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Florida Wineries

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Florida wineries… not the first state that comes to mind when considering a wine-centric vacation but think again! Florida boasts a wine-making tradition started by Spanish settlers centuries ago continues today in Florida at more than 50 wineries scattered across the state. Florida’s subtropical climate, rich soils and hilly terrain provide just the right combination for muscadine grapes to thrive. Today’s avid vintners don’t just rely on grapes, harvesting a variety of fruits to produce nearly 2 million gallons of wine in 2012, ranking Florida 7th in the nation in production.

Florida’s vineyards, wineries and flavorful wines are interesting parts of Florida history that few people know about, but more and more are discovering. You can stroll through a vineyard, view a harvest, watch the wine making, corking, bottling and labeling processes, and sample the wonderful and distinctive varieties of delicious Florida wines. Visit www.freshfromflorida.com for a full list of wineries overseen by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Here are a few of our favorites, listed by region. 

  1. Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery 941-776-0418 • www.bunkerhillvineyard.com Located not too far from Bradenton in Parish, Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery prides itself on being an environmentally friendly vineyard. They use “Glass Carboys” to store and age wines in their wine cave, completely eliminating the need to use oak barrels, and use 100 percent recycled wine bottles to reduce their carbon footprint by a whopping 60 percent. The Vineyard hosts complimentary daily tours and wine tastings.
  2. Schnebly Redland’s Winery 305-242-1224 • www.schneblywinery.com The southernmost winery in the continental United States, Schnebly Redland’s Winery is the result of Peter and Denisse Schnebly’s goal to start an agro-tourism business based from their farms in the Redlands of South Florida. Sustainable farming became a top priority and Schnebly wines are made from only the fi nest fruit. Each mango, lychee, guava, passion fruit and Carambola is personally picked for fermentation. The Schneblys also host visitors on site in the RedLander Restaurant and Miami Brewing Company.
  3. Florida Orange Groves Winery 727-347-4025 • www.floridawine.com Florida Orange Groves Winery is a third generation, family owned and operated, tropical fruit winery. They started shipping and packing fresh citrus in the early 1970s in St. Petersburg and grew to include retail sales of fresh squeezed juice plus a gift shop. They started experimenting with fruit wines 13 years ago and now are a fully operational working winery producing more than 43 different varieties of premium tropical fruit wines, all of which are gluten free.
  4. Royal Manor Winery 386-916-8909 • www.royalmanorwinery.com The Royal Manor Winery in Interlachen specializes in mead and designer fruit wines, using only the fi nest ingredients that have won them more than 40 medals in some of the largest and most prestigious competitions in the country. Royal Manor was established in 2008. Offerings include Kumquat Royale, Key Lime, Peach Panache and Bayou Berry. The winery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  5. Chautauqua Vineyards 850-892-5887 • www.chautauquawinery.com Near the interesting town of DeFuniak Springs not far off Interstate 10
    in the Panhandle is the Chautauqua Vineyards, which carries a large inventory of home-grown wine made from cultivated varietal grapes specially cultured for Floridian soil and environment. The results are flavorful and vibrant. Visitors are offered tours of the bottling process and free samples, plus food and gifts are available for purchase.
  6. San Sebastian Winery 904-826-1594 • www.sansebastianwinery.com Near St. Augustine is the San Sebastian Winery, founded in 1996 and a pioneer in the development of table, sparkling and dessert wines from hybrid and muscadine grapes. San Sebastian Winery has an overall production of more than 100,000 cases, and their labels have won more than 550 awards for excellence in winemaking. Visitors will find an extensive tasting room and wine shop.
  7. Oak Haven Farms and Winery 352-735-1996 • www.berriesandwines.com Located in Sorrento, this well-known berry and Christmas tree farm transitioned in 2010 to a vineyard with an onsite winery featuring authentic Sorrento wines. Offerings include the most popular Strawberry Wine, Blueberry Wine, Mead (Honey Wine), and their very own muscadine wines ‘Carlos’ and Noble’ Wines. They offer dry and sweet selections of muscadine wines. Call for open days.

Other prominent Florida Wineries:

Visit the Florida Grape Growers Association online at www.fgga.org or call 386-329-0318 for more information.

 

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