Thursday, February 21, 2008
Style File: Miami Winery
This weekend, people will be sniffing and swirling their way through the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, but if you don't have tickets to the sold-out event, don't despair. In today's Style File, Seven's Belkys Nerey shows us how you can still enjoy wine country here all year long.
WSVN -- When you think of wine country, you don't think of Miami.
Alex Paredes: "As you know, Miami is not grape country, but Miami does produce the best fruit in North America."
But there's a winery in Miramar putting South Florida on the wine map. Forget your reds and whites, the Miami Winery specializes in making vino with fruit grown right here in our subtropical climate.
Alex Paredes: "This tropical fruit wine, which has been winning a lot of gold medals around the country."
Think mango, guava and lychee.
Alex Paredes: "We grow all of our fruits in our family farms down in the East Everglades area. The soil is very organic."
You can tour their winery for free and see how they ferment, bottle and label the wine. Even the wine bottles are designed around South Florida with an Art Deco look, but the best part of the tour is the tasting.
Dolores Lugo-Jimenez: "I love it. I mean as soon as I pick up the glass and put it near your nose, you can just smell the fruit."
Alex Jimenez: "The rich flavor, the aroma and how smooth is when you drink it."
The students from FIU's School of Hospitality are also getting involved in the wine-making process.
Professor Barry Gump: "We take one grape, we are making a red wine and a white wine."
Professor Barry Gump, who's teaching a wine and beer-making class at the university, had merlot grapes flown in from California. He and his class then worked with the Schnebly Winery in the Redlands to make two wines.
Carolina Semborain: "The red merlot was very nice. The flavors were very intense. It has a beautiful bouquet aroma."
The students watched their wine ferment, then bottled it, and, of course, gave it a smell and taste test.
Carolina Semborain: "It was interesting to be part of the process and feel how that wine comes alive."
The students wine works will be on display at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival this weekend.
Professor Barry Gump: "The wines will be there. They will be poured by the students. I'll be there in case there are questions about the beverage program."
So everyone can have a taste of Miami.
Belkys Nerey: "In the future, FIU is hoping to offer classes to the public on wine and beer-making. As for the Miami Winery, all you do is give them a call to set up a tour."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
11341 Interchange Circle, S.
Miramar, FL 33025
FIU School of Hospitality