|The Wine Guy at Keel and Curley Winery|
in Plant City Florida
Between spending two months in Ecuador and a current one month trip to Thailand, The Wine Guy took a sojurn to visit family in Florida. While there, my son and his girlfriend joined and the entire family took a day off from helping my stepmother downsize her home to visit the beach.
Never missing the opportunity to visit a new winery or to sample new wines, we stopped on our return from the Gulf Coast in Plant City and visited Keel and Curley Winery. This is one of
about a dozen viable wineries now in the state of Florida. While not reknown for its wines, Florida is one of two states that lays claim to having the first winery in what is now the
United States. It's a very close call between the Spanish missionaries in southwest Texas and the French Huegenots in St. Augustine, Florida.
In any case, Florida wines are distinctively fruit driven and indeed, many are based on fruits
other than grapes. at Keel and Curley however, the wines are grape fermented but nearly all
have fruit juice added. The winery is very matter of fact and forward on declaring that these are, indeed, fruit driven and fruit "enhanced" wines. They make no apology what-so-ever about the fruitiness of their wines but don't feel like you can call them " fruit bombs" while
you're in the tasting room.
In several cases, the grapes, or at least the juice of the grapes utilized in making their wine is sourced from outside Florida. They have bottled one wine based on adding Florida
fruit juices a fermented Symphony, that unique grape developed by the University of California ag department. The tasting room steward informed me however that due to availability of juice issues, the current vintage inventory would be their last.
Their absolute best effort is a rose of Zinfandel enhanced with strawberry juice from local fields. it's a refreshing killer. They also have a fairly unique Cabernet Sauvignon infused with blackberry juice.
If you occasionally enjoy a fresh, fruit forward and fruit driven wine (and they are somewhat
suited to south Florida's heat and humidity!), you may want to sample Keel & Curley from Plant
city, Florida. You'll find the brand not only at the winery, but at many reailers in central Florida, as well as Publix stores statewide.
|The accessory table at the Keel & Curley Tasting Room|