Finger Lakes Distilling is the region’s first stand-alone distillery. They use locally grown fruit and grains to produce high quality homemade spirits such as vodka, gin, whiskey, brandy, grappa and liqueurs.
Since opening their doors during the Summer of 2009, Finger Lakes Distilling’s spirits have taken their place among America’s finest craft distilled whiskeys and liquors. The November 2015 issue of Wine Spectator Magazine listed Finger Lakes Distilling among the top six craft and artisanal distilleries in America today. Visit their beautiful tasting room, view their production area through our large windows and taste from their eighteen spirits, including the acclaimed line of McKenzie Whiskeys and Gin.
Who They Are
It might seem like an odd choice, putting a distillery in the middle of a wine region. But if you think about it, it makes sense. For one thing, they have immediate access to the crop of one of the best grape-growing regions in the country. They even have their own vineyard in front of the distillery. The Finger Lakes region is also home to quite a few small farms, from which they get their corn, rye, barley, and the other grains and fruits that they use to make their premium spirits.
Finger Lakes Distilling is a NYS Farm Distillery, which means that they’re a small operation making a handcrafted product. It also means they’re able to devote all their attention to everything they make; they don’t take any shortcuts. Their flavored vodkas and liqueurs are made in the traditional manner, by soaking real fruits in the spirit. They don’t add extracts or synthetic flavoring to speed up the process. Their whiskies rest in oak barrels for as long as they need to, until they mature into the rich aged spirit they offer with pride.
Although the distillery is young, their vision is built on a foundation of tradition. The design of their distillery is inspired by the classic style of Scottish whisky distilleries, with its white walls, black trim, and elegant pagoda roof. Inside the distillery is spacious and sunlit, with the stills and barrels full of slowly aging whiskey that can be seen from the tasting room and store. Keeping with their traditional vision, they believe in minimizing waste and using everything. Spent grains from fermentation are used by local farmers as animal feed. The oak floors of our distillery are reclaimed siding from a tobacco barn in Kentucky, and the wood bordering their tasting bar also used to be part of a local barn.