Tampa Bay is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, diverse cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. However, what many visitors may not know is that the area is also home to some of the best wineries in Florida. From family-owned vineyards to large-scale operations, there is something for everyone in Tampa Bay’s wine country.
Whether you are a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply enjoy sipping a glass of vino on a sunny afternoon, Tampa Bay’s wineries offer a unique experience. Visitors can take a tour of the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample a variety of wines. Some wineries even offer live music, food trucks, and other entertainment, making for a fun and memorable day out.
Overview of Tampa’s Winery Scene
Tampa, Florida, is home to a thriving wine industry, with a variety of wineries and vineyards offering visitors a chance to taste and learn about local wines. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in Tampa’s winery scene.
One of the most popular wineries in Tampa is Keel & Curley Winery, located in Plant City just outside of Tampa. This family-owned winery produces a range of wines, from sweet fruit wines to dry reds and whites. Visitors can tour the winery, sample wines in the tasting room, and enjoy live music and food at the on-site restaurant.
Another popular destination for wine lovers is Cheese Please, a wine bar and cheese shop located in South Tampa. This cozy spot offers a selection of wines from around the world, as well as artisanal cheeses and charcuterie boards. Wine tastings are available, and the knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect pairing for your palate.
For those interested in exploring the vineyards of Tampa, Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard in Bradenton is a must-visit. This family-owned vineyard produces a variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Visitors can tour the vineyard, enjoy a tasting in the rustic tasting room, and purchase bottles to take home.
Top Wineries in Tampa FL
If you’re looking for the best wineries in Tampa FL, you won’t be disappointed. Tampa is home to some of the finest wineries in the state of Florida, each with its own unique charm and character. Here are some of the top wineries in Tampa FL that you should definitely check out.
Murielle Winery is a family-owned winery located in Clearwater, FL. This winery offers a wide range of wines, from dry to sweet, and even fruit wines. Their wines are made from locally sourced grapes and fruits, making them truly unique to the Tampa Bay area. Murielle Winery also offers wine tastings and tours, making it a great destination for wine lovers.
Address: 13131 56th Ct N #305, Clearwater, FL 33760, United States
Florida Orange Groves Winery
Florida Orange Groves Winery is a winery located in St. Petersburg, FL. As the name suggests, this winery specializes in wines made from Florida oranges. They also offer a variety of other fruit wines, including key lime, blueberry, and strawberry. Florida Orange Groves Winery has won numerous awards for its wines, making it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.
Address: 1500 Pasadena Ave S, South Pasadena, FL 33707, United States
Tarpon Springs Castle Winery
Tarpon Springs Castle Winery is a winery located in Tarpon Springs, FL. This winery offers a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and fruit wines. They also offer wine tastings and tours, making it a great destination for wine lovers. Tarpon Springs Castle Winery is known for its beautiful castle-like building, making it a unique and memorable destination.
Address: 320 E Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Aspirations Winery is a winery located in Clearwater, FL. This winery offers a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and fruit wines. They also offer wine tastings and tours, making it a great destination for wine lovers. Aspirations Winery is known for its unique and creative wine labels, making it a fun and memorable destination.
Address: 22041 US Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, FL 33765, United States
Overall, these wineries are some of the best in Tampa FL. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or just looking for a fun and unique experience, these wineries are definitely worth a visit.
Unique Wine Experiences in Tampa
Tampa is home to a diverse range of wineries, each offering unique wine experiences to visitors. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking for a fun activity, Tampa’s wineries have something for everyone.
Wine tastings are a great way to experience the different flavors and aromas of various wines. One of the best places to enjoy a wine tasting in Tampa is at Keel & Curley Winery. They offer a variety of wine flights, which allow visitors to taste several wines at once. Visitors can also take a tour of the winery and learn about the winemaking process.
For those who want to learn more about the winemaking process, a wine tour is a great option. Two Lions Winery & Palm Harbor Brewery offers guided tours of their winery and brewery. Visitors can see how the wine and beer are made, and learn about the history of the winery.
Food and Wine Pairings
Pairing wine with food is an art form, and many wineries in Tampa offer food and wine pairing experiences. At Murielle Winery, visitors can enjoy a cheese plate with their wine tasting. Cheese Please is another great option for those looking to pair wine with cheese. They offer a variety of cheeses and wines, as well as charcuterie boards.
Tampa’s warm weather and beautiful scenery make it the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine outdoors. Keel & Curley Winery has a large outdoor seating area, complete with a stage for live music. Two Lions Winery & Palm Harbor Brewery also has outdoor seating, with views of the surrounding area.
Wine Varieties and Specialties
Tampa Bay is known for its rich and flavorful red wines. Many wineries in the area specialize in producing bold, full-bodied red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These wines are made from grapes grown in the region and are known for their complex flavors and aromas.
If you prefer white wine, Tampa Bay has plenty of options for you as well. Chardonnay is a popular choice among local wineries, and many also offer other varieties of white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. These wines are known for their crisp, refreshing taste and are often paired with seafood.
For those with a sweet tooth, Tampa Bay wineries also offer a variety of dessert wines. These wines are typically made from grapes that have been left to ripen on the vine for longer periods, resulting in a higher sugar content. Some popular dessert wines in the area include Port and Sherry.
In addition to traditional grape wines, many wineries in Tampa Bay also offer fruit-infused wines. These wines are made by adding tropical fruits, such as mango or pineapple, to the fermentation process. The result is a unique and flavorful wine that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. Blueberry wine is also a popular choice among locals.
Additional Offerings at Tampa Wineries
In addition to their award-winning wines, many wineries in Tampa offer a variety of other beverages and experiences. Whether you’re a beer lover, a fan of cider or mead, or interested in exploring craft spirits, there’s something for everyone at these Tampa wineries.
Breweries and Craft Beer
Several wineries in Tampa also offer their own craft beers in addition to their wine offerings. Keel & Curley Winery, for example, has its own brewery on-site, where it produces a variety of craft beers, including IPAs, stouts, and seasonal brews. Visitors can enjoy beer flights, pints, and growlers to go.
Cider and Mead
If you’re a fan of cider or mead, Two Henrys Brewing Company at the Plant City Winery has you covered. They offer a variety of hard ciders and meads, including seasonal flavors like pumpkin cider and honeydew melon mead. Visitors can also enjoy live music and food trucks on weekends.
Distilleries and Craft Spirits
For those interested in craft spirits, Tampa Bay Rum Company at the Florida Orange Groves Winery is a must-visit. They produce a variety of rums, including spiced and coconut flavors, using locally sourced ingredients. Visitors can take a tour of the distillery and enjoy rum tastings.
In addition to beverages, many Tampa wineries offer a variety of other experiences, such as vineyard tours, live music, and food pairings. At Keel & Curley Winery, visitors can enjoy outdoor seating and a farm-to-table menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. At Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard, visitors can take a guided tour of the vineyard and enjoy a picnic lunch. Cheese Please offers wine and cheese tastings, as well as a variety of gourmet foods and gifts.
Food Pairings and Restaurants
Tampa boasts a variety of wineries with unique food pairings that complement their wines. Many of these wineries have their own restaurants, while others have partnered with local restaurants to offer a complete dining experience.
One such winery is the Florida Orange Groves Winery, which offers a wide selection of fruit wines made from locally sourced fruits. The winery has a partnership with the nearby Cheese Please, a gourmet cheese shop that offers a variety of artisanal cheeses. Visitors can enjoy a cheese and wine pairing experience, where they can taste different cheeses alongside the winery’s fruit wines.
Another winery with a restaurant is Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, which offers a menu that is specifically designed to complement its wines. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including charcuterie boards, flatbreads, and entrees such as pan-roasted Barramundi and pistachio-crusted grouper.
For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, Bern’s Steak House is a must-visit. The restaurant has an extensive wine list, with over 7,000 different wines to choose from. The restaurant also has its own wine cellar, which visitors can tour.
Special Events and Group Visits
Wineries are the perfect place to host special events, parties, and weddings. Many wineries in Tampa FL offer beautiful settings, delicious wines, and exceptional service to make any occasion memorable.
For large groups, Keel & Curley Winery is a great choice. They offer private event spaces that can accommodate up to 300 guests. The winery also has a pavilion and outdoor seating areas for smaller groups. Keel & Curley Winery is known for their award-winning blueberry wines, which can be enjoyed during events.
Another winery that can accommodate large groups is Two Lions Winery. They offer a private event space that can hold up to 150 guests. The winery also has a tasting room and outdoor seating areas. Two Lions Winery specializes in handcrafted wines made from locally sourced grapes.
For those looking for a unique venue for their wedding, Tarpon Springs Castle Winery is a great option. The winery offers a beautiful castle setting that can accommodate up to 150 guests. They also have a vineyard and a tasting room. Tarpon Springs Castle Winery produces a variety of wines, including red, white, and fruit wines.
Cheese Please is another winery that is great for hosting special events. They offer a wine-tasting room and a cheese shop that can be rented out for private events. The winery also has a selection of wines and cheeses that can be customized for events. Cheese Please is known for its gourmet cheeses and wines from around the world.
Family and Pet-Friendly Wineries
Tampa, FL offers a wide range of wineries that welcome families and pets. Here are some of the best dog and family-friendly wineries in the area:
Keel & Curley Winery
Keel & Curley Winery is a family-owned and operated winery that welcomes children and pets. The winery offers a beautiful outdoor seating area where families can enjoy a glass of wine and relax while their children play. The winery also offers a variety of wines, including blueberry wines, which are a local specialty.
Address: 5202 Thonotosassa Rd, Plant City, FL 33565, United States
Pye Road Meadworks
Pye Road Meadworks is a family-friendly winery that specializes in mead, a type of wine made from honey. The winery welcomes families and pets and offers a beautiful outdoor seating area where families can relax and enjoy a glass of mead while their children play.
Address: 8533 Gunn Highway Odessa, Fl 33556
Vino Simpatico is a dog-friendly winery that offers a beautiful outdoor seating area where families can relax and enjoy a glass of wine while their dogs play. The winery also offers a variety of wines, including red and white wines, fruit wines, and dessert wines.
Address: 722 Pasadena Ave S, South Pasadena, FL 33707, United States
These are just a few of the best dog and family-friendly wineries in Tampa, FL. Each winery offers a unique experience for families and pets, so be sure to check them out and find the one that best suits your needs.
Tampa’s Brewery and Cider Scene
Tampa’s brewery and cider scene is a vibrant and exciting part of the city’s culture. With a variety of options available to choose from, locals and tourists alike can enjoy a refreshing drink while exploring the city. From Palm Harbor Brewery to Tampa Breweries, there’s something for everyone.
One popular spot to check out is the Tampa Bay Brewing Company, which offers a wide range of craft beers and delicious food. This brewery has been around since 1995 and has become a staple in the community. With a variety of IPAs, stouts, and ales to choose from, visitors are sure to find something they love.
For those who prefer ciders, there are several great options to try out. Coppertail Brewing Co. is a popular choice, offering a wide range of ciders and beers. Visitors can enjoy outdoor seating, delivery, and takeout options while sipping on their favorite drink.
Another great spot to check out is the Tampa Riverwalk, which offers a variety of breweries and bars to explore. Visitors can enjoy a scenic walk along the river while sampling some of the best drinks the city has to offer.
Overall, Tampa’s brewery and cider scene is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. With a variety of options available, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Wine Tasting Tips for Oenophiles
Wine tasting is an art that requires practice, patience, and a bit of knowledge. Whether you are a seasoned oenophile or a beginner, these tips can help you make the most out of your wine-tasting experience in Tampa.
1. Take Your Time
Wine tasting is not a race. Take your time to savor each sip and appreciate the wine’s aroma, flavor, and texture. Swirl the wine in your glass to release its aromas and take a deep sniff before taking a sip. Hold the wine in your mouth for a few seconds to let its flavors develop before swallowing.
2. Use All Your Senses
Wine tasting engages all your senses, not just your taste buds. Look at the wine’s color and clarity against a white background. Smell the wine’s aroma and try to identify its different notes, such as fruit, spice, or oak. Feel the wine’s texture in your mouth, and notice its acidity, tannins, and body.
3. Take Notes
Taking notes can help you remember the wines you tasted and your impressions of them. Write down the wine’s name, vintage, and producer, as well as your tasting notes. Use a wine-tasting sheet if you have one, or create your own. Include details such as the wine’s color, aroma, flavor, body, and finish.
4. Review and Compare
After you have tasted several wines, take a break to review your notes and compare the wines. Look for patterns and differences in the wines’ characteristics. Try to identify your preferences and the qualities you enjoy in a wine.
5. Ask for Recommendations
If you are not sure what wines to taste, ask for recommendations from the winery staff or other oenophiles. They can suggest wines that match your taste preferences or offer something new to try. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the wines’ production, aging, or pairing suggestions.
Wine tasting in Tampa is a fun and educational experience that can help you discover new wines and refine your palate. By following these tips, you can make the most out of your wine-tasting adventure and become a more confident and knowledgeable oenophile.