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Although it may not have the reputation of Bordeaux, Tuscany, Napa or Sonoma, Florida does have some pretty spectacular vineyards. In fact, there are nearly 40 wineries and vineyards in Florida.
Sure, Florida was world-famous beaches, golf courses, and amusement parks, but it also has a rich tradition – since the 1500s – of producing incredibly smooth wine.
Florida is known for a lot of things, but unless you’re a true wine connoisseur, you’re likely unaware that vineyards is on the list…until now. The state’s best-kept secret is a secret no longer.
Here are three of the premier vineyards in Florida…
“Uncork. Unplug. Unwind.” That’s the slogan that greets you at this Homestead winery and brewery.
Not only is Schnebly Redland’s one of the top vineyards in Florida, it was named one of the “Top 18 Wineries in the U.S.” in 2016. It also happens to be the country’s southernmost winery and brewery.
First opened in 2004, Schnebly Redland’s is located less than 35 miles from downtown Miami and offers tours and a tasting room, as well as a brewery and restaurant.
The décor features tiki huts and a natural coral waterfall, but what truly makes this Florida winery unique is the absence of grapes. The wines at this vineyard are created using mangos, lychees, avocados and passion fruit.
Tours are offered from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The cost is $8 per person and a tour lasts about 35 minutes. Wine tastings are $12.95 per person and include five 1-ounce pours. There’s also live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
Schnebly Redland’s Winery is located at 30205 S.W. 217 Ave. in Homestead. For more information, go to schneblywinery.com or call 305.242.1224.
When Gary Roberts opened Summer Crush, he wanted it to be different. After visiting several wineries and vineyards and discovering they all seemed to strive for a sophisticated and European feel, Roberts headed in a new direction. His vineyard, set west of Fort Pierce amidst 10 acres of Noble and Carlos grapes, would epitomize Florida.
Florida’s original sun and surf winery experience was born…as is evidenced by the creative and unique names found on the wine list — Mangoritaville, Pink Flamingo, Beach Nut, WeBeJammin’, to name a few.
Take one step into Summer Crush and you’ll notice a collection of surfboards and other beach-inspired tropical accessories. You’ll also enjoy — in addition to the vineyard – a cellar, crush pad, tasting room, and gift shop.
There’s also a lakeside, covered pavilion that hosts a variety of special events throughout the year and features the Sunday Wine Down concert series.
Summer Crush is about 130 miles from downtown Miami, but it’s a fun experience and well worth the trip. This is certainly one of the most unique vineyards in Florida!
Wine tours are $8 per person and are offered at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Each tour lasts about 25 minutes. Private tours are also available., as are tastings, also for $8 per person.
Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery is located at 4200 Johnston Road in Fort Pierce. For more information, go to endlesssummerwine.com or call 772.460.0500.
Clermont, the central Florida town that lays claim to Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, may be a haul from Miami, but it’s only about 25 miles west of downtown Orlando. A winery tour and tasting makes a lovely addition to any stay in that part of the state if you’re not so inclined to make it a day trip.
At 127 acres – with 80 acres of planted vineyards – Lakeridge is the largest premium winery in the state and uses Noble, Carlos, Welder and Vinifera grapes to produce a variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Lakeridge first opened in 1989 and has received more than 600 awards for excellence in winemaking during that time.
Lakeridge prides itself on “producing fine wines in Florida… from the birthplace of American wine,” and with more than 160,000 visitors each year and one million bottles sold annually, it’s hard to dispute.
Wine tours and tastings are complimentary and are available seven days a week. Lakeridge also holds various events and festivals on property, and a full upcoming schedule is available on their website.
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards is located at 19239 U.S. 27 North in Clermont. For more information, go to lakeridgewinery.com or call 800.768.WINE.
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