In 2001, Ron Hunt began creating some of the best Orange, Key Lime, Plantation White, Plantation Red, Blush, Spice & Port wines available at Florida Estates Winery.
How does he do it?
First, Ron and his team clean everything used to create the wines. Any dust, dirt of debris in the equipment thwarts the process. The grapes and the fruit are fermented in tanks.
Ron uses Florida-grown grapes purchased from Eden Winery in Fort Meyers. He get a gallon sized jug of the grape blend and a small size of the fruit blend and goes to work crafting the recipe.
A little of this, a little of that, a little more of this – and voila – the recipe is created! Math is worked out to vat size amounts and everything is blended to spec.
The wine mix is pushed through a very fine filter so that nothing gets through, except the pure wine and Florida sunshine.
The bottles are then labeled with an old-fashioned labeling machine. With a hose, bottles are gravity fed to the perfect amount. The machine that Ron uses for this actually has a float valve to give each bottle the perfect amount of spirits.
Each bottle is then corked with a machine. The wrap is put on after that with a heat system that holds the cap, fills it with hot air and “melts” it onto the bottle.
“This is an old-fashioned way of making wine by hand that provides us with a crafted product that enhances the Florida lifestyle,” Ron explains as he pours a taste for visitors.
Tastings are conducted daily from 11am to 6pm at Florida Estates Winery, located at 25241 SR 52 in Land O’Lakes. Fresh Markets and Wine Markets are held on select Saturdays throughout the year and you are always welcome to visit the winery and have a picnic under their magnificent oaks.
There are several wineries in Florida’s Nature Coast.
Some grow their own grapes, like Strong Tower Vineyard, who offers u-pick muscadines in season. Others craft wines from grape blends and flavor mixes.
It can be fun to visit the different area wineries and compare and contrast which tastes you prefer.
We will be creating a “Wine Trail” in the near future, so keep on “NatureCoasting™” and let us know which area winery is your favorite – and which brew.