Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Certified Florida Farm Wineries and Vineyards

Video Script

A century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock ...

Three, hundred years before California became a state ...

Wine was being made in Florida.

Florida, a name given by Spanish explorers in recognition of the state's beautiful fruits and flowers.

And among that rich vegetation, lush native grapevines were discovered on Florida's east coast.

Following the lead of the French, Spanish settlers harvested the wild grapes. And applying the same traditions of their homeland,
converted Florida's wild muscadine into the first American wine.

The muscadine. It evokes memories of sleepy summer afternoons in the Deep South.

Smooth, aromatic and nostalgic muscadine wines. They're a southern specialty, produced nowhere else on earth.

Through the centuries, Florida's rich soils and rolling hills have supported both vineyards and winemaking.

And the success of muscadine wine is the byproduct of Old World traditions and new world production methods.

For example, scientists concerned with developing hybrid bunch grapes and improving the native muscadines, have created a wider variety of wine grapes.

For seventy years, scholars at the University of Florida have been committed to improving Sunshine State grapes.

This research has developed varieties that flourish in Florida's subtropical climate, well-suited to our soils and are perfect for winemaking.

The development of these new hybrid grapes -- with high fruit, taste and aroma qualities -- secures the promise of a bright future for Florida's vineyards.

Elegant and distinctive ... New World wine from Old World traditions.

The efforts of modern-day pioneers, aspiring to create the finest Florida can offer.

Florida vineyards are scattered throughout the state, with harvest times ranging from May to September.

This conveniently coincides with the most popular time of year for Sunshine State tourists and visitors.

Visiting a winery or vineyard in Florida is a fascinating experience for the whole family.

You can stroll through a vineyard, view a harvest, watch the winemaking process ...

The corking ... bottling and labeling of delicious wines.

And, most exciting of all, you can actually sample the wonderful and distinctive varieties of delicious Florida wines.

Some vineyards even let visitors pick grapes right off the vines. It's a wonderful way to take home a sample of Florida's finest ... if you can resist eating the fruits of your labor before you get them home.

If the grapes do make it ... you can try your own hand at home-winemaking or create a delicious jelly, jam or gourmet meals with the fruit.

Florida's vineyards, wineries and flavorful wines ...

They're interesting parts of Florida history that few people know about ...

But one which more and more people are discovering.

It's a part of Florida ... beyond the beaches and amusement parks.

If we could send you a message in a bottle ...

It would simply say ...

Come sample our heritage ... and toast our good taste.

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