This past Sunday we decided to use one of our saved-up groupons and drive out to Ellicottville for wine tasting. If you remember last August we explored Ellicottville for the first time with one of Luke’s co-workers and his wife. What drew us to this ski-town two hours West of us was their annual taste of Ellicottville (for more on this see Taste of Ellicottville). While there we got a chance to check out their local brewery as well as taste some wine at their Winery of Ellicottville’s (EVL for short) store front. So when we saw a groupon for a wine tasting, tour, and cheese plate from two at EVL we thought it’d be an amazing date.
The drive to Ellicottville is beautiful, especially this time of year as everything has finally turned bright green. We arrived in town and headed straight to the Winery of Ellicottville storefront just on time for our reservation. EVL is ran by Dominic Spicola and his family. For the past four years they have been experimenting and creating unique and popular wines which of course sell well in the ski-town.
The EVL storefront’s main wall serves as a long wood bar. It is here that we started our tour tasting more than 6 different EVL wines between the two of us. Dominic’s wife guided us through their options; we began with their light whites then moved to reds, ending with dessert wines. Our favorite picks? their Vidal was good; bright and citrusy; Luke also enjoyed their Noriet; a peppery dry red. We also tried their dessert berry wines Luke found the blueberry to be too sweet but I enjoyed the red raspberry which was sweet with a good tart kick at the end.
After trying their variety we were taken to view their wine-making process done in a second separate room attached to their main storefront. We were told that they buy a variety of grapes from neighboring wineries, rent a local wineries’ grape press to turn their grapes into juice, then drive the juice back to their storefront where they pump it into their processing vats straight from the street.
After a few other basic questions about the process; we came back out to the storefront and were given our cheese plate featuring local cheeses . We enjoyed the cheeses and garlic stuffed olives with glasses of white wine; a Riesling and a white blend called Franseco’s Reserve . We both were surprised to enjoy the Riesling even more than the Vidal from earlier. Once we were done snacking we were given our groupon goodies: two wine glasses with their wine label on them, and one wine from their selection valued up to $20; we picked up their red raspberry dessert wine and in addition bought a bottle of Riesling.
We looked at the time and decided to drive to the cheese shop in Cuba. Again if you remember last summer on our way back from the taste of Ellicottville event we stopped in a little town we would have never noticed on our own called Cuba specifically for their cheese shop. About an hour East from Ellicottville this cheese shop provides their own cheeses, other local NY and PA creameries goods, and specialty international cheeses. In addition to the large array of cheeses they also sell local maple goods, pickled vegetables, jams, butters, and jellies and curried meats.
After sampling a few cheeses we ended up leaving with some of Luke’s favorites: a local smoked gouda, a brie blue cheese, and one we had last time and loved; extra hot horseradish. On our way to the cashier we also found a creamy strong cheese in the discounted section we thought we’d try.
Overall it was a great Sunday date. We left with full stomachs and came home with plenty of local cheeses and wine. In fact, on Tuesday Luke had a rare lunch hour at home. We enjoyed apples, crackers, and local cheeses together; the perfect light summer lunch and a great option for some upcoming picnics.
Have you explored any local goods or foods recently?