Life in the Finger Lakes: The Wienery: Seneca Lake’s Spot for Dogs, Burgers and Wines


Chef and Master Sommelier Christopher Bates agreed to meet with me early on a Friday morning at his new Seneca Lake restaurant, The Wienery, but only if we could interrupt our meeting to attend the start Finger Lakes Produce Auction in Dundee. Our conversation started over a glass of homemade kombucha on ice, a fermented black tea from Asia that has recently become popular in the U.S. “I’m somewhat interested in fermentation,” Christopher deadpans, as he also explained The Wienery’s house-fermented sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as his own winemaking background. Within minutes we are out the door, on our way to the produce auction, starting a morning quest to secure the raw ingredients for some of the most unique hamburgers and hot dogs one can imagine.

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