It was a lazy, dreary, Saturday afternoon. Katy’s daughter Megan was in town for the weekend and we were looking for something to do with her and her brother Tom. We discussed taking a drive somewhere to see the remaining foliage and visit a farm market or two. Katy suggested Naples. We hadn’t been there in over a year and the kids hadn’t been there so it was as good a destination as any. Besides, I knew Imagine Moore Winery was in Naples and I’ve wanted to visit it for a while.
Katy decided to drive, which was a treat for me. I eagerly obliged and took the role of navigator. I decided to take us down through Pittsford, West Bloomfield, Honeoye, and Hunt Hollow. I’ve taken that route many times and knew it would be scenic as well as fairly direct. Turning off Monroe Avenue onto Clover Street in Pittsford, you quickly leave the congestion of the city and suburbs. The relatively flat landscape just south of Pittsford turns into rolling hills and valleys once you get a few miles south on West Bloomfield Road. Even with a dark grey sky in the background, the autumn hills with fading reds, yellows, and oranges were beautiful. The winding road takes you to Route 5 and 20 in West Bloomfield. Continuing south leads to the village of Honeoye. From there you follow the western shore of Honeoye Lake south, past Hunt Hollow Ski Club and finally descend into Naples. Looking off to the west as you come down the hill into the village, you see towering windmills dotting the hilltops. These graceful giants seem out of place at first but tend to blend into the landscape, almost as if they have always been part of it.
Our first stop was Josephs Wayside Market. Josephs is a fixture on South Main Street in Naples. They have been in business since 1955 and offer everything you would expect from a farm market including flowers, fruit, vegetables, baked goods, apple cider, preserves, and honey. There were all types of apples, squash and pumpkins, which are usually abundant this time of year. Grapes and pears caught my eye. Apple cider donuts caught Megan’s. Megan won. Katy picked up a few items as well. It’s easy to get carried away with all the fresh produce, pies, fresh grape juice and cider on display but we managed to control ourselves and left with a modest load.
We then headed north a mile or so to Imagine Moore Winery. I was familiar with their wines, having tasted them on several occasions at various wine events, but had never been to the winery. It was easy to find, not only because it is located on North Main Street, but because its purple exterior is definitely hard to miss. The winery is a modest size with a tasting room in front, a small gift area, and deck on the upper level. Fermentation tanks and wine barrels are on the lower level in back. There was a fairly good crowd in the winery, which wasn’t a surprise having noticed the limo bus in the parking lot as we walked in. The tasting room was full so we scattered to explore the rest of the winery while we waited for the crowd to disperse.
I made my way downstairs and out the back door to find a beautiful view of the vineyard and hills off in the distance. I took the opportunity to take a panorama photograph and enjoy the peace and quiet for a moment. I made my way back upstairs and found Katy. Tom and Megan had wandered across the street to get a cup of tea so Katy and I took the opportunity to taste some wine.
Allison, our server, led us through a flight of seven wines. Imagine Moore has unique, poetic names for their wines, such as Bliss, and Gratitude. Allison was very helpful in describing the wines which meant I didn’t have to work hard to figure out what they were. I could have read the tasting sheet to find out as well but that wasn’t necessary.
The first wine we tasted was the 2009 Bliss Sauvignon Blanc. I found this to be a bit to acidic for my taste with the fruit getting lost in the acid. Next we tried the 2009 Gratitude. This 50% Chardonnay, 50% Sauvignon Blanc blend is aged on the lees for eight months and barrel fermented in American oak. The lees are the yeast sediment left behind after fermentation. Most of the time, the wine is filtered, or racked, from the fermentation tank to the barrels for aging, leaving the sediment behind. Aging on the lees gives the wine a subtle yeasty character and can add more complex flavors and depth as well. The Gratitude was well balanced with a light oak flavor that didn’t hide the fruit. Next was the 2009 Joy Dry Riesling which was light in body and flavor with flowery citrus notes. We finished the whites with the 2009 Harmony, a 75% Cayuga Blanc, 25% Traminette blend. Harmony had a fresh, lemon flavor which was quite good despite its sweetness. At 5.5% RS, it was way past my sweetness threshold. Gratitude was our favorite white with Joy right behind. Next, it was time to move on to the reds. Our first red was the 2007 Wisdom Cabernet Franc. Wisdom is aged in New York and Missouri oak for twelve months. To me it was a classic Cab Franc with cherry fruit up front and a spicy finish. Wisdom is a bold, steak or pork chop wine that would compliment these dishes well. After Wisdom came the 2008 Truth. Truth is a Bordeaux style blend of 22% Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Cabernet Franc. It was a bit lighter and smoother than Wisdom which makes this a good wine to drink on its own. Allison finished by pouring the 2008 Inspiration. She introduced it as their mystery blend and wanted to see if we could guess the varietals hidden within. The spicy finish gave away the Cab Franc but I didn’t have the palette to guess Noiret as the other grape used in the blend. This semi-sweet wine was light, smooth and dry enough for me to enjoy without balking at the sweetness. Overall we found the wines of Imagine Moore Winery to be very pleasant and the winery visit equally as enjoyable.
As we pulled out of the parking lot, I noticed a cemetery across the street. I asked Katy to pull down the side street leading to the cemetery so I could take a few photographs. I supposed the late afternoon light and damp, grey sky had something to do with me being drawn to it. We would have taken a walk up Grimes Glen to see the waterfalls if the weather wasn’t so wet. The Glen is one of Naples’ hidden treasures. After the cemetery, we made our way back up to Honeoye where I sought out a slice of pizza at Top Shelf Pizza on East Lake Road. I was disappointed, however, since they stopped serving slices at 4:00. We then meandered to Victor then caught Route 490 back to the city. It was a nice way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon with Katy, Tom and Megan. Katy dropped me off at Cobbs Hill Pizza before heading home with the kids. I didn’t forget about that slice.