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: 


22 comments:

Kate said...

You really got the Cook's Tour while visiting this winery. I've enjoyed seeing the process whenever i have gone to these kinds of places.

Halcyon said...

This must have been a really fun and fascinating day trip. I love trying new things and seeing how things are made. :)

Small City Scenes said...

Wow a real tour. sounds like fun. Love the roads through the trees. Blueberry wine....mmmmm.... MB

magiceye said...

Cheers!!

Birdman said...

Lowell, stop your whining!

Small City Scenes said...

I usually am up at 6 in the morning. I am awake therefore I am up. why Not!! Gotta get to winery early. And no I don't carry a gun---well usually not, but for photo license. MB

Taken For Granted said...

Local wineries can be great fun. They seem to be springing up everywhere. They are even more fun when they feature a local band where you can sit with friends while enjoying a glass of their product.

Sharon said...

For a minute there I wasn't sure you were going to find the place. I've never heard of blueberry wine. Sound interesting.

RedPat said...

I have some blueberry wine in the fridge that I must open!

Karl Demetz said...

Wow Lowell, I've never heard something about blueberry wines, that's fantastic!
I would be only too happy to taste a bottle :)
Interesting post and a very nice photo reportage.

llandudnopictures said...

Great photographic tour, cheers!!

Kay said...

It looks like it takes a leap of faith to follow those signs, though it looks like a very pretty drive.

Blueberry wine? A little sweet? But full of much-needed antioxidants, I'm sure! There's a winery in Pt. Angeles that specializes in fruit and berry wines. We tried some before we moved here - liked one or two but didn't buy any 'cuz we didn't want to haul them, coals to Newcastle-like, back to California.

Barbara Farr said...

Interesting post, Lowell..

Judy said...

Glad you found it and shared some of the tour with all of us.

Jack said...

It was hard work finding this place, it seems. That third photo, of the path through the palmettos and oaks, made me miss Florida. I will be back in less than two months.

Randy said...

Nothing like a nice glass of wine after a hard day.

Cezar and Léia said...

So Florida produces wine too?!?! I didn't know that. Man, this state is heaven! :)
Next life I wanna be a winemaker.
God bless you!
Cezar

EG CameraGirl said...

I have never had blueberry wine but I have tried cranberry/blueberry wine, which was surprisingly good. Well, truth be told, I don't know THAT much about wine but I did like it. :)

JM said...

Beautiful road on the 3rd shot! I would gldly go there for a wine tasting. :-)

Hilda said...

A wine tour is something that I have yet to experience. The grounds are lovely and everything is fascinating. I'm glad to hear that you like their wines. It would have been a bit awkward if you didn't.

Kalpesh Ajugia said...

Hmmm.... You bought several bottles??? So are we invited?? :-D

jusdealem said...

Oh, that 3rd photo makes me miss Florida so much! Glad to see this blog is still going strong! Thanks for stopping by mine! :)

"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson