While visiting the Finger Lakes in early July when we took off for our year long RV trip, we stayed at several wineries overnight through Harvest Host, a paid membership program that allows its members to stay at participating wineries, farms, attractions, and golf courses across the country. We love it because it means we usually have a place to park overnight that’s usually scenic and offers wine or other products for sale.
We started off our trip right with a stay at Harvest Host wineries, Heron Hill and Castle Grisch, in the Finger Lakes.
Heron Hill Winery
Heron Hill has a yellow church-like building (located on top of a hill) which houses a tasting room, gift shop, and cafe. The cafe is closed on Monday so we didn’t get a chance to try it out. There’s a short gravel road that leads to the parking lot off main road. We parked on the lower level of the parking lot.
We checked in late at 7pm. The view of the Keuka Lake was very nice with vineyard in foreground. The air was dry and cool at night so no AC needed for us. We just cracked the windows open. The following morning at 11, we enjoyed a tasting for $5 while the girls had grape juice. Our pourer is retired special ed teacher and biker with a toy hauler. She was great to talk to and even made several great recommendations on places we needed to visit in the US. We bought two bottles of wine, ate lunch in the RV, and then visited the pottery shop across the street before we left for our next destination.
Castle Grisch Winery
The next night, we stayed at Castle Grisch.
We got to the Castel Grisch Winery at 5pm right as it was closing. Luckily, there was still a private party finishing up their tastings and I was still able to taste a few whites and selected a chardonnary riesling 80/20 blend which was pretty good for sipping. We pretty much had the whole property to ourselves after the winery closed for the night. We set up the RV so we’d be overlooking the field and vineyards. We brought out our portable grill and cooked some wings and veggies outside. Then we played goodminton (our version of badminton) and threw around the frisbee for a few hours until sunset. When it got dark, we enjoyed the fireflies’ light show out in the fields.
We left the windows open and got a cool night breeze throughout the RV. I left our blinds cracked open and when the sun peaked through in the morning at 5am, we got up to take in the gorgeous sunrise. We enjoyed our breakfast of egg and cheese sandwiches with pumpkin bread made by my brother-in-law’s mom. Thanks Cathy, it was so good! At 8:30am, we left the winery and drove out to Watkins Glen State Park to take in a couple of unforgettable waterfalls. More on that in our post on Watkins Glen.
Harvest Host Membership
For us, our Harvest Host membership has been so worth it because it allowed us to save money on lodging and stay at some pretty fabulous places that have created some lasting memories. Like that apple orchard we stayed at while passing through Washington State where we bought the most delicious apple pie, were caught in some heavy rainfall, and watched a double rainbow come out afterwards. Or the Tongue River Winery in Montana where we learned all about winemaking and whose owner created a new delicious white wine featuring our daughters on the label. More on this in another post too!
If you are on the fence about Harvest Host, try and catch a sale deal on the membership and try it out for a year. If you love wine, RVing, and pastoral scenery, I am willing to bet you will have some pretty incredible experiences like ours at Harvest Host sites too. Quick tip: read the reviews of other RVers to get a better idea of what to expect and to check out their notes on RV accessibility. This helps us determine if a place is a good fit for us and our RV. Happy RVing!
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