Florida wineries are one of the state's best kept little secrets.
They are fun to visit and make great destinations for many of the Florida day trips and one tank trips featured on this website.
27 of these wineries are certified by the State of Florida; the others are not.
When a winery is certified by the State, it means they are required to publish hours they are open to visitors.
The other wineries may be great places but you can't be sure if they are open to visitors.
The Florida Department of Agriculture map below shows the certified wineries.
The list of certified wineries changes from year to year for a number of reasons. The list on this page is current as of June 30, 2015. It's best to go to the individual winery page on this website, get the phone number and call the winery directly. Here are 27 currently certified wineries in Florida with links to articles on this website about some wineries:
My wine expertise is limited. Either I like a wine or I don't. Even though I'm a long time Floridian, I assumed for many years that Florida wineries made citrus wine. I had no idea that any of them even knew a grape wine recipe.
I was wrong about the citrus wine. Florida grows nice grapes, and I was missing a lot by not knowing more about these wineries. Wine actually has a long history in Florida. It goes back to a century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
The first Spanish explorers came to the land they called La Florida back in the 1500's. These Spaniards discovered wild grapes growing in the tangled jungles and hammocks along the Florida east coast. They picked the grapes, began growing them and making wine from their harvests. These were the first Florida wineries.
Agriculture is a Florida tradition, and many parts of the state have rich soil ideal for growing grapes and berries. Some parts of Florida are hilly, and look like vineyard country.
Among the many types of wine, muscadine is especially tasty and produced in quantity in Florida.
The University of Florida has done a lot of research leading to the development of hybrid grapes specially suited to Florida soils and climate. They have helped create a wide variety of grapes.
Florida wineries produce many types of wines, and are scattered throughout the several regions of Florida. They are located from the panhandle to Homestead, south of Miami.
GRAPE HARVESTS BEGIN IN MAY & USUALLY END IN SEPTEMBER
Florida wineries and vineyards are fun to visit, and quite often give you a glimpse of rural Florida. Many of them will not only sell you wine, but give you personalized wine bottle labels. This can be fun for wedding receptions, special occasions like birthdays, or for just plain fun.
Most wineries also have shops with wine related gifts, and most of them also host wine tasting events. Some other wineries sell wine gift baskets. I always assumed wine gift baskets in Florida were rare. I thought gift baskets in the Sunshine State are always full of citrus.
Non-certified wineries are also interesting and have tasty offerings, but they may or may not be open to visitors.
Most of these wineries are off the beaten path. They meet the Florida backroads travel theme of this website. They are in wonderful Florida towns that are a delight to visit. These places can be the centerpiece of an appealing Florida backroads travel experience.
Here are some Florida wineries that are not certified, but are fun to visit:
Some of the non-certified wineries may be open for tours and
tastings from time to time. It is best to call in advance, or visit
their website. Also, some of the certified wineries move to the non-certified list and vice versa.
Many of the wineries sell wine gift baskets that can be sent to your friends and either purchased at the winery or online.
Enjoy your visit to a Florida winery and let me know how you liked the wine.