Hawthorne, Fla.—Island Grove Wine Company’s tasting room is hard to find but worth it. Owned by Ken Patterson, this 350-acre farm grows blueberries and makes fruit wines. Located at the southern most tip of Hawthorne, Florida, and opened just four years ago this company is producing complex wines like Kinda Dry blueberry wine with hints of oak and cherry.
Recently I went on a mini tour of their winery located in the middle of the blueberry farm. My guide, whose name I did not get, showed me the fermenting room. It was filled with giant metal tanks.
“The blueberries are fermented on the skin and then we make the wine so it has higher antioxidants,” said my tour guide. Oak wood chips are soaked in the Kinda Dry blueberry wine to give it a smoky taste.
"We have been in business for four year and making wine for three," said Janette Taylor the wine tasting room attendant. She said there is going to be a company store on Highway 301 in the fall of this year so guests won't have to drive the four miles of dirt road to the tasting room.
In the future there are plans to make drier wines with Florida grown blueberries and blackberries. Island Grove Wine Company also plans to make a blueberry ice wine and a mango wine.
The tasting room is located at 24703 SE 193rd Avenue, Hawthorne, FL 32640; and is open Mon. to Fri. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You can find Island Grove wines at many Total Wine & More stores throughout the state of Florida.
To find out more about their other fruit wines or the berries they sell or to get directions to their tasting room you can go www.islandgrovewinecompany.com