Ravines Wine Cellars Is A Romantic Date Spot

Men's Dating

Ravines Wine Cellars Can Offer a Romantic Backdrop for a Date

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at DatingAdvice.com. When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major at the University of Florida, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to DatingAdvice.com. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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The Short Version: Ravines Wine Cellars is a family-owned winery in the Finger Lakes region where people can come together and enjoy themselves. For almost 20 years now, Ravines winery has offered artisanal wines and food pairings at two tasting rooms on its vineyard estates. Couples can visit these tasting rooms to savor a sophisticated date experience full of rich flavors and lively conversations.

In 2001, Morten and Lisa Hallgreen fell in love with Finger Lakes, New York, and recognized the region’s potential for making dry, vinifera wines. The couple bought 17 acres of land on the eastern slopes of Keuka Lake, and they established a vineyard and tasting room.

Photo of Ravines wines

Ravines Wine Cellars has two tasting rooms that keep conversations flowing.

Morten and Lisa named their artisanal winery Ravines Wine Cellars after the two ravines that ran through the edge of the property.

This family operation grew in size and esteem as it embraced bone-dry and mineral-tinged Rieslings. In 2003, the Ravines winery won the award for Best Dry Riesling in the World Riesling Cup.

After 20 years of dedicated winemaking, Ravines winery has earned its reputation as a great place to clink glasses and explore taste combinations with friends, family, and that special someone. The winery currently has over 130 acres of estate vineyards, and it includes two tasting rooms where wine loving couples can enjoy a quiet date.

Ravines can satisfy the taste buds with its expertly crafted food and wine pairings. As a chef and foodie, Lisa is passionate about offering delicious bites and beginner-friendly recipes that people can use to bring out the complex flavors of Ravines wines.

“Morten has created a great culture,” said Benn Kireker, Director of Marketing at Ravines winery. “All the people who work here are wine lovers, and it’s a real community feel.”

Bringing Old-World Winemaking to the Finger Lakes

Morten grew up on his family’s estate winery in the Côtes de Provence region of France, and he was trained in the art of European winemaking. He has made wines in Bordeaux, West Texas, and North Carolina, and for the last 20 years he has brought his expertise to the Finger Lakes region.

When Morten arrived in this area, he saw an opportunity to establish a vineyard that produced classic European-style wine, and he began scoping out land where vinifera grapes would flourish.

The vineyards support sustainable farming practices and have rich limestone and shalestone soils that augment the flavors of the grapes.

Photo of the Ravines vineyard on Seneca Lake

Ravines winery has over 130 acres of vineyards that produce bright and aromatic vintages.

The first vintage Ravines winery produced was a Dry Riesling that has won recognition for its distinct and complex flavors. It has been listed in the Wine Spectacular’s annual Top 100 Wines four times. The winery now makes a variety of white wines, red wines, and sparkling wines, but the Riesling remains its specialty.

“Our dry Rieslings are world-class,” Benn said. “They have beautiful flora aromas and bright fruit notes.”

Looking to the future, Ravines plans to continue using the same excellent vineyard sites and traditional winemaking techniques to make its wines stand out. The winery is also launching an Agricolae label, offering blends, the use of hybrid grapes, and “drink now” wines, and opening a third tasting room to support the brand in the coming years.

Couples Can Savor Seasonal Wine & Food Pairings

Ravines Wine Cellars can offer a prime date spot that’s conveniently located near to Seneca and Keuka lakes. The tasting rooms are particularly well-known for their food-and-wine pairings, so couples can enjoy a bite to eat and then spend the day on the lakes.

Lisa draws from her background as a chef to create delicious dishes that complement Ravines winery’s vintages. The tasting experience can include charcuterie plates or chocolate pairings, and the menu changes with the season.

Photo of a wine tasting

A wine tasting is a fun date activity for couples who enjoy trying new things together.

Ravines winery has two tasting rooms — the Seneca Tasting Room and the Keuka Tasting Room — that welcome people to sample its wines, tour its winemaking facilities, and take in views of the vineyards and the lakes.

The Keuka Tasting Room is perched over the lake and has a lovely outdoor patio overlooking the eastern shore. The Geneva Tasting Room, near Seneca Lake offers wine cellar tours as part of the Tasting Table Food and Wine Experience. The tour highlights what makes Ravines sparkling and still wines so special. People can stop by either tasting room for a socially distanced wine tasting any time of year, but the Keuka Tasting Room has seasonal hours in the winter months.

The Hallgreen family renovated a slate-roof barn built in 1898 to create the Geneva Tasting Room, which has a rustic farm-to-table charm. The tasting room is dog-friendly and kid-friendly with picnic tables situated beside the vineyard.

“It’s a fun place for people on a vacation or day trip,” Benn said. “We also see many locals showing up for a wedding anniversary or birthday celebration, and we have sparkling wines for their celebratory toasts.”

The Wine Club Promotes Exclusive Events & Discounts

Anyone can join the Ravinous Wine Club to become part of the Ravines winery family. The club supports a growing community of wine lovers in Finger Lakes and beyond. Club members have the opportunity to attend free tastings, and they also get a 20% discount on all Ravines wines.

Four times a year, The Ravinous Wine Club also receives a curated box of Club Selections that contains four wines — for a total of 16 wines a year. Club Selections are traditionally made available on March 1, May 1, Labor Day, and Halloween.

Photo of a tasting table

Ravinous Wine Club members receive invitations to special tastings and events.

The Ravinous Kitchen includes recipes with the selection of wines to give club members ideas for their next date night or friend gathering.

The Ravines team hosts four weekends of Revelry Wine & Food Parties in conjunction with its Club Selections release. These events are complimentary for two people per membership.

Other exclusive club events include July Summer Picnics, Spring Barrel Tastings, Harvest Wine and Food Tastings, a Sparkling Holiday Brunch, and members-only dinners. These events highlight the new vintages and food pairings offered by Ravines winemakers and culinary experts.

Due to COVID-19, some of these annual events have had to be altered to abide by social distancing guidelines. The Ravines team has focused on hosting outdoor events in the recent months, and a lot of effort goes into making sure visitors have enough space to relax and enjoy themselves.

Benn told us Ravines has also seen success with virtual events, which include online cooking classes with guest chefs. These virtual events give the winemakers the opportunity to answer questions, share recipes, and engage with wine lovers all across the country.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry at Ravines Wine Cellars

Ravines winery has won over many wine lovers in the Finger Lakes with its dry and elegant vintages. The tasting rooms give people a chance to explore new taste combinations and savor a fun experience with a good friend or a hot date.

The year 2020 has been challenging for the Ravines tasting rooms, but it has yielded good news in the vineyards. The recent dry and warm weather in Finger Lakes has been perfect for producing high-quality grapes, which are being harvested and stored right now. The grapes will need a couple years to mature before they show up in Ravines wines, but the winemakers are already excited for that vintage.

“This might be the best vintage of all time in the Finger Lakes,” Benn said. “We’re looking forward to having that for people in a few years.”

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