Eden Vineyards and Winery - Try the delicious wines from the southernmost vineyard in the United States!
UPDATE DECEMBER 2013: I have just found out and am so sorry to report that Earl and Mildred Kiser decided to retire and closed Eden's doors for the last time on December 5, 2013. We wish them well!
We had gone over one day to the power plant in Ft Myers by way of Palm Beach Blvd, Route 80, heading east from exit 141 on I-75, to see the manatees at Manatee Park in Ft Myers and saw signs for the vineyard.
After enjoying watching the manatees, we decided to continue our adventure for the day and go check out the vineyard.
There were plenty of signs and found the winery easily several miles further east in the town of Alva. We drove down Little Lane, a right off of Route 80 and turned into the winery property.
And sure enough, there were the vineyards. I have to say, it was a little strange to see such a sight here in sunny and hot Florida. I had lived in Vienna, Austria when I was a teenager, and we lived in a neighborhood surrounded by vineyards on rolling hills.
You expect to see vineyards in Austria ..... but not outside of Ft Myers, or anywhere in Southwest Florida for that matter!
Especially when the vineyard has trees draped with Spanish Moss .......... and cows grazing amongst the rows!
There were lots of cows grazing in the vineyards and I don't know ..... I thought the whole place was quite charming.
We went up a wooden walkway to a porch covered with rocking chairs ..... this made me think I was somewhere out west.
We were pleasantly surprised with the winery's wine and gift shop. Several members of our party participated in a wine tasting and we toured the vat rooms.
In the early 1900's, attempts to grow wine grapes in Florida failed due to a bacterial disease. Hybrids were developed by researchers to produce a plant that would be immune to the disease and yet make fine wines.
No one dared such a risky venture until the Kiser family bought some of the hybrid cuttings in the 1970's from the University of Florida. It took them until 1985 to produce a wine fine enough to sell, and in 1986 Eden Vineyards and Winery became official.
You can now enjoy 7 wines with a variety of types for the casual wine drinker and the most discerning of connoisseurs:
My parents tasted the Lake Emerald and Alva Rouge, they thought the wine was delicious and bought a bottle of the white.
Prices run at under $13 for all wines except for the Edelweiss, which costs just under $16 for a bottle. You can buy cases of 12 or half-cases of 6 and them shipped to most states.
So, if you're looking for things to do in Fort Myers, or are interested in checking out Florida wineries, head over to Eden:
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