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Eden Vineyards and Winery — southernmost vineyards and winery in the U.S.

Eden Vinyards and Winery is located ten miles east of I75 in Fort Myers and just twelve miles west of La Belle on SR 80. An easy drive into the heartland of Southwest Florida, the Eden Winery is open daily for wine tasting without reservations from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The vineyards are open daily from 11 to 4 p.m. except on major holidays.

Why should you go? Eden Vineyards and Winery have been in existence for over thirty years and boast award-winning wines that can be purchased at the winery. The nominal fee of $2.50 covers the wine tasting for those aged 21 years and up.

Whether you're a died-in-the-wool Napa or Sonoma Valley wine lover, this is a chance to try the six wines that Eden produces and fall in love with Florida wines.

Short History of Eden Vineyards

According to the Eden Winery website the Kiser family started planting fine wine grapes in Southwest Florida over thirty years ago. When they first started, the grapes would grow but then die after only a few years. This problem came to be understood once the culprit was found; a little-known bacteria named Pierces Disease was killing off the vines.

Instead of giving up, the Kisers discovered a small research project that had begun in the 1930s by agricultural researchers at the Univ. of Florida. This little-known project would help them learn how to battle  this bacteria.

The Kisers began a long and difficult journey to find out if a hybrid plant could be grown that would be immune to the dreaded bacteria while still holding on to its "fine wine" status.

In the early 1950s researchers produced the first in a series of Florida hybrids. At the time, however, there was no established grape or wine industry in the state of Florida. By the 1970s, all that changed when the Kiser family purchased cuttings made from the original hybrid vines at the University of Florida.

The first vines were planted in test vineyards in Alva, a small rural community ten miles east of Fort Myers.  In 1986 Eden Vineyards became the southernmost federally licensed and bonded winery and vineyard in the United States.

Where Can Eden Wines be Purchased

Currently Eden's wines can be purchased at the winery gift shop for $12.95 per bottle. Eden wines are also sold in several hundred retail stores and restaurants throughout Florida.

Wine Tasting at Eden Vineyards and Winery

A short rundown of the six award-winning Eden wines grown in Florida include:

Lake Emerald - fermented in French oak barrels, extremely dry

Alva Rouge - similar to a Beaujolais red wine, medium dry

Alva White - crisp and fruity, white wine, medium dry

Coral Bell - a version of California Blush but not as sweet

Eden Spice - sweet

Eden Stars - alternative to California Blush, lightly sweet

For more information about Eden Vineyard and Winery: call 239-728-9463 or email info@edenwinery.com

 

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