Florida

Florida Wine Overview

Florida has a very rich agricultural history, readily evident by much of the citrus fruit you’ll find in your local grocery store. Citrus fruit-growing is a major part of the state’s economy, but what about grapes?

This far south, the most common grape that does well is the Muscadine grape, which still grows in the wild in many parts of Florida. But there are parts of Florida, particularly in the north-central portion, that are heavily forested, hilly and rural. Not far from Tallahassee, there are a few vineyards tucked away that yield not only Muscadines but many other hybrid grapes for wine-making.

One hybrid grape that does well in north central Florida vineyards is the Conquistador grape, which is used to make semi-dry red wines for a couple of Florida wineries. Three Oaks Winery, in Vernon, uses the Conquistador grape for many of their offerings, including a rich port wine.

One Florida winery, Schnebley’s Redlands Winery, uses only tropical fruit to craft their wines. They’re the southernmost winery in the U.S., and if you stop in you can sample their wines made from guava, carambola, passion fruit and more. And then there’s the renowned San Sebastian Winery in historic St. Augustine, which consistently brings home medals from respected national wine competitions for their table wines.

One hybrid grape that does well in north central Florida vineyards is the Conquistador grape, which is used to make semi-dry red wines.

All in all, there aren’t a whole lot of wineries in Florida, given the state’s size. There are close to 20, and most are farm wineries that also produce other products such as citrus or dairy. You’ll find five wineries in Florida’s Panhandle region, which you can learn more about by reading our travelogue.

The rest of the wineries are scattered across the state, with the majority on the Gulf side and a bit inland. Just about every Florida winery offers their take on a traditional southern favorite, Muscadine wine, but there are plenty of offerings for those who prefer something less sweet. At the wineries in the northern Florida Panhandle, it’s quite interesting to sample wines made with grapes grown in Florida other than Muscadine. Florida winemakers are doing some interesting things and although the Florida wine industry will likely never have a high profile, it’s certainly worth experiencing. We enjoyed one of our most enjoyable trips in Florida’s Panhandle and were able to visit most of the wineries in the region. Further, the cities of Pensacola and Tallahassee are wonderful places to visit!

Besides the muscadine grape, Florida wines are also wines made from guava, carambola, passion fruit and more.

Florida Wine Trails

There are no defined wine trails in Florida, but there really should be. The five wineries in the area between Pensacola and Tallahassee represent a few hours drive, encompassing everything from beaches to heavily forested sections along the way.

If you’ve ever driven through Florida, you know it can take a substantial amount of time to get from place to place, particularly during the busy seasons. We really didn’t experience any traffic problems in northern Florida, but then again we visited during the off-season.

If you’d like to map out your own version of a Florida wine trail, the state’s official grape growing site, Florida Grape Growers Association, is a good place to start, as well as our travelogue!

Back to top

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Print
  • RSS
  • Ping.fm

Leave a Comment

*