Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Florida Wine, Tasting event at Seminole Inn in Indiantown, Florida

In April, Seminole Inn decided to start a wine tasting series called a "Year of Wines," featuring Florida Wines. 

Tastings are on the first Saturday of the month, at 6 pm, and feature one winery at a time. After the tasting their is an optional dinner, at an additional fee, showcasing the wines in a gourmet meal. 

This month the featured wine was from Eden Winery and Vineyard in Alva, Florida. The wines sampled were Lake Emerald (white, light oak), Alva Rouge (red, medium dry), Alva White (white, slightly sweet), Coral Bell (blush with sweet nose and slightly sweet taste), Eden Stars (white, made with star fruit, least popular of the night), and Eden Spice (Red with sweet, tropical fruit punch like taste).

The Alva White was combined with orange zest to make a very delightful vinaigrette to top the spring mix salad (with cherry tomatoes and blue cheese chunks).

The Alva Rouge and Eden Stars were used in the main course as a reduction poured over a grilled chicken breast and pan seared salmon fillet.  These were less successful at impressing the pallet and their unique flavor got lost in the Au gratin potatoes and asparagus sides.

The Eden Stars made another appearance in the dessert course again as a reduction but this time combined with honey.  A small apple pie tartlet accompanied, topped with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Call for pricing and reservations at 772-597-3777 or email seminolein@aol.com

@)!% Update the Eden Winery is now closed and the Seminole Inn no longer has this style of wine tasting dinners.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wineries in Florida--a beginning list

In my search for Florida wines I have gone as far south on the East coast to Redland for Schnebly's Tropical Fruit wines, and as far north as St. Augustine for San Sebastian wines (some muscadine and some mixed with other grape juices).

In the interior of Florida I have been to: Lakeridge Winery & Vineyard in Clermont (muscadine wines), as well as Henscratch Farms Vineyard & Winery in Lake Placid (muscadine wine and one mixed with Cabernet).

On the West coast, I 've been to a winery near Everglades City located inside a shopping mall. I don't remember the label name because the wine needed more work.   Then most recently, I went to Eden Vineyards & Winery in Alva (using a grape vine called Venifera hybrid they produce Chardonnay, cab sav...etc).
I look forward to the day when I can find these wines in local Florida restaurants instead of just at the wineries.

links to the wineries:
http://www.schneblywinery.com/
http://www.sansebastianwinery.com/
http://www.lakeridgewinery.com/
http://www.henscratchfarms.com/
http://www.edenwinery.com/

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2010 Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference

In its second year, The Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference in Kissimmee, Florida was a huge success with 800 attendees from all over Florida and surrounding States.
I met with one acre farmers/gardeners to 14,000 acre farms (R.C. Hatton in Pahokee).  I was not able to get to all the workshops but the ones I did attend were: Farm-to-School, Hydroponics and aquaculture, Marketing of products, Agri-Tourism, and Composting.

I learned about urban farming from a presentation put on by Will Allen, the keynote speaker of the conference and realized there is much potential for this type of farming in other parts of the country.

What I took away from the conference was: Palm Beach County was the first country in Florida to start the Farm-To-School system; Aquaponic (combining hydroponics and aquaculture) farms can raise fish that are for more than just food; Agri-tourism has the potential to rise in this state (fishing at aquaponics farms); There are several ways to compost and create good mulch; Organic farming is on the rise; Urban farming can become a reality in any area (G.R.O.W. project in abandoned railway yards).

In the next few months I plan to visit and write articles about the many of the farmers I met at the conference.