A great free place to visit – the Lakeridge Winery situated off the US27 at Clermont, Florida sits on a 127-acre estate in gently rolling countryside. Lakeridge ranks as Florida’s largest premium winery, and remains a pioneer in the development of table and sparkling wines from muscadine and hybrid grapes.
Complimentary Winery tours and wine tasting are offered 7 days a week; Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. Our tour lasted for approx 20 minutes, beginning with a film showing the growing of the Florida grapes to the wine making process and the finishing with the bottling and labeling. Our tour guide then took us round the production area and showed us the vineyards where the grapes are grown and harvested. It was really scenic with great views down across the vineyards. The tour finishes with a wine tasting at a big bar/counter – there were quite a number to try so make sure you have a nominated driver! There is no pressure to buy although we saw many visitors who did and many locals who called in to buy cases of their favourite wines. The wine wasn’t particularly to my taste although I did enjoy the sparkling wine.
I also enjoyed browsing the gift shop afterwards which has a lot more in stock than just the wine, we bought a sparkling wine cork puller and a wine reference guide for a gift.
The winery also hosts many events during the year, sadly when we visited there were none on but have a look at the website to see if there are any when you are over. I hope one year to make the annual harvest stomp!
Although the wine wasn’t to my taste I would definitely recommend a visit – its educational, free and another ‘real’ Florida experience. http://www.lakeridgewinery.com