convent planted, and followed that path down a road to get as close to Lake Ontario as possible. Although not quite as cold as this morning, the wind was brisk.
Margo is a very interesting lady, and commented herself on being a Jewish woman converting a convent into a winery. We talked to Margo about fruit wines before we departed Marjim Manor. Margo’s fruit wine approach is essentially the same as fermenting grapes for wine, which is different than many fruit wines that use fruit syrup after the fact. The result is a very soft, smooth wine that is not insipidly sweet or syrupy. Of all the wines I tasted, these were my favorites and totally changed my view on fruit wines.
To learn more about Giddy Up, click here.