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
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
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
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: "We take one grape, we are making a red wine and a
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."
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