After 30 years here, Florida still surprises me.
I don’t think of 85-degree August as “harvest time” and I don’t think of Florida as a place to grow grapes.
But I’d be wrong on both counts.
Because for the next few weekends, Florida wineries celebrate their harvests with grape stomping festivals.
First up is little Henscratch Farms Vineyard and Winery, which invites visitors to its Lake Placid site on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. Beginning at 10 a.m., there’ll be live music and lively stomping. Get full details here, including information about the farm animals and ambiance of this Central Florida charmer.
Next up is Lakeridge Winery in Clermont, near Orlando, with its stomp on Aug. 20 and 21. Lakeridge asks for a $2 donation benefiting the South Lake Boys & Girls Club. The event features local musicians, food for purchase, wine tours and tastings. For details, visit the winery website.
Then, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, its harvest festival time at Log Cabin Farm Vineyard, located along the St. Johns River in little Satsuma. (The directions paint the picture: “Hwy 17 to Satsuma then west on County Road 309. We are located 2 ½ miles on the left — just past the silo!”
In addition to grape stomping, Log Cabin Vineyard will have rhythm and blues music, the crowning of ‘Lil Grape & Grape Goddess and a muscadine grape cooking competition. $2. Details are on the Log Cabin website.
All three vineyards grow native muscadine grapes, producing sweet country wines and dessert wines.