by Dr. Elinor Garely, editor in chief of wines.travel
Yes, I know, wine tourism does not usually highlight the wines of Florida, and most visitors to this state are not crowding the wine tasting rooms. In fact, some travelers may not even recognize the fact that wine is part of the Florida economic engine.
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Stonebridge Research determined that the state’s wine and grape industry has an $895 million impact (2010) on the economy. Florida is the 9th largest wine-producing state in the USA, with 1.8 million gallons (2015 data, US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau). This number may not be completely accurate as significant amounts of wines are rebottled in Florida and shipped to other destinations (including the Caribbean). As of 2016 there were 25 certified “farm wineries” in the State of Florida and the wineries grow grapes (and other fruit), sell wine and offer tours of their operations and vineyards.
Blame it on the Weather
The weather conditions in Florida challenge winemakers. Between the heat, rain, humidity and Pierce’s disease, wine production in Florida is not a slam dunk. To minimize these issues, many winemakers use the Muscadine grape and other native species common throughout the Southeast to produce their wines.
Read the full article at wines.travel.