Love wine? Not really a fan? It doesn’t matter. If you are in St Petersburg and you have a long hour to kill you need to stop in at the Florida Orange Groves Winery. They’re about 15 minutes from Madeira Beach and even closer to Treasure Island. The building is kind of tucked into it’s suroundings, so keep an eye out.
When you walk into the winery you are walking into a large Florida centered gift shop. You can purchase any of their available wines as well as a huge selection of wine related goods, from t-shirts to bottle holders and plaques. To your left you’ll see their tasting bar and further on you’ll see an actual sit down bar. They have a second room full of Florida made items like jams and hot sauces. It’s really the place to go if you are looking for a gift to bring back from Florida. But lets be honest, I went for the wine.
All of the wines are created on site. You can take a tour of the winery to see where the wine is made, bottled and boxed. They make a lot of wine, it’s not only sold on site but also in several other locations including Disney World. As a matter of fact, they are the only Florida wine at Disney’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
I tried several of their wines. One of their most popular is Hurricane Class 5, and for good reason. It’s actually a blend of 5 fruit wines and has been a best seller for 18 years.
I also tried the Key Limon wine, which is actually made with limes from Key West. The lady helping us said that some people think it tastes like a margarita and others like key lime pie. I could taste the margarita flavor. It wasn’t strong and I may not have noticed it if she hadn’t pointed it out, but I am definitely a fan.
The wine I was most excited to try was the Orange Sunshine, simply because Orange Groves IS in their name and all. And what could be more Florida tasting? They have both a sweet and a dry version. I prefer a dry wine so that’s what I tried. It’s made with juice from Florida oranges (of course). It was very good, there is a hint of orange oil in the taste.
Then, to wrap it up we had an orange creamsicle smoothie made with the sweet orange wine. Basically, it was summer in a wine glass. It’s basically my new favorite dessert. Wine can be dessert, right?
What I found most interesting is that in spite of the fact that all of the wines taste like the fruit they are made with they also are definitely wine. During our tour our guide told us that the original owners didn’t even like wine – I guess that’s why they have a tagline “Finally Wines That Taste Good!” Personally I liked wine already, but these wines are without a doubt tasty.