July 30, 2000 3:01 AM

New York's wine country

It's a cool, sunny morning, and the wineries of the Finger Lakes Wine Trail, in the rolling, vine-covered hills that slope down to deep blue Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga lakes in central New York, are pouring samples of their wares for visiting tourists. The wines are surprisingly varied -- both familiar and little-known, tracing the whole history of the American vine: chardonnay and riesling and merlot; baco noir and seyval blanc; catawba, elvira and Delaware.

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