Seneca Lake is the deepest of the 11 Finger Lakes. With a maximum depth of 600 feet, this 35-mile-long body of water in the heart of New York wine country does not freeze. Instead, it acts as a heat storage unit, warming the growing region year round. This warming effect is largely responsible for the success of the area’s flourishing wine industry. With more than 30 wineries, the Seneca Lake AVA sprawls across 204,600 acres, with 3,700 acres under vine. Best known for its Riesling, the area also produces a range of other wines that are earning international recognition. The region hosts the successful Seneca Lake Winery Trail, which encircles the entire lake. The eighth appellation in New York State, Seneca Lake is one of the most recent AVAs approved by the BATF in North America. Effective September 2, 2003, local wineries were permitted to display this designation on their labels. At the lake head is Geneva’s agricultural experiment station, responsible for many of the commercially successful hybrid varieties grown in the eastern USA and Canada.