While Florida may be considered an unconventional wine destination, the Sunshine State is home to sweet Muscadine grapes that produce excellent wines worth sampling. Combining traditional wine processes with Florida’s unique personality and flavor, these wineries break all the rules with fruit-inspired wines and sparkling citrus varieties. From romantic vineyards to oceanfront properties, here are some of the best wineries in Florida to visit.

Consistently ranked the top winery in Florida, Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards is an expansive 80-acre property with picturesque landscapes of rolling vineyards, making it a popular choice throughout the year. A great place to get a taste of Florida’s “wine country,” it’s located only 25 miles outside of Orlando in Clermont. Florida’s largest premium winery, visitors can come and take a tour of the facility or attend one of their annual events, concerts and festivals. Tours take place inside the lodge, where you’ll be able to taste a few of the 12 wines produced here. The tours are led by entertaining guides, where you’ll watch a video presentation and then be given a chance to see Florida hybrid bunch grapes including Stover, Suwannee, and Blanc De Bois.

Truly an ambiance like no other, Schnebly Redland’s Winery in Homestead boasts a Spanish moss-lined waterfall, tiki huts, and wooden barrel tasting tables. Wine enthusiasts can get out of their comfort zone here, as you won’t find any muscadines or traditional wines. Instead, this exotic fruits only vineyard is home to specialty wines made from mango, lychee, coconut, avocado, guava and passion fruit. Weekend Tours take around 30-40 minutes, where you’ll be taken through the entire winemaking process. Pop in the Tasting Room on one of Florida’s hot summer days and soak in views of a lush courtyard and waterfalls before indulging in a refreshing glass of fruity wine. The events calendar at this winery is jam-packed throughout the year, pairing live music events with their delicious range of wines.

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Offering something totally different than other wineries in the state, The Gilded Grape Winery in Port Charlotte is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets, offering individualized wine and the opportunity to make some for yourself. Separating themselves from the competition and steering away from the typical winery scene, here you’ll find wine crafted from juice imported from out of the state. Visitors have a range of grapes and exotic fruits to choose from in creating their unique concoction, and in two months you will be able to take home your masterpiece and show off to your loved ones. The traditional merlot, deep orange chocolate port and seasonally inspired tangerine lemon wines are just a few of the local favorites here that have people coming back for more.

A beautiful property in northeast Florida, San Sabastian Winery in St. Augustine is a sister to the award-winning Lakeridge property in Clermont. Founded in 1996, the wines here are made on the property, where a tasting room offers a variety of choices to sample in addition to a wine shop to bring home your favorites. The vineyards are elsewhere in Florida, but wine lovers can still participate in free tastings and educational tours. Pairing St. Augustine’s stunning skyline with refreshing glasses of wine, are The Cellar Upstairs Wine, Jazz & Blues Bar is a perfect spot to listen to live music and dine on light fare. The location is great, nestled in one of Henry Flagler’s old East Coast Railway buildings just a few blocks from downtown.

Located in Orlando in the heart of downtown, Quantum Leap Winery is one of the state’s newest wineries. Created by a former food and beverage industry executive and an environmental industry pioneer, this winery was designed with a philosophy of environmental sustainability. While wines come here from around the world, they are unique in that each of these treasures is blended and packaged in Orlando in order to reduce their overall carbon footprint. With environmentally conscious practices, you can come for the wine and feel good about enjoying quality wine while also respecting our environment. Visit the Barrel Room and Tasting Room for an old-world ambiance perfect for wine tasting, and pair it with a selection of cheese, charcuterie, and chocolates.

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