The best part about “moving home,“ even if it is temporarily, or especially if it is temporarily, is that you get to discover places and things that you may not have explored before when you were too busy taking everything for granted. Though I miss spending my weekends traversing Virginia Wine Country, and whipping my Mustang through the foothills of the Shenandoah, I have found that there is plenty here in South Florida that I have not fully unearthed, despite several past lives of mine spent among the Palm trees and oceans breezes.
One of the more interesting adventures I have had recently, and perhaps the one most fitting for the title of this blog, is discovering the “Southernmost Winery & Brewery in the U.S.” Otherwise known as: Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery.
This picturesque, treasure-trove of a tropical winery paradise is found pretty far south and pretty far west off of Dixie Highway—say, heading towards The Keys. Though the Winery is technically in “The Redland’s” area of South Florida farm country, the GPS on my phone informed me that I was located in Florida City, which is the last little city/town stop before you cross the 18-mile stretch into the Florida Keys. For those of you who are not familiar with the area of land between Miami and The Keys, the Schnebly’s Winery is about as far west as South Florida civilization goes until you hit the swamps of the Everglades.
Don’t let the “deep south” location of this delicious island-in-the-farmland gem of a place scare you off, because it is definitely worth the drive off the beaten path of US-1. Not only will you find yourself amongst waterfalls cascading into coral rock lagoons; Tiki huts built for an island party; and exotic vegetation and critters, but you can also enjoy a refreshing taste, or glass, of some of the best fruity, tropical wines.
Though I am typically a red wine drinker, and I tend to stay away from the fruitier, white versions of the libation, I did very much enjoy the table wine tasting at Schnebly’s. There are no red wines, per se, at this winery, although some of the wines appear to have a reddish tint. This is due to the wine taking on the color of the primary fruit used to make it. For instance, the Guava based wines take on the same color as…Guava. All of the wines made at this particular winery have tropical fruit ingredients, making for an extremely unique taste experience. Some examples of the fruits used in making the wines include: Lychee, Avocado, Coconut, and Carambola. I opted for the following five wines: the AvoVino, the Mango, the Guava, the Cat 2 Hurricane Red, and the Passion Fruit. The wines are listed in decreasing dryness, so the first few are drier than the latter. I can assure you that these wines are not like your average Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. Therefore, I will warn that you will need to take off your “wine snob” hat and truly enjoy the entire luscious experience in order to fully appreciate the noticeable difference in flavor from your typical grocery store go-to bottle.
If wine is not your thing (you’re boring), then there are also Schnebly-brewed beers on site. Across from the beautiful wine tasting bar is a smaller beer tasting bar where you can sample the many different types of tropical beers as well. I won’t go into much detail about those because I did not venture over to that part of the tasting room during my visit, but I will say that I look forward to trying them on a future visit.
The staff at Schnebly’s informed us that they do have regular live music and catered food on the weekends for a well-rounded experience at the Winery. There are also two different sized Tiki huts available for private event rentals. The lush grounds surrounding the buildings are incredibly mesmerizing, and the resident small, green dinosaurs are very friendly.
So if you are in the neighborhood (unlikely unless you are a farmer), or up for a drive south, you should stop by the Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery! Check out the event calendar for the Winery here.