Thursday, April 7, 2011

Travel Tip: Keel & Curley Winery in Plant City, FL

Since I'm going on the beach theme this week... I'm happy to introduce Keel & Curley Winery in Plant City, FL.  Conveniently located off I-4, the winery is a lot of fun during the hot spring/summer months in Florida when everyone is traveling down to Orlando to see Disney World.  (It's like... fun for adults!)  For a $5 tasting fee, you get to try every wine on their list and 4 different Wine Freezes.

We're Not in Napa Valley Anymore!  
Welcome to one of Florida's Best Wineries!
(Photo by author)

Welcome Entrance to Keel & Curley Winery
(Photo by author)

Keel & Curley specializes in blueberry wine, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of quality of their blueberry wines.  They were quite yummy.  I actually think they'd be great for making sangria, which I'm going to attempt this coming weekend... more on that later.  :)  But, they make 3 different blueberry wines: 1 dry, 1 semi-sweet (my fav), and 1 sweet.  All the blueberries are from their 25 acres of blueberry fields, and they are picked year-round. 

Semi-Dry Blueberry Wine
Semi-Dry Blueberry Wine Label
(Photo from Keel & Curley Winery website)

All grapes are imported from California, and make nice backbones to their fruit fusion wines (grape/fruit blends).  Some of my favorites were the Black Raspberry Merlot, Key West Key Lime (quite an interesting wine!), Mango Mama, and Strawberry Riesling.  I should note that the winery tries to use all local fruits to match with the grapes.

Key West Key Lime
Key West - Key Lime Wine Label
(Photo from Keel & Curley Winery Website)

But... the best part of the fusion wines is when they make one into a Wine Freeze.  Instant yum!  Not only do you get the refreshing taste of a wine cocktail, but the coldness makes the heat seem more bearable (if you aren't used to Florida weather!).  These things are perfect to sip by the pool - add some fresh fruit and you have yourself a day of fun and relaxation.  Want to make your own Wine Freezes?  No problem - Keel & Curley sells the mix in the winery.

Enjoying a shot of Wine Freeze in our tasting

Friday nights are "Happy Hour" nights at the winery.  Filled with lots of drinks - wines, beer, and juice for kids - live music, and catered food, these nights are sure to please.  Ultra bonus - you won't be breaking the bank here.  Most wines are sold around $12 to $15 per bottle.  And as sweeter wines are what most wine consumers prefer, you'll find yourself an array of selections here (although I should not - the sweetness is very well balanced in many of these wines... not overly sweet for those "serious" wine drinkers - lighten up and have some fun!).  So if you find yourself somewhere near Tampa or Orlando, I highly recommend a stop at Keel & Curley Winery.  We surely enjoyed ourselves!

Retention Pond, Cypress Trees, Oak Trees, and Muscadine Grapes
A Floridian Winery
(Photo by author)
Side note - the winery only uses muscadines for display purposes =)

1 comment:

  1. I love wine freezers. I had them for the first time in Oregon at Del Rio Winery and then again last week in Virginia! I think this would be such a fun trip for sure! Do you think the blueberry wine could substitute Petit verdot in Bordeaux blends ;) j/k!