Florida has a long tradition of excellent winemaking and the history buffs among you will know that early Spanish settlers began this fine custom by applying their homeland skills to local wild Muscadine grapes. Fortunately, Florida’s rich soils have proved more than adequate to support the growth of plenty of local Wineries and Vineyards, with around thirty certified producers and another handful of others now flourishing.
If you do enjoy the occasional tipple why not check out our top five suggestions:
Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards
Located in Clermont, Lakeridge opened the doors in 1989. Firmly grounded in 127 acres of lush rolling countryside, the Winery is a scant 25 miles west of Orlando. They are the largest of Florida’s wineries and are pioneers in the development of premium and sparkling wines, mostly made from the native Muscadine grape varieties.
• Complimentary Winery tours and wine tasting are offered 7 days a week
• Festivals and events are annual traditions, serving up superb music and food alongside their award-winning Lakeridge wines.
Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery
Decades of growing experience led owner, Gary Roberts, towards planning and developing his own Vineyard in Fort Pierce. His desire was to create an exciting winery experience not available elsewhere and this is abundantly clear with the choice of décor in the tasting room and pavilion.
You are invited to sample the best of wines surrounded by a distinctive collection of surfboards and boarding memorabilia. The seaside feel doesn’t end there; the place even provides a beach and marina area for guests, complete with a dock where you can feed the fish and turtles. Afterwards, relax in a calming rocking chair on the front porch or take a wander through ten acres of vines to wind down.
• Tastings and tours, for up to 200, can be accommodated by appointment.
Quantum Leap Winery
The owners of Quantum Leap feel that their Winery should be centred around their love of wine and friendship which led to the tasting room being designed with an eye to both sophistication and prompting conversation amongst participants.
The two owners demonstrate a deep knowledge of their respective areas of expertise in wine and the making of it and they describe their belief in their products as a Quantum Leap of faith, hence the name. They will only commit to partnering with other high-quality producers around the world in order to maintain their high standards.
• Call the Winery for opening times for tasting and tours.
Tangled Oaks Vineyard
Tangled Oaks Vineyard and Winery, in Grandin, is the culmination of several years of research and planning by Dave and Ricky DaCasto.
Dave grew up making wine alongside his family in the Piedmont Region of Italy, purely for their own personal use. During a visit to Italy, in 2003, it became apparent how much the family heritage is tied to the grape and winemaking. After their return home to Florida, Tangled Oaks Vineyard became their dream, which was later realised.
• Opening times and events are available on the website.
San Sebastian Winery
San Sebastian Winery is located in Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railway Building in St. Augustine and is ranked as one of Florida’s premium wineries. They are pioneers in the development of premium, sparkling and dessert wines from Muscadine grapes.
Vinifera wines are also produced which include Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, amongst others. These are marketed along with blended and sparkling wines from the native Muscadine grapes. The San Sebastian Label has won many awards for excellence in winemaking.
• Tours are offered every day barring special holidays.
• Larger groups can be accommodated (over 20) by prior arrangement.
If this selection of five premier wine producers has tickled your taste buds and you would like to sample more of Florida’s wonderful wines, take a look at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ website for a complete list of Vineyards and Wineries.