Historic Cayuga Lake Estate near Ithaca, NY For Sale

3863 NY-90, Union Springs, NY 13160, USA


  • ID: 4519
  • Views: 2682



If you are looking for a peaceful country home and farm for your family and friends, this property could just be what you’re looking for.  Down a long driveway and across a stone bridge, this impeccably maintained Center Hall Colonial with an addition on the back offers so much space to be together and yet offers you the opportunity to find your own quiet alcove. The home boasts 6 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, main level laundry, a spacious kitchen, a great room for family gatherings with a working fireplace, a formal dining room and so much more.  This country home is nestled on ~47 acres (map attached below) among gorgeous trees and sweeping lawns.  There is a post and beam barn in excellent condition, plenty of room for storage or converted to your wine tasting room.


Travel further down a gravel lane and oh goodness, it opens to the beauty and splendor of Cayuga Lake the longest lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York. ~400 linear feet of level lakefront to be used so you can enjoy the water for swimming, boating, recreating, or fishing. This level and sandy lakefront is extremely desirable, with no steps to contend with. A cozy, well kept  2 bed 1 bath cottage is nestled just a few steps from the shoreline. Hours of peace and fun with family and friends.


The property is not currently planted to vines but is “tabla rasa” allowing you to design and plant your own vineyard on America’s oldest wine trail in the world-renowned grape growing and winemaking region, upstate New York’s Finger Lakes.

“Encompassing the notion of “a sense of place,” is the idea that geology, topography, climate, geography, soils, winemaking techniques, and even the choice of which grapes to grow, all come together to proudly proclaim, in a unifying voice, or taste if you will, a wine’s sense of belonging to a specific location. 

To dismiss terroir in the United States, though, is to dismiss the fundamentally unique nature of the various wine regions throughout our country… particularly, the Finger Lakes.  In this place, the land is scarred by the receding glaciers of millennia past, and exceedingly deep freshwater lakes fill the carved earth.  The climate is warm in the summer and sometimes bitterly cold in the winter.  Immense shale and limestone formations sit beneath the surface and impact the flavors in our wines.”  Excerpted from A Sense of Place, a book by Bellangelo winemaker, Christopher Missick.

Loam Soil. Most experts suggest loamy soil as the best type of soil for grape growing. A crumbly mix of sand, silt, and clay when blended with other soils in the right amounts offers the ideal soil type for grape growing.

 Grapevines are pretty tough, they need three things to survive: minerals, good drainage, and a moderate climate. Lucky for us, the Finger Lakes provide all three. This property is located on the east side of Cayuga Lake and is made up of the highly productive Cazenovia and Genesee silt loam soil types.

The nuances in wine come from the mineral deposits found in the soil. When the glaciers that formed the Finger Lakes receded, they left behind salt beds, shells, and decayed organic material. As these substances broke down, they created two types of soil. The lower-elevation lakes – Seneca and Cayuga – are surrounded by chalky, high-lime soil. Such soil is well suited for the vinifera grapes used in European winemaking. 

A soil pH in the range of 5.5 to 6.5 is considered optimum for grapes and generally has a better nutrient balance for plant growth than soils that are more acidic or alkaline. Vines will grow from pH 4.0 to 8.5, but a pH below 5.5 and above 8 will depress yields and create vine problems. Soil pH affects the availability of nutrients and microbial activity in the soil.  Below this property is an extensive limestone formation, providing excellent soil conditions for growing grapes.


This country home and farm are on the east side of Cayuga Lake and on the Cayuga Wine Trail, with four wineries very nearby, Heart and Hand Winery, Long Point Winery, the new Quarry Ridge Winery, and Apple Station Winery.  Boat to the west side of the lake to enjoy several more wineries on the Trail, the oldest wine trail in the country!


Nearby is a 600-acre farm with ~1 mile of lakefront under permanent conservation easement by the Finger Lakes Land Trust, giving assurance the natural splendor will be retained.  Also nearby are the Great Gully waterfalls also preserved by the Finger Lakes Land Trust.   https://nyfalls.com/waterfalls/great-gully/  The natural beauty of this pocket of the world abounds.  The property is just north of the historic Village of Aurora and Wells College https://www.wells.edu/. and within minutes of Makenzie-Childs (manufacturer of handpainted furniture, ceramics, and decor.) 1https://www.mackenzie-childs.com/  Twelve short minutes away is the City of Auburn home to the Harriet Tubman Historic Site. https://www.harriettubmanhome.com/. To the east are the cities of Syracuse and Albany and to the west the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, with numerous hospitals, colleges, and universities, with plenty of shopping available. At the southern tip of Cayuga Lake is Ithaca, NY, home to the world-renowned Cornell University.


We are living in a COVID world and this comfortable home and property beckon you to its privacy, openness, and nature, plant the vineyard you have always dreamed of.  Please call the listing agent, Jennifer Persoon, 607-592-8871 for more information.

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