Once you have an AVA designation for your region there seems to be something that happens that makes you want to make yourself more and more distinguishable. We see it all the time with California AVAs that have been subdivided into smaller and smaller sub-regions. I am beginning to think we will end up have an AVA for each individual vineyard.
That being said, some areas make more sense than others. Such is the case with Seneca Lake. Like the other Finger Lakes, Seneca Lakes was carved by glaciers as they retreated from Upstate New York. It is, however, one of the longest and deepest of the lakes, averaging about 290 feet and up to 600 feet deep. During the winters, the lake does not freeze which allows it to be a heat sink that protects the surrounding lands from frost, extending the growing season. As a result, vitis vinifera grapes are able to be grown as well as hybrids.
Vineyards have existed around Seneca Lake since 1829 when Rev. William Boswick establish one in his rectory garden. Cuttings of those Catawba and Isabella vines helped establish vineyards all over the region. The first commercial winery was established in 1866. Today, there are 36 member wineries on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.