Florida Guide > Other Florida
About 30 miles north of the 192 junction on Highway 27, sits the Lakeridge Vineyard. Supposedly set on the only hill in the region (1) we just happened to stumble upon this delightful little vineyard whilst driving along the highway on the way to Clermont.
You hear a lot about Californian wine, but little about Florida wine, so we were curious to see what it had to offer.
As we wandered into the main building and shop, we were lucky to be just in time for one of the wine tours. This consisted of watching a short film about the vineyard and about the process of making wine, which we all found very interesting. The tours take place every half hour or so, so no need to panic if you have just missed the start of one.
After the video, we were then taken around the building where the wine is crushed and then into the bottling section. We learned that once the wine is bottled, corked and sealed, it is then put into huge racks to age for at least a month. The tour includes walking out on the balcony that overlooks the vineyard and where you can see the huge vehicles that collect the grapes. Then you are taken across a walkway high up in the building where you can look down on to the bottling area.
Throughout the tour we were accompanied by a guide who was able to tell us about each step of the process and it was amazing to learn just how precise the process is.
Following the tour, we then returned to the main shop and wine tasting area. Now for the good bit! The wine tasting is completely free and we were given around 6 different samples of wines. I don’t think too many people were spitting it out though – there was a lot of swallowing going on! The guide explained everything we needed to know about each wine and was very thorough.
Following the wine tasting you are then free to wander around the shop and select some wine if you choose. I was very impressed by the relaxed atmosphere and there was no pressure at all to buy anything if you didn’t want to.
The shop, as well as wine, also had a good selection of wine accessories to include, glasses, wine stoppers, bottle coasters, wine racks, corkscrews, t-shirts, etc, and we probably spent as much time in the shop as we did on the tour and the wine tasting.
This is well worth a visit. Even if you’re not a wine drinker, finding all about the process itself was very interesting indeed and it made for quite a relaxing event after the hustle and bustle of the theme parks.
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