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Florida has some of the most unique strains of wine grapes in the United States. As a result, the Sunshine State produces a wide-variety of flavorful and popular wines that are enjoyed throughout all 50 states. Some of Florida’s wine is even exported to other countries because of the popularity and high quality. If you’re interested in booking a vacation to Florida, then here’s a look at the thriving wine industry you can explore while you’re here.
The productions of wine in Florida is often overshadowed by states more popular for their wine such as California. However, this doesn’t mean that Florida wine is of any less quality. In fact, the earliest wine production in the United States took place in Florida. Spanish missionaries started planting wine grapes as far back as the 1500’s for religious ceremonies.
The original seed strain brought over from Spain did not fair well in the humid climate of Florida. For this reason, wine growing didn’t boom in this area until a hybrid seed was able to be created.
Researchers from the University of Florida were able to create multiple strains of hybrid grapes that were made to flourish in the climate of the area. Some of the most popular grape strains include Miss Blanc, Blanc Du Bois, Stover and Swanee.
While every region within Florida will have unique tweaks and flavors, there is certainly an overall style with which Florida wine is closely associated. Starting in 1991, Florida Orange Groves Winery began experimenting with using tropical fruits in their brews. Some of the blends even made it up to 100% tropical fruit.
This experimentation ushered in a new time in Florida wine making, marked by the usage of tropical fruits such as key limes, mangoes, blueberries, strawberries and oranges. Now, Florida is known for their fruit wines. These unique blends have helped to put Florida on the map in terms of wine making.
Since Florida Orange Groves Winery experiment with fruit wines, many other vineyards throughout the state have followed suit. Currently, there are a total of 24 vineyards located throughout the state that produce a wide variety of fruit-based wines as well as other options. A vast majority of these vineyards are open to the public and offer a host of interactive activities and tours.
Wine tastings are among the most popular of these events where visitors can get a complimentary sample of the vineyard’s own wine selection. Guided tours are also available for those more interested in the wine-making process and the inner-workings of a vineyard. Many vineyards also offer public space where people can set up picnics while enjoying some quality Florida wine.
There’s a prevalent misconception that wine glasses are simply designed to look fancy without having any particular function or purpose. The truth is quite the opposite. In fact, there is a specific glass designed for each style of wine. The shape and form of the glass is meant to enhance the flavor and aroma of the particular wine style for which it is designed. Each vineyard in Florida will have wine glasses tailored to their specific style.
Relaxing on a Beach
Beyond drinking wine in a vineyard, Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world on which to enjoy a nice glass. However, there are some important things to consider when enjoying some wine on the beach. First and foremost, not all beaches allow open alcohol.
Finding a beach that permits wine drinking will be critical. Hotels and private clubs typically allow drinking on their beaches as it is considered public property. On the other hand, drinking on most public beaches is forbidden. Visitors may also want to consider choosing a calm day to drink wine on a beach as wind can pick up sand and contaminate the wine.
For those not into drinking wine on the beach or visiting a vineyard, restaurants are the next best place to find quality wine in Florida. Choosing a place that features local styles can provide the most authentic wine experience in the state.
Larger, chain restaurants will offer a wide selection of wines but will typically fall short of the local selections. Bars are also a great place to find some of Florida’s best wine. Be sure to ask ahead of time to ensure these places carry wine from the Sunshine State.
Florida is known for their fruit wines and the state has a rich history of wine production. Visitors can see for themselves by visiting vineyards, going to local restaurants or enjoying a fine glass on the beach. No matter how it is consumed, make sure to try a glass of Florida’s fantastic fruit wine.
Ready to book a Florida wine tour? Make sure you have relaxing accommodations for your stay by booking a vacation rental with First Choice Florida.