Florida Guide > Places to Visit
Lakeridge Winery Tour
If you enjoy wine and are interested in local wines then a trip to Lakeridge Winery is a very pleasant and informative half day excursion.
You will find it by travelling up the SR27 north of Clermont and it is on the left hand side of the road just past the correctional institution. Once you have crossed the junction of the 27 and the 50 you will start to see signs indicating where it is.
You enter into the shop and wine tasting area and will be told when the next tour will start. The tour is not suitable for people with limited mobility as you have to go up a flight of stairs to get to the video viewing room and then on to the balconies overlooking the production rooms and the vineyards.
The tour starts with a 15 minute video explaining the local set up, the history of wine making in the area , and the nature of the wine produced. This is introduced by one of the guides who also accompanies you for the rest of the tour and who is available to answer any questions. The Winery is still very much a family business and is based on Vines that are native to Florida, which surprisingly were producing wines long before wine making was introduced to California.
From there you are taken to a balcony overlooking the wine making area to see the massive vats in which the wine matures. The next stage is a view over the vineyard and a sight of the massive machine that picks the grapes. This is apparently much more efficient than employing students to pick by hand. You then see the bottling process which is completely automated.
The best part of the visit comes next and of course this is the wine tasting. The wines produced here are based on a different variety of grape from most of the European grapes and the different flavour does come through in all the wines. They start with the driest red wine and work through to the sweetest wine. Around 6 different wines including a sparkling wine are tasted. We found some of them quite palatable but really decided in the end that they were an acquired taste and so did not buy any to take away. Most people did though and there was a procession of little trolleys taking cases of wine to the car park.
They also have a very attractive gift shop mainly selling wine related products. We did buy some gifts for friends as they had some very distinctive items.
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