Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Searching for White Dog
Keuka Lake, New York
We went to visit Paul and Marilyn yesterday. They have a home on the shore of Lake Keuka. We know them from our winter campground in Sarasota. The lake is shaped like a deformed "Y", instead of a finger, where two glaciers ran together.
Paul gets the pontoon boat out of a storage barn and gives us a ride around part of the lake. Keuka has 63 miles of shoreline and is pretty much filled up with cottages.
The small, rustic cottages of our childhood with hand water pumps, outhouses and kerosene lamps are largely history now.
Keuka is said to be a great fishing lake with lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and yellow perch. A steam runs from Keuka to upper Lake Seneca. Once they dug a canal there. Later the canal was replaced by a rail line which is now a hiking trail.
After the ride on the lake, they take us to the winery where they work in the summer. The wines are excellent and I buy two cases of whites, reds, sherry and ice wine. The rock-hard ice wine grapes are picked in December between three and six AM after at least three hard freezes. What an explosion of taste!
I'm surprised that they have a machine to pick the grapes. The local hills are covered with cows and grape orchards. Paul explains that they graft European grape vines onto native American grape roots to get the fine tastes of great wines. After the winery tour Paul and Marilyn serve us dinner and wine. A fun visit.
I could live here in the summer and fall. I see a job in a winery for someone with Excel and Quickbook skills. It would keep me busy. I think about it. Mrs. Phred is probably tiring of having me underfoot 24/7.
They also have a distillery here that makes a drink called "Glen Thunder". It's a form of moonshine (white lightning or white dog). Basically it's an instant white whiskey, not aged in a barrel and with no caramel color added. I think I need to try it. Them that refuse it are few...