Island Grove Wine Company at Formosa Gardens may have vineyards and orchards on our grounds but the heart of our winery starts on our main 700 acre farm located in North Central Florida. Surprised? Here we use a variety of southern highbush blueberries to produce our well known fruit wines like our Blueberry Moscato, Sunshine State Berry Sangria and some of our other fruit blends (with a new one to be released in 2020!)
As a matter of fact, "This is the largest organic blueberry farm in the state"
- Sarah Aschliman, general manager of Island Grove Wine Company in Hawthorne confirms.
200 acres in Hawthorne, Florida of the Island Grove Ag Products farmland is allocated to producing organic blueberries that are used primarily for fresh fruit consumption and about 5% for the wine making. These rows and rows of blueberries span across Alachua, Putnam and Marion counties and include of about 30 different varieties of blueberries. IGAP has another 200 acres of blueberries planted in Arcadia, Florida as well.
“The wine actually keeps about 80 to 90 percent antioxidants from the fresh fruit into the blueberry wine. So our Kinda Dry wine, our Sorta Sweet wine and other blueberry wines have so many antioxidants in them.” - Aschliman.
Island Grove Wine Company also offers tours to those who want an inside peak at the wine making process at our Hawthorne location.
During this tour guests can uncover more about the wine making process and how we bottle our antioxidant rich wines as well as find interesting facts like this one: Our machine is capable of bottling 900 bottles an hour!
The family farm is also home to a well preserved four bedroom shotgun style house -- rich in Florida history.
“It was so interesting and worth it, to have it here on property. It was built in 1897 by the Brown family. This property was homesteaded though right after the Civil War so it’s got a lot of history. We use it for events, weekend getaways, we auction it off a lot for charity events.”
- says Aschliman.
Three miles from our blueberry farm is The Tasting House. Located in the small town of Hawthorne -- the tasting room is where wine lovers can sample and purchase some of their favorite Island Grove Wines.
Interview Quotes from: https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2019/12/27/central-florida-company-makes-wine-with-antioxidants/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=snd&utm_content=wkmg6