Florida Guide > Other Florida
Days Out - Lakeridge Winery
Not commonly associated with wine production, Florida does have several wineries. In Clermont, Central Florida, Lakeridge Winery has been growing grapes on the rolling hills with grape varieties specifically adapted to the Florida climate and soil.
Lakeridge Wineries provides complimentary tours and wine tasting which will guide you through the production process for their wines, give you a fantastic view over some of their vineyards and introduce you to the different varieties of wines that the create. On our visits we have found the guides to be knowledgeable, friendly and patient with no question being ignored or unanswered. For children/designated drivers there are also varieties of their own grape juices to sample so no one is left out of the experience.
Due to the seasonal nature of wine production tours at different times of year will discover the vineyards in different stages of growth and therefore this is one day out that is recommended for repeat visits (and not just to purchase more wine!).
The tours start with a short video presentation that gives you a real feel for the business, its history and how wine came to be produced in Florida. You then move onto balconies above the production floor, which give a fantastic overview of the process of turning grapes into wine. While moving between balconies you also go to an outside balcony that has a fantastic panoramic view over the vineyard, which just seems to stretch away over the hills.
At the end of the tour you move back into the shop area and gather around a large horseshoe shaped bar, here is where the tasting commences. Having gained the knowledge of how the wines you are sampling come about really adds to the enjoyment of the tasting. You are given a note sheet where you can add your own thoughts about the wines and it is interesting to also hear how everyone else is enjoying them – amazing how our tastes differ!
Of all of the wines, and many of them have achieved multiple awards, the highlight has to be the Crescendo sparkling wine. Produced in the proper “methode champenoise” this wine, and its sister Pink Crescendo are a real delight for any festive occasion (like celebrating the beginning of you fabulous Florida vacation and good fortune in booking on of the fabulous villas from this site for your stay!).
Throughout the year the winery also holds regular events, mainly on the weekends, and you can find jazz, blues and other musical entertainment, plus arts and crafts events and not forgetting The August Stomp. All of these events include food and wine, some even vintage cars. Most events include live music and The August Stomp includes grape stomping!
Open seven days (Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm; Sun 11am – 5pm) the Lakeridge Winery is easy to get to. Drive North on US27 and the winery is on your left not long after Clermont. The journey should take approximately 30-40 minutes from the junction of US27 and I4 or 20-30 minutes from the junction of US27 and 192 (dependant on traffic). On the way up to the winery a stop off at the Citrus Tower at Clermont is thoroughly recommended. We would also recommend having this trip towards the beginning of a vacation so that you can enjoy sipping your wines while relaxing in your villa, please enjoy them responsibly.
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Page added on: 11 February 2007
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