Lake Ontario Winery

Lake Ontario Winery, Hilton: Hours, Address, Lake Ontario Winery Reviews: 3.5/5

Lake Ontario Winery
Wineries & Vineyards
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11:00 AM - 8:30 PM
11:00 AM - 8:30 PM
11:00 AM - 8:30 PM
11:00 AM - 8:30 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

35 reviews
Very good

Chet E
Hilton, NY38 contributions
Oct 2012 • Family
They are in the process of setting up a large room for weddings and other parties. Food and wine were good. Service was slow.
Written January 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mark G
Hilton, NY174 contributions
Apr 2015
The lunches are a bit expensive, but good. They are an integral part of the local Wine Tail, nautical tough was really well done, along with their famous nautical party/function fooms
Written March 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

North Tonawanda, NY123 contributions
Jun 2015 • Couples
I've been to Lake Ontario Winery a couple times. Each time, David Bower (the owner) is on location and very anxious for us to try a new wine, new cider, or new beer. He's proud of his work, and there's good reason. The wine & alcohol are great. The unfiltered part is a little disappointing because of the shelf-life vs. other wines. It's also disappointing he isn't in stores because of this. We enjoy traveling each wine tour to Lake Ontario Winery to sample & purchase new wines each year. Look forward to coming again.
Written January 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rochester 2 contributions
Jun 2014
So unorganized!

Rude customer service!

Bad wine!

Frozen pizza!


Do not buy the 2 hour wine making kit Groupon. You will be disappointed and discouraged from this awful experience. These people are beyond unprofessional.
Written July 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

York, PA3 contributions
Jun 2014 • Friends
We bought the Wine making class through Groupon, which was a terrible idea.
The class was a 2 hour sales pitch for the students to come back and buy wine supplies through their store. We learned absolutely nothing and left more confused than we started. We ended up with 2 sets of "directions" which both completely conflicted with one another. When we called for help, Dave(the owner and teacher) was completely Condescending and treated us like we were idiots.

The only decent part of the whole class was sampling about 10 of their wines, which really were not very good either.
WIsh I could reset time and get my money and time back.
Written June 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Spencerport, New York, United States1 contribution
Jul 2013 • Couples
What a debacle! Dinner service starts at 4:30 and when we arrived shortly after 5 we were told the chef had just arrived. Shortly there after we were notified that their food truck was late so they had a limited menu. I ordered the chicken and broccoli blanco, Alfredo over penne, it was good. The sauce had a nice consistency and flavor. The chunks of chicken were so big it seemed "chef" had cut the large piece in quarters and all I had was a butter knife. The same lack of prep attention was given to the broccoli. Both would have been tolerable if I could have split them with my fork. My husband ordered the delmonico...we will get to that later.

It took 20 minutes to get some bread, another 20 minutes later we were brought our salads. There were 4, possibly 5 servers on and 5 tables were sat altogether. One couple left after a half hour of nothing. There was also a water girl who had another girl that just followed her around. After an hour I asked if we would be eating soon and was told yes, she was heading back to check. Another 15 minutes later they brought our meals.

My husbands steak.....or was it? A medium rare delmonico was ordered and we are pretty sure the meat he was served was pork. We actually hope it was pork because if it was once red and was now that color grey... Needless to say we sent it back and were told they would have a replacement out soon. Almost another half an hour and he is brought another slap of meat product which when cut into actually had tendons in it and the color was also predominately grey. He did not eat dinner.

Our server lacked training but was extremely polite and seemed genuinely embarrassed. I don't know why she doesn't go work at the diner in town, she'd make better tips there. The other waitresses had their phones jammed in the back pockets of their pants or jean shorts they had on and one whistled ever time she walked into the large dining/wine tasting room which had wonderful acoustics (sarcasm point out for Sheldon Cooper).

There are so many spider webs I wondered when the last time they swept was and wished I'd looked around a little better earlier. The kicker of the night was when I came out the bathroom at the hour mark and three of the servers were huddled behind a counter eating.

I don't foresee a return trip in my future.
Written July 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ithaca, NY1 contribution
May 2014 • Couples
This was a disaster from beginning to end. First the winery didn't have record of our reservation for the class when I had called to confirm several weeks before. Then they tried to cancel the class on us two days before it was supposed to happen, when we already had made non-refundable hotel reservations. They finally agreed to accommodate us in their other location for the class on the date originally scheduled.

Upon arrival, we were checked in and shown to the room where the class was supposed to occur. We were about 20 minutes early, so they provided us with some cheese and crackers and water while we were waiting, which was appreciated. After about 35 minutes of waiting, the winemaker/owner came upstairs to let us know that one of the other couples who were to join us were late, having gone to their other location, and if we were ok waiting for about 20 minutes to begin. We agreed. He invited us to come down to the tasting bar for a glass of wine.

We continued waiting and waiting, and proceeded to do the wine tasting that was supposed to be included in the class at that time. The wines were, almost without exception, truly awful (if you are a serious wine drinker who knows what wines are supposed to taste like, do NOT go to this winery expecting anything remotely similar to what you would expect!) but we were provided with a number of tastings. At one point, the winemaker/owner actually made a comment to us about how many tastings he had provided, insinuating that we were somehow taking advantage. This was after nearly an hour of waiting for the “class” to begin, and with no sign that it actually would. He also seemed rather defensive and put-off when we made it clear to him that we actually knew something about wine. From what he said, it seems the class is really more for the person who knows nothing about wines and the different kinds of grapes it is made from. The fact that it is called a wine making class really would appear to be a misnomer, from the way he described what he would usually do in the class.

At about 3:00, which should have been in the middle of the class, he informed us he had to leave to make a delivery, and that he would be back in about 35 minutes. He instructed his staff to bring our “gourmet” pizza (as the Groupon ad advertises) at that point, and that he would explain the winemaking kits upon his return. We were then served with a pizza that was unmistakably a frozen pizza, the likes of which we could pick up at our local convenience store. Finally, when we were done eating, a staff member brought us out our two winemaking kits and told us he would be back soon.

By this point, we were so thoroughly disgusted with the entire experience (and with the wines made at the winery) that we decided to just take the kits and leave. When we got home and opened the kits, we found that they don’t even contain what the outside of the box shows. Rather, they have a total different kit inside but with instructions that go with the kit that is supposed to be included.

We ended up paying over $100 for a non-existent class, two wine kits that don’t contain what they are supposed to contain, a few slices of frozen pizza, and some of the worst wine we have ever tasted, as well as a condescending winemaker/owner who is offering an inferior product both in his wines and in this supposed “class”. SAVE YOUR MONEY…if you actually like wine, and if you think it’s reasonable to expect to receive the services for which you have paid, stay away from this Groupon deal and far away from this winery.
Written May 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Spencerport, NY7 contributions
Jun 2014 • Couples
my wife and i went for a wine tasting and lunch. One white wine, the semi dry riesling was cloudy and served warm. All the white wines were served warm.We never experienced that in probably 200 wine tastings. The wine server for the tasting was very uninformed regarding the various wines.

We had pizza for lunch. It reminded us of frozen pizza you buy at a grocery store. It was very mediocre. The "nail in the coffin" that will keep us from returning was the dead bug in our bottle Red Jack wine we purchased for lunch.

We did not complain to the wine server or waitress. Our issue is with the owner of the establishment. Poor quality starts at the top. We shall not return to this establishment.
Written June 20, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sue W
Buffalo, New York, United States22 contributions
Feb 2014 • Friends
Today we took a ride (just over an hour) to visit Lake Ontario Winery. I have been to all the other winerys on the Niagara wine trail and wanted to check out the only one I had not been to. We arrived there just after noon, since their website stated they open at 11am. There was one young girl there who said she couldn't get us a tasting, but would call the guy who could and see if he was on his way. We were told he would be there soon finally she said maybe 15 minutes. We left without a tasting, It is clear that this place is very mismanaged and does not care about serving their customers. I will not go back
Written February 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue, We apologize for your negative experience during your last visit to our winery and bistro. We are family owned and operated and strive to maintain a high standard for all of our customers. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused you. Please call our winery at 585-392-5296, and schedule a tasting with Dave Jr, our owner. He will be happy to provide this free of charge. Our best, Mayers Lake Ontario Winery
Written March 29, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tim E
Rochester, New York, United States31 contributions
Jul 2012 • Couples
My wife and I checked this place out. We love wineries and have been to well over 50 in the area at least, many multiple times. We're always excited about newer wineries and watching them grow, and this place even has a pirate theme which we found fun. Plus the people were quite nice.

Unfortunately, as nice as the people were and as much as I wish it were otherwise, that's the only good I can really say about the place. There were flies everywhere in the winery, which I can understand if they get a swarm they can't deal with right away so I could have overlooked that, but the handling of the wines wasn't exactly sanitary to me. The woman would pull the stopper off the top, set it on the counter, pour the wine, then leave the bottle open with the stopper on the counter until the next bottle would be poured, often not even putting the stop back in the wine bottle even then. Even trying to overlook this slight became extra difficult when we tried an iced wine and a fly came out with the wine that was poured right into the glass! A new bottle was opened, but it was hard to overlook the lack of making sure flies didn't get into the fruit smelling wines by leaving them stopped.

Even that would've kept them average if they had decent wines though, but unfortunately, they really didn't. They have an apple ice wine that's interesting so I am glad I tried that, but other than that, the wines were as cheap as they come. I'd have to say the worst characteristic of the wines would definitely be the clarity of the wines. I would say the clarity is equal of that to about a swamp! I mean, this was the muckiest wine I'd ever seen! And that produces inconsistencies, meaning you'll never know what your wine tastes like. And to make things worse, with all of the flies, you can't help but wonder what all the muck is! If the place was cleaner and seemed perfectly sterilized, I'd be interested in trying a more old style wine without all of the filtering, but I'm too much of a germaphobe to enjoy their wines considering the infestation and what I saw about their handling of it.

Overall nice people, but not a clean place unfortunately.
Written July 21, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Ontario Winery

Lake Ontario Winery is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Wed - Sat 11:00 AM - 8:30 PM