NB.editor's note: The article omitted Schnebly's Winery in Homestead

By  www.TheFrenchDistrict.com

 

There are 28 registered wineries in Florida. Some of them are certified and regionally known. Others are more discreet, but nevertheless very friendly and always ready to offer you a free tasting ...

 

The Sun State claims the title of "first vineyard in the United States, so ancient is the wine tradition is here (FYI California claims the same ).

But to forestall a pointless debate let’s start the visit:    

From a geographic standpoint, even though the vineyards are scattered throughout the state of the Sun, Central, North and South West Florida group together the biggest farms.

NORTH: THE MOST ANCIENT

San Sebastian Winery: Wine & Jazz
This immense homestead, few steps from the historic center of St. Augustine is home to several wineries and produces up to 1,250 cases of 12 bottles per day (11.250 liters). There is table wine, dessert wine, sparkling wine and also developed following the traditional methods produced by Méthode Champenoise. This area receives about 100,000 visitors a year who leave ... great! There are several buildings in the reception rooms to hold seminars. On the top floor, you can even listen to jazz in the bar "The Cellar Upstairs", while sipping a glass of wine and nibbling cheese. Consult the program on their website.
St. Augustine. South of Jacksonville. 157 King Street. Within blocks of the historic district. Tours and tastings daily from 10am to 18h and Sundays from 11h to 18h. Tel. :                            888-352-9463         888-352-9463                      888-352-9463         888-352-9463 www.sansebastianwinery.com

Chautauqua Winery & Vineyards: A good vintage
Its name means "meeting place" in India in homage to Indian tribes who organized huge rallies here in winter.
The wines produced in this vineyard come from a variety of muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) and often received top ratings at wine competitions. . Visit the winery and tastings throughout the year are free .

364 Hugh Adams Road, DeFuniak Springs. To the east of Tallahassee (corner of I-10 and U.S. Hwy 331) Tel. :                            850-892-5887         850-892-5887                      850-892-5887         850-892-5887
www.chautauquawinery.com

Dakotah Vineyard & Winery : Very nice family vineyard
Lovers of nature (and of white wine) shouldn’t miss a visit to this beautiful vineyard lost in nature. With only 12 acres and 6,000 feet of vines. Owners very welcoming offers they produce five types of table wine and even non-alcoholic wines, made from muscadine grape.
14365 NW Highway 19, Chiefland. North of this small town along the 19, which runs from north to south and west of Gainesville by 26. The opening hours are from 10am to 17h from Monday to Saturday and Sunday 12h to 17h. Tel. :                            352-493-9309         352-493-9309                      352-493-9309         352-493-9309
www.dakotahwinery.com

THE CENTRE: GOOD VALUE

Henscratch Farms Vineyard & Winery :
It was and still is a farm where one can enjoy wine "country style", and also buy strawberries, berries, oils and jams, and of course the eggs of chickens wandering around in the vineyards.
980 Henscratch Road, Lake Placid in the heart of Florida well south of Orlando by 27 and north of Lake Okeechobee. To the west of Arcadia on the 70th from Fort Pierce to Bradendton. Tel:                            863-699-2060         863-699-2060                      863-699-2060         863-699-2060
www.henscratchfarms.com

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards Champagne!
This winery which was established in 1988, belongs to the Cox family which also owns San Sebastian Winery.   Today, with state of the art equipment and over 127 acres it can produce up to 2 million bottles. The house specialty is the sparkling wine with a special cellar of more than 20,000 bottles. Otherwise, you can find good wines produced from grape varieties such as Stover, Suwannee, Blanc Du Bois, Miss White Mississippi and some muscadine varieties such as Noble (red), Carlos, Welder and Magnolia (white), many of which  have won awards at international competitions.
19239 U. S. Highway 27 North, Clermont. City located west of Orlando Florida's Turnpike and 31. Visit any day from 10am to 17h from Monday to Saturday and from 11am to 17h Sunday. Tel. :                            1-800-768-WINE         1-800-768-WINE                      1-800-768-WINE         1-800-768-WINE
www.lakeridgewinery.com

SOUTH WEST COAST:  

Eden Vineyards & Winery : Science and Wine
It is a small area of 20 acres but that has planted  very specific varieties. With scientific support from the University of Florida (UF), the owners have managed to grow a variety resistant to diseases, including the Pierces Disease. Result: 6 wines from renowned winemaking techniques and ultra modern.
19709 Little Lane, Alva. East Fort Myers, near the beautiful and Denaud. Open daily for visits and tastings from 11am to 16h. Tel.:                            239-728-9463         239-728-9463        239-728-9463
www.edenwinery.com

For information, Eden Vineyards is paired with another domain: Florida Estates Winery 25241 State Road 52, Land O 'Lakes. North of Tampa in Pasco near I-75 and 52. Tours and tastings available daily from 11h to 17h. Picnics are allowed. Tel. :                            813-996-2113         813-996-2113                      813-996-2113         813-996-2113

Rosa Fiorelli Winery : A taste of Chianti.
Nestled in the hills of Lake Manatee, the domain belonging to the Italian couple Rosa and Antonio produces nine quality wines from several varieties of muscadine. In 5 years, the field has already won 6 trophies.
4250 CR 675, Bradenton. Open for visits and tastings Monday to Saturday from 10am to 17:30 and Sunday from 12h to 17h. Upon reservation, you can eat locally and wine is served in a souvenir glass of wine. Tel. :                            941-322-0976         941-322-0976                      941-322-0976         941-322-0976 www.fiorelliwinery.com

Murielle Winery : A wine with your name?
In this small winery with only 13 tanks, it is possible to customize all the bottles and tastings are free.
13131 56th Court, Suite 305, Clearwater. Visit and tasting by appointment or the Saturday. Tel. :                 727-561-0336         727-561-0336                      727-561-0336         727-561-0336
www.muriellewinery.com

Florida Orange Groves & Winery : A wine without grapes ... a secret recipe
Here, the former orange grower had the original idea of making wine from juice of fruit other than grapes. The first wine made from berries and tropical fruit born in 1997. A few years later, much of this success, other wines made from mango juice, orange, grapefruit, tangerine and even appear on the market. The owner's family says he discovered the secret of making wine without grapes ... The flavors are very interesting.
1500 Pasadena Avenue S., St. Petersburg. Open for tours and tastings Monday through Saturday from 9h to 17h and Sundays from 12:30 à15h. Tel. :                            800-338-7923         800-338-7923                      800-338-7923         800-338-7923
www.floridawine.com

Information:

The 18 certified vineyards in Florida are...

Chautauqua Vineyard, DeFuniak Springs,
Dakotah Vineyards and Winery, Chiefland
Eden Vineyards and Winery, Alva
Emerald Coast Wine Cellars, Destin
Florida Orange Groves Inc..St. Petersburg
Henscratch Farms Vineyards & WineryLake Placid
Keel and Curley Winery, Plant City
Lakeridge Winery and VineyardsClermont
Log Cabin Winery, Satsuma
Monticello Vineyards and Winery, Monticello
Pine Knoll Winery, Homosassa
Rosa Fiorelli Winery, Inc.., Bradenton
San Sebastian WinerySt. Augustine
Schnebly Redland's Winery, Homestead
SeaBreeze Winery, Panama City Beach
Strong Tower Vineyard and Winery, Spring Hill
Tangled Oaks VineyardsGrandin
Three Oaks WineryVernon

The 10 wineries that are not certified ...

Cork Screw Winery, Estero
Empire Winery and Distillery, New Port Richey
Florida Estates Winery, Land O'Lakes
Grapes of Kath Vineyards, Sebring
Lions Run Winery, Miami
Monarch Wine Company, West Palm Beach
Murielle WineryClearwater
Patrick Avery, Largo
Ridgeback Winery, Mount Dora
Tarpon Springs Castle Winery, Tarpon Springs

 

 

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