We continue our two wheeled adventure already in progress
 
 

Eveningside Vineyards

THE RIDE: At first glance at the map (and your fuzzy brain), this winery is just down the road from Freedom Run. Again, stay on the “wrong side” of the road. It’s a little over a mile to Eveningside. We felt the crush of travel in that one mile, however, what with the sun high in the sky and our bellies so, very empty (except for the salsa man’s delicious treats!). Otherwise, it’s another easy road to travel. Be on your tiptoes coming around bends in the road, but mostly it’s a quiet, peaceful trek.

Randy and Kaity behind the bar at Eveningside.

THE WINERY: One word: RANDY!!! Okay, I love Randy. Randy is the proprietor at Eveningside, and damn, does he make wine in the country look good. Randy has been rockin’ wine for over a decade now (LLC style), and he knows what’s up. Ask Randy anything about tannins, terroir, or typicity. He’ll educate you. And you’ll be better for it. (As an aside: Eveningside offers wine education classes Friday nights, but they are currently sold out. So…. Get on the list?).

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a little taste of Putney Gold. That’s the newest bottle from Eveningside, named for the Biehls’ collie. About 100 cases were made, and they’re going fast. (Note: I tried it, and decried immediately that it was my new favorite white. Sorry, Freedom.) Eveningside also carries my favorite wine-related apparel (you’ll know the one when you see it), and has the perfect covered back patio to kick back and soak in the countryside with your wine, no matter the weather.  4794 Lower Mountain Rd., 716-867-2415, open Thursday-Sunday.

Niagara Landing Wine Cellars

THE RIDE: Out here, you’re blanketed with the good lord’s green earth and never-ending sky. From Eveningside to Niagara Landing, it’s all very comfy ridin’. Go ahead and get on the “right side” of the road after you eventually depart from Eveningside. You’re gonna cascade pleasantly down, about a mile and half. Don’t forget to hang a right at Plank Rd; letting the mountain lull you is a delicious distraction.

No it’s not a school field trip, it’s a party bus.

As you coast down Plank, you’ll see a street to your left called Van Dusen. AYE, MATEE! That’s your shuffle-off. Hang a left (looking behind and ahead and using all nonsensical hand gestures you can remember) and coast onto Van Dusen. This is where we start the real Wine Challenge of Cambria.

THE WINERY: Niagara Landing is the coziest place you can hope to be holed up in on a snowy night. Wood paneling, delicious, free-flowin’ wine, pleasant proprietors, and accepting staff. We rolled up (literally! get it!?) about 20 minutes before closing time. I was a bit nervous to really grill ‘em on stuff, as it seemed they’d had enough of whatever rolled through earlier. I did learn that they will be taking part in Harvest Festival this September, as they do every year. They specifically told me about some sort of (OMG WHAAAA?) Hot Pepper Festival, with offerings such as hot pepper wine and jellies and proceeds going to Hospice. Oh, yes.

At a quarter of midnight (a.k.a. 5:45 p.m.) we headed out. A party bus headed in. We didn’t stick around to find out what happens then. Country wine life!!! 4434 Van Dusen Rd., 716-433-8405.

The plane(s)!

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS: Across the street from Niagara Landing is the Niagara Soaring Club & Cambria Air Field, recognized by several small planes littering the lot, and the row of planes stretching back hundreds of yards. In giving them a call to find out more info, I was greeted with a voicemail message, detailing the need for five or so men to come on down this weekend to help with building a glider. So, while storms are in the forecast, the Soaring Club is still getting together. Give them a call at 716-299-8873 to learn more or sign yourself up for a lesson or two (or offer your glider-building assistance).

About a mile to the north sits Blackman Homestead Farm. Blackman offers apple picking in the fall, and many local wineries carry products from the farm. Unfortunately the farm is only open for visitors in September and October, but it’s still worth a ride-by and some photos. The grass definitely is greener at Blackman’s. 4472 Thrall Rd.

Honeymoon Trail Winery

THE RIDE: Wanna keep going? Let’s pretend you’re in the situation that we were in, on this day. You want to languish about, you have a lovely buzz, and God’s country is in your sight, every direction you peer. You also have 10 minutes until last call, and 2 miles to the last winery. And you’re on a bike. In the country. BURN TIME!!!!! The ride itself is beautiful; taking Green north from Van Dusen to Route 104/Ridge is a straight shot of farmland and new development. Back in my day this road was still gravel, and teenagers would go there to smooch. I don’t have any personal experience with that, of course. Of course. Nowadays, new housing and new families have taken up residence, making Green Rd one of the most desired locations in Cambria.

The honeymoon ain’t over yet.

THE WINERY: Honeymoon Trail — dubbed thusly for its location on Route 104, known as the “Honeymoon Trail” in the mid-20th century due to its start point in Niagara Falls – retains that romanticism in more than just moniker. Stepping inside the tasting room feels reminiscent to a cozy ski cabin, where one might find herself snuggling under a hand-woven blanket with a love during a blustery weekend getaway. To the right of the bar is the bright Tuscany Room, a perfect location for a wedding reception or anniversary party. Stepping outside, Honeymoon boasts a gorgeous front patio and the backdrop of the breathtaking countryside, setting the scene for any manner of ceremony.

Two years ago we dubbed Honeymoon “Last Call,” and so we did again two years later. At the end of the Cambria Circuit, we sat on the patio while they broke down for the evening, drank a plastic-glass of white that we talked them into selling to us at approximately 6:02 p.m., and reflected on what an amazing day we had just had. 4120 Ridge Rd., 716-438-3255.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS:

If you’re feeling plucky after your last stop on the circuit, head a little west and north onto Cambria-Wilson Rd/Route 425. At the stop light, hang a left. It’s here you’ll find the North Ridge United Methodist Church, a Greek-revival style cobblestone church built in 1848 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 3930 North Ridge Road, (716) 433-4105.

_____________

Kristy currently lives in Cambria, New York with her parents, who have begun repopulating their nest with adult children. She can be found blogging sporadically at THE71SIX.BIZ and twitting @KristyTwittedIt. In a past life she wrote too much about comedy, and thinks comedy nerds everywhere should download every issue of RE:COM.
 
Photos By Brooke Genter

_____________