You probably know Florida as the Sunshine State, a place known for hurricanes and Walt Disney World, but did you know that it's also a place for some very tasty wines? Lakeridge Winery in on Highway 27 in Clermont, which is less than an hour from the Disney area, will introduce you to some of the delicious wines made right in Florida.
Lakeridge Winery offers free tours and tastings seven days a week. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.on Sunday. It's a real working winery, with vineyards out back on the rolling hills of Clermont and wine being made and bottled inside the factory.
Most of the Lakeridge wines tend to be on the sweeter side, which is fine with me. My favorite is the Sunblush, but the most popular selections tend to be the Southern White and Southern Red. If you can't get to the winery, you'll find them at Publix grocery stores.
What happens on the tour? First, you see a 12 minute movie on how the grapes are grown and turned into delicious vino. Then you head off on the tour to see the process for yourself. They save the best for last: at the end, you gather around the bar and sample the delicious vintages, starting from driest to sweetest. Once you know what you like, you can buy a bottle (or case) to take home, along with some very cool souvenirs. You can see some of them in this article.
When the lines at the parks get overwhelming and you're starting to get grumpy, head out to Lakeridge. A little wine will mellow you out and get you back into good spirits, both literally and figuratively.