Florida wineries continue to amaze me, and Schnebly's is no exception.
The Redlands is a very large agricultural area about 20 miles south of Miami. The area is loaded with farms and fields, and many old houses dating back to the early twentieth century.
The area gets its name from the clayey red soil that dominates the area.
This soil lies on a layer of oolitic limestone, and is nourished with fresh water from the Biscayne Aquifer.
Exotic plants and vegetables thrive in this soil that will not grow any place else in the United States. The area has intrigued botanists and horticulturists for years.
After driving many quiet miles through farmland with fields of tropical fruits and palm trees, Schneblys finally appears by the side of the road as if in a mirage.
It is worth the trip, and as in many experiences, getting there is half the fun.
Schnebly Redland's Winery is a relatively new winery, and is considered the southernmost of all Florida wineries. Eden Vineyards near Fort Myers used to have that distinction until Schnebly opened its doors.
Peter and Denise Schnebly have a produce company, Fresh King, Inc. They had a vision of starting an agro-tourism business featuring their 96 acres of tropical fruits such as carambola, mango, Lychee, guava, passion fruit and gourmet vegetables.
They started experimenting with making wine from these exotic fruits in their garage in 2003 and have expanded rapidly into today's modern immaculate facility. Today their winery is very successful, and is a destination for many tours. Local folks also use the facilities for wedding receptions and community events.
The buildings and grounds are beautifully maintained, and there are a couple of fountains and waterfalls located among the lush tropical plantings that surround the building.
The retail store and wine tasting areas are up front. Private labels for wine can be ordered, and wine gift baskets are also available.
Schneblys is also set up to process orders from customers interested in buying wine online.
Like many Florida wineries, Schneblys has a busy event calendar. In addition to wine tasting events open to the public, Shneblys also hosts many private soirees like wedding receptions or family reunions.
The entire winery has a wonderful relaxed feeling about it.Homestead, Florida is the nearest town to Schnebly, and it is also an easy interesting drive from Miami.