Friday, August 23, 2013
Island Grove Winery
The Island Grove Winery, located north of Ocala near Hawthorne, Florida, specializes in exquisite blueberry wines created from blueberries grown on the property. We had read about this winery and decided to make a day trip to check it out.
Once we left the main highway (301) we were on a paved (more or less) road heading into the forest (1st picture). After a couple of miles, we were directed by a sign to turn left (2nd picture). Now we were driving on a dirt road (3rd picture) which continued for another couple of miles before we ran into a sign suggesting we turn right to reach the winery (4th picture). Please note the acres of blueberry plants in the background.
The main building contains the offices and the wine making apparatus (5th picture). We were greeted upon our arrival by Sarah Aschliman, the general manager, who welcomed us warmly and invited us to come inside and taste their wines, which we did (6th picture). Following the wine-tasting we were given a tour of the facilities by the winemaker, Chase Marden (7th picture). Mr. Marden described in detail and with enthusiasm how the wine was made from blueberries using the latest technology which included the tanks and other machines (pictures 8, 9 and 10).
The last photo shows a number of awards the winery has won for their products.
The wines were delightful and delicious. In fact, we bought several bottles and were happy to hear that Sam's Club in Ocala carries Island Grove wines!
Please check out their website here for much more information: