I am a huge wine fan. Back in college, my roomies and friends used to do wine nights, where we would go to the store, buy cookie dough and other treats, and a cheap $5 bottle of wine (or two) for us to share that night. We would just sit around the living room and either watch a movie or just talk about life, classes, boys, the future, you get the idea. Since then, I’ve enjoyed a good glass of wine. Whether it’s unwinding with friends or a desperately needed one after a long day of work, I enjoy a glass of wine in moderation.
My tour of Lakeridge Winery in Clermont, FL reminded me of that. It’s not a far drive for me, so it was an inexpensive way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I had heard about it from a co-worker, and figured it would be fun to get a tour and do a tasting. Now, I did a little bit of research and heard good things, the winery had good ratings, and it was close enough that it would be an inexpensive, but yet different thing to do.
We had to wait about 10 minutes after we got there for the tour to begin. It started out with a nice little video about how the winery got started, and how wine could even be made in Florida (I knew of Napa Valley as wine country, not Florida). From there, we then got to see where the wine is stored, and then where the grapes are grown. It was absolutely beautiful, beautiful land, beautiful view, and a really neat process.
After that came the best part. The wine tasting. Now, I have never done a wine tasting before, so it was something completely new for me. We tried about 10 wines, starting with dry and ending with sweet. Overall, I think there was only one wine that I didn’t enjoy, all the others were really good or fairly decent. We had a great group doing the tour with us, we all had a good laugh, and had a good time. I left there with 6 bottles of wine to take home, and yeah I know, seems like a lot, but trust me, I wasn’t even their best customer from our group.
Just like those memories of those wine nights, I now have a wonderful memory of a great day spending time at a local winery. I’ve lived in this area my whole life, and had never heard of this place. In fact, until I looked it up, I wasn’t even sure we could grow grapes for wine in this state. So, yes, it was a touristy day trip, but it was fun, I got to try delicious wine, and I got to see a local gem that I otherwise wouldn’t have ever known about. So if you’re near that area, go give them a try.