Florida Guide > Dining

During our visit to Florida in April last we were invited to meet relatives who had just bought a property on the new Cascades Development along highway 27 near Clermont in South Lake County. (About thirty miles from the junction with highway 192). We were told their property was located next door to a Vineyard called Lakeridge Winery. Apparently there was to be a festival with several interesting stalls, live music and wine tasting. These festivals are held often throughout the year and range from art and crafts to Vintage Car shows. Also, they have a ‘wine stomp’ where you can have a go at treading the grapes, which sounded great fun and I for one would loved to have done.

When we all arrived we decided to do a tour of the vineyard after first sampling some of the delicious strawberries dipped in chocolate – scrumptious! We then joined a group for wine tasting (most of our group being avid wine drinkers) which proved to be very interesting! The wines were excellent and being the happy soles that we are, we spent quite a while chatting and laughing with the staff members, who were happy to answer all our questions about anything and everything! We discovered some of them were Brits!

Afterwards we were told all about the different stages of wine making from the harvesting of the grapes to the end product and bottling. We also watched a short video of how the family business started. The tour ended in the Lakeridge shop which sold practically everything to do with wine, including all sorts of different gifts, accessories, food and of course also wine. Although I’m not much of a wine drinker I did find the tour very interesting and informative and one of their samples of red very nice indeed!

They had a very wide range and there was something for everyone in the shop! I asked if I could try a rather nice looking rose and they were happy to oblige. Alas, it wasn’t quite sweet enough for me!

Apparently the tours and wine tasting is held daily and they hold many events and festivals all throughout the year which is good news if you want to spend an afternoon doing something just a little bit different. We were informed that all the events are free or have a minimal entrance fee of about $2, usually involve some form of live music, food and of course wine. The car parking is free. Their opening times are:

Monday-Saturday 10-5
Sundays Noon till 5

We spent a very pleasant afternoon at Lakeridge and I am hopeful to revisit when next in Florida so as to purchase some more of their wonderful wines.

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Page added on: 19 September 2006
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