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Local wineries bring Napa Valley feel to the Tampa Bay Area

Wineries in Florida
Posted at 2:50 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 18:36:19-04

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Living in the Tampa Bay Area, many people tend to travel to the obvious popular spots in the state. However, there are several places right in our backyard to kick back, relax, and save a little money.

Off the beaten path just off the Veterans Expressway in Spring Hill you will find Strong Tower Winery. Owner Terry McKnight quit his chiropractic business and decided to become a vintner 20 years ago. ABC Action News asked McKnight what he knew about wine before he owned the farm. He said, “I knew I liked to drink it that’s about all.”

Strong Tower is just one in a trail of vineyards and wineries with tasting rooms right here in the Bay Area. Bunker Hill Winery in Palmetto offers up sweet wines and off-the-wall flavors. Florida Orange Groves Winery in South Pasadena serves up 100% tropical, citrus and berry wine.

Florida Wineries

McKnight told ABC Action news that Florida’s climate, and the hills and soil of North Pasco County are like Sicily. While they do sweet wines here at Strong Tower, they also grow Ison grapes for Pinot Noir and Chianti-style wines. Strong Tower's traditional reds and whites have won multiple awards. And their popular Rose sells out quickly too.

“The last couple of years we've seen a lot of folks relocating to this area from other areas and they're not sweet wine folks. They're wanting something a little more classic and more traditional,” explained McKnight.

You can learn more about Strong Tower Winery here.