Tuesday, September 08, 2009


So, we're officially on our way through the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, on the way to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Me. Dominque. And my two sons, Dylan and Dawson.

After a stop at Howe Caverns (which was very cool), we drove on I-88 to the appropriate exit, and turned. We were all famished. We hadn't eaten in a while, and I didn't want to taste on an empty stomach. So we were on the prowl for something to eat...when my sons spotted a burger place...it turned out to be Bear Pond Winery.

They have a separate burger shack! We ordered up and the food was great! Dawson and I both ordered 1/3 pound Mama Bear Burgers, which are double patty, double cheese burgers with lettuce, tomato, and onion. They were fantastic!!! I highly, highly recommend the food at the shack. The french fries, panini, and chili dogs were awesome too!

Mark and Brenda Lebo are the owners. The winery is right on the highway to Cooperstown - you can't miss it. Especially with the wood carved bear striding atop the barrel out by the road.

Mark and Brenda bought the place about five years ago. And they've been building up the winery every year. They have a new winemaking building, new tanks, new bottling machine, new forklift...and lots of gallons of wine!

Once inside, we were well treated very nicely by Megan, our tastingroom person. She was great! Dom and I tried six wines each. Some the same, some different. The chardonnay was nice. And so was the seyval blanc. But the real winners for us were the reds and the dessert wines.

First off was the Silver Tip Merlot. This is actually a blend of Merlot with a touch of Seyval in it. It made for a very lovely, dry, dark rose. A great idea and a fabulous wine! This is something worth searching for. Bought several bottles.

He also had a nice Cab Franc. And his apple wine and cranberry are both solid dessert wines. But the sing said it all:

Bruiser is the bomb! A deep, dark dessert wine. Very much like a port, but not as heavy and not quite as high on the alchol. Bruiser is a special blend of Black and Blue berries for a unique sweet complex flavor. This was a fabulous wine. We bought two bottles. Might try and sneak back to get another one before we leave.

Also, Mark sells home winemaking and brewing equipment and supplies at the winery. Very cool.

Mark gave us a tour of the winery and environs. It's a fast growing enterprise and well managed. I real find!