Agriculture Press Release
August 30, 1999
Florida Wineries Win Honors in International Competition
TALLAHASSEE Florida Orange Groves, Inc. and Winery of St. Petersburg was among the top winners at the 1999 Indiana International Wine Competition, held in conjunction with the Indiana State Fair. Two other Florida wineries also won awards in the competition.
Florida Orange Groves tangerine wine received a Concordance Gold Medal by unanimous agreement of the five-member panel of judges. Only 48 wineries from seven countries and nine states won this distinction among the 2,309 wines entered in the competition.
San Sebastian Winery of St. Augustine won a silver medal for its sherry-style muscadine wine, while Eden Vineyards and Winery of Alva, near Fort Myers, received a bronze medal for its tropical carambola wine.
"These awards demonstrate that Florida can produce world-class wines from a variety of fruit crops especially adapted to the state," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford said.
Last year, Florida Orange Groves and Winery won a Concordance Gold Medal in the Indiana competition for its grapefruit wine. It was the first time that a wine made from fresh-squeezed citrus juice had received such an honor. In the past three years, the winery has racked up 27 medal awards, including six gold medals, among its 30 entries in the Indiana competition. The winery also received gold medals for its grapefruit, tangelo and cranberry wines at the 1999 Florida State Fair wine competition.
Florida Orange Groves and Winery is a family-owned business that began in the early 1970s by shipping and packing fresh citrus in St. Petersburg. The business grew to include retail sales of fresh-squeezed juice and a gift shop. The winery was opened in early 1997 and produces specialty premium citrus and other fruit wines.
Florida has seven wineries, which have become tourist attractions in addition to producing fine wines.
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