Saturday, February 16, 2019 9:34 AM
The Villages to Lakeridge 31-mi, 38-min
Ocala to Lakeridge 52-mi, 55-min
Gainesville to Lakeridge 86-mi, 1-hr 20-min
19239 US-27, Clermont, FL 34715
What is better than wine? Free wine, definitely.
You may have already seen Lakeridge wines offered at Publix, Winn-Dixie, Trader Joe’s, plus other stores around Florida. However, you can also buy directly from this family-run vineyard and winery. Their Spanish-theme visitor center sits on a hilltop overlooking the vineyard and surrounding lakes. Once inside, you’ll see a cluster of guests around a U-shaped bar and a wine tasting in progress. But your tasting won't happen until after a brief movie about the history of the winery and a tour, navigating catwalks above the bottling facility. Tours begin every half hour and the total time, including the sampling, is about an hour.
Tour the winery near The Villages and Orlando, Florida in the video below (first pour yourself a glass of wine).
They offer plenty of choices of wine-theme gifts, from t-shirts to aerators; and, of course, you can walk away with their wines by the bottle or case. Upstairs is a lounge with a display of vintage equipment where you can share a bottle of wine with friends and gaze into the lobby below, where tastings continue all day. Cheeses are available too.
The process of winemaking on a large scale is surprisingly complicated and scientific. Lakeridge has a complete lab and their staff checks the wine chemistry hourly throughout production and bottling. From high above the stainless steel storage tanks, you’ll see staffers at work and be hypnotized by the Fantasia-like scene of the bottles moving through the filling and labeling machinery. The tour guides are friendly, well informed and ready to answer all your questions. Cheers!
“If reassurances could dull pain, nobody would ever go to the trouble of pressing grapes.”
― Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora
Welcome to my blog about nearby adventures that await Villagers ready to venture outside the bubble!
- Greg Madsen