National Drink Wine Day: Five Florida Wineries to Visit
Wine -- like anything alcoholic -- has fans that will travel the world in an attempt to test out the best of the best.
From the Chateaus of Bordeaux to Napa's wine country, winos will travel near and far to sip, sample, savor, and get drunk among rows of grapes.
While this trips vary in cost, depending on your proximity to wine growing regions and which wineries you chose to visit, everyone should get a chance to see the process firsthand.
For us Floridians, it's quite a time consuming and pricey prospect; however, we do have some wineries within the confines of the sunshine state.
If you're looking for a fun day trip -- or a perfectly good excuse to day drink -- here are five Florida wineries that won't break the bank for a visit.
Located just a short trip down the Florida turnpike in Homestead, Schnebly is the southernmost winery in the United States. While many of its products are available in Publix, it's just a short day trip for a visit. The Key West style building is set on an idyllic plot of land with tiki huts and waterfalls. It specializes in tropical fruit wines like mango, carambola, passion fruit and lychee as well as beer. Visit schneblywinery.com.
This Fort Pierce winery specializes in native muscadine and fruit wines. Owner Gary Roberts has combined his love of surfing (he has vintage boards and paraphernalia all over the building) and winemaking -- wines are titled with quirky names like Webejammin' and Mangoritaville. The ten acre vineyard and property is ideal for a lazy day in the sun; it boasts a beautifully landscaped pond, with a white sand beach, shaded wooden swings, and a covered dock perfect for feeding the fish and turtles. Visit endlesssummerwine.com.
Set dead-smack in the middle of the state in quiet Lake Placid, Henscratch offers visitors group tours, farm lunches, and wine tastings. The farm is well-known for its hydroponic strawberries and high-bush blueberry -- which you can pick yourself -- as well as native Muscadine and Scuppernong wines. While the winery is a beautiful place to visit, and it offers a number of events and festivals, the wines are available for purchase online, if you don't feel like making the trek. Visit henscratchfarms.com.
Natives of Sicily, Rosa and Antonio Fiorelli started growing grapes when they moved to Florida. Now, the family-owned and operated winery just east of Bradenton, offers an array of award-winning Muscadine wines (including a bronze for its Red Muscadine Dessert at the International Eastern Wine Competition), tours, events, and more. If you don't have time to visit, the Fiorelli's also sell wines through their website. Visit fiorelliwinery.com.
This certified green winery and vineyard uses all locally grown grapes, fruits, and vegetables in all of its unfiltered wines -- even the bottles are 100 percent recycled. The property has also been designated a Wildlife Habitat by National Wildlife Federation, and it has been rumored to host some ghosts on the property. (Seriously!) Wines are made from a number of Muscadine varieties. Wine tastings and tours are available daily; spirit orb walkabouts are offered for five or more on Saturday nights or by reservation. It's located just outside Bradenton, in Duette. Visit bunkerhillvineyard.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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