"Our goal is to help people feel pretty, without getting ugly," says David Bick, who uses the informal slogan to promote the sweet yet potent hibiscus wine available on tap at his newly-opened winery and farm.
Because it's free from additives and has no tannins, the locally-made booze is easy to drink, and less likely to make you regret downing an entire bottle the next day.
Earlier this month, Bick and his wife, Teal Pfeifer, opened the doors to Sons & Daughters Farm & Winery, located west on Lantana Road. Here, a cozy tasting room and market retail space offers guests a chance to sample the couple's homemade wine made from fermented hibiscus flowers grown on their naturally organic farm. Several taps also offer fruit-flavored kombucha including seasonal variations like passionfruit, lemon, and ginger.
Before it became Palm Beach County's first winery, for many years the 17-acre plot of land was used as a commercial nursery, says Bick. When Hurricane Katrina devastated the land in 2005, the nursery closed. Rather than lease the property to another business Bick — a former Miami nightclub owner turned farmer — stepped in to rebuild his family's land and open Sons & Daughters.
After six years of planting and harvesting crops to yield an all-organic soil, today the property is also home to Bick and Pfeifer's three children; a number of animals (including a pig named Vinnie and a few dozen chickens) and hundreds of indigenous plants and insects that act as natural pest control; and a rotating selection of seasonal organic crops that include figs, pomegranate, sorrel, banana, carrot, passion fruit, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, and okra.
Right now, several crops are available for purchase at the farm's retail shop including organic rice, turmeric, yuca, and edible flowers like hibiscus and nasturtium. Among them, the most important is the hibiscus, a tropical plant Bick says is well-suited to survive the South Florida weather.
"When we first started planting I wanted to focus on growing crops that would naturally grow well with the Florida heat and sun," says Bick, who learned to grow hibiscus from Jamaican farmers in Homestead. "It just thrives here."
After picking the plants bright pink blooms, the farm's eight-person staff work alongside Bick and Pfeifer to de-seed the flowers used to make both an early- and late-harvest hibiscus wine. While each pour a clear, blazing pink-red and have sweet and fruity notes, the early harvest offers a dryer flavor profile. Both wines pack a punch, as well, each clocking in around 13 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).
At the Sons & Daughters tasting room guests can sample both wines and two flavors of fresh-brewed komucha via a combination flight for $12, or sip on a 6-ounce glass of either at the four-seat bar. The shop also offers 750-millileter and 32-ounce re-fillable growlers for patrons to bring home.
To beat the heat, Bick's "adult" popsicles have become a sweet treat, each made using fruit and hibiscus wine from the farm and ranging between 5-6 percent ABV. Alcoholic versions come in cucumber mojito, grapefruit mango, melon mimosa, and a pudding-like Mexican chocolate made with black sapote. Additional sans-alcohol options are listed as "healthy" refreshments, while several more include kid-friendly flavors.
At Sons & Daughters, the couple aren't just making wine, however; first and foremost, he and Pfeifer are on a mission to create a sustainable organic farm that encourages the natural, symbiotic relationship between plant, animal, and man.
"It's all part of polyculture, or growing multiple crops in the same space to imitate a natural ecosystem," says Bick, who grows without any form of pesticide or fertilizer. "For us, it's also about human rights — creating an environment where we're growing healthy food, putting clean oxygen into the air, and paying our staff a real wage. We want to do our part to make things better."
And they're doing it while making some pretty good wine.
Sons & Daughters Farm & Winery is located at 5926 Fearnley Rd., Lake Worth. Hours are Thursday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 305-613-8039, or visit sd-farm.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.