Story: Debbi Kiddy
In January, Lakeridge Winery presents one of the highlights of the year in this area—the Winter Music Series. Every Saturday this month, from 1-4 p.m., you can stroll through the rolling green hills of Clermont under a bright Florida sky and enjoy some of the many talented musicians from the area.
It’s always a treat to see the fields of luscious red and purple grapes, glass in hand while you sip the award-winning homegrown wines. The music just adds something special to the atmosphere surrounding all this beauty.
Officially opened in 1989, the Lakeridge Winery and Vineyard grows native varieties of Welder Muscadines, bronze Carlos, and red Noble grapes on their 127-acre estate in Clermont. There are also the Florida hybrid grapes—Stover, Suwannee, and Blanc Du Bois. The Lakeridge Winery estate covers 127 acres, but they also own another 450 in the Florida panhandle known as Prosperity Vineyards.
The winery produces more than 100,000 cases of wine, which equates to more than 1 million bottles. You’ll also find their brand wines in major supermarkets and wine shops throughout Florida. In addition, Lakeridge and Lakeridge Reserve labels have won more than 600 awards for excellence in winemaking.
Haven’t experienced the fun of learning all about wine? Take the time to enjoy one of the complimentary tours offered seven days a week. Tour Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The last tours begin at approximately 4 p.m., so be sure to plan accordingly.
The educational tours run every 15 minutes and last approximately 45-50 minutes. Included is a video presentation of the total process in making the wine—from the grape harvesting to the bottling of the wine—as well as a guided tour of the production area and a balcony view of the beautiful vineyards.
Then comes the amazing part of the tour when you have the opportunity to taste a variety of award-winning wines ranging from dry to sweet and sparkling. Brands you are privileged to taste include: Chablis, Chardonnay, Cuvee Blanc, Cuvee Noir, Pink Crescendo, Southern White, Southern Red, and Sunblush. In addition to the complimentary winery tour and tastings, Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks, and a variety of food are available for purchase.
Finally, you’ll want to select from the well-stocked shop of wines, gourmet foods, gift baskets, or gift certificates for every budget. Hint: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.
Bring your favorite lawn chair to enjoy the music offered during the month of January and toast yourself for finding such good entertainment so close to home.
Performers for the Events
Airtight, an invigorating interfusion of funk/jazz/pop/world music. Founded in the Tampa area in 1989 by vocalist/drummer Marc Clermont, Airtight moved to Orlando in 1994, and was joined by bassist/vocalist/producer Robert Wawoe and dynamic keyboardist/composer Ed Krout. They continue to electrify audiences wherever they perform.
Old Skool, R&B, soul, and funk. (information coming soon)
Beautiful Bobby Blackmon & the B3 Blues Band play contemporary southern soul/blues and classic R&B music. In the past, they were the opening act for Buddy Guy and the legendary BB King. Band members include: Jack Bumgarner (keyboard), Jimmy Seay (bass) and Curtis Nutall (drums). Come enjoy their high-energy show.
Tory Wynter is an internationally acclaimed ambassador of World Music. He’s an award-winning singer, composer, arranger, music producer, and recording artist. Originally from Jamaica, Tory has several songs that hit the No. 1 position on the Billboard Music Charts.