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Agriculture Press Release
November 14, 2001
Florida wineryís key lime wine presented at Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
Key lime wine produced by Florida Orange Groves, Inc., and Winery of St. Petersburg was selected for sale and sampling at the 2001 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Now in its sixth year, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival selects its wines via a special tasting panel. Tasting wines from all around the world, the panel ultimately chooses about 60 wines for presentation and sale. Key lime wine was the only Florida wine selected by the panel for inclusion in this yearís festival, which runs through November 18. This specialty premium wine was also recently awarded a gold medal at the Indiana International Wine Competition.
"Being selected for this prestigious international festival demonstrates that Florida can produce world-class wines from a variety of fruit crops especially adapted to our state," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson said. "More and more often we are seeing that wines produced in Florida can compete with the best of those from around the world."
Florida Orange Groves, Inc., 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 over 21 varieties of specialty Florida grape, citrus and berry wine.
Grapes are not new to Florida or the Southeast. As long ago as 1565, colonists arriving in the New World noted muscadine grapes growing abundantly in the wild. The very first table wines in America were made from these grapes. A renewed interest in commercially grown grapes began in the early 1960s.
Florida now has eight wineries, which have become tourist attractions in addition to producing wines. The Florida wineries are:
Chautauqua Vineyards and Winery
Dakotah Vineyards and Winery Inc.
Eden Vineyards and Winery
Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards
San Sebastian Winery
Three Oaks Winery
Florida Orange Groves, Inc., and Winery
Rosa Fiorelli Winery, Inc.
Florida wine will be featured at the upcoming Florida State Fair International Wine Competition to be held February 7-9 in Tampa. The event, which is cosponsored by the Florida Grape Growers Association and the Florida State Fair, is now in its 13th year and will feature entries from across the United States and several foreign countries.
For more information about the Florida State Fair International Wine Competition, contact Jerrie Williams of the Florida Grape Growers Association at (863) 678-0523 or visit the associationís web site at www.fgga.org or the Florida State Fairís web site at www.floridastatefair.com.