Florida will never compete with California or France for its vineyards. Most Florida wineries produce variations of sweet and semi-sweet muscaline grape wines.
Traditionalists like my wife will not be very impressed with these fruit-oriented wines, designed to attract customers. In fact, some Florida wineries produce some of the most outrageously experimental wines you can imagine. Visiting a Florida vineyard, however, has become a popular tourist and resident activity.
What are our favorite Florida wineries?
Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, just off US27 in Clermont, is so close to Orlando and WDW, it can’t help be the most visited free wine-tasting tour and exhibit. The entire complex is easy to see in the rolling Central Florida rolling hills.
The Lakeridge Winery Is A Popular Destination
The Rosa Fiorelli Winery, located east of Bradenton, is the most European styled winery with rustic barns and acres of muscadine grapes. Fiorelli makes only traditional wines and has many award-winning selections.
Schnebly Redland’s Winery, located south of Miami in Homestead, is not a vineyard asmuch as a large winery complex with a colonial style main house and gardens with waterfalls and tiki-huts. This is an exotic fruits-only place so if you are not into passion fruit or avocado wines, this might not be your show.
Monticello Vineyards and Winery near I-10 (exit 225) in Monticello in the Panhandle is operated by Ladybird Organics. Their 18 varieties of muscadine grapes are perhaps the best in Florida. The shortcoming is its location and it is only open Saturday to Monday.
Monticello Vineyards in October
Florida’s funkiest winery is the Henscratch Farms Vineyard and Winery off US98 via Orange Blossom to 980 Henscratch Road in Lake Placid. The 12 acre working farm has vineyards filled with 200 free roaming chickens including Aracuana hens that lay green eggs. Your kids will love feeding the hens and visiting the antique country store. It’s Dr. Seuss selling Red Rooster and Country Blueberry Wine.
The Henscratch Farms Vineyard