V is for Viticulture in Florida
When we lived in southern Illinois, one of our favorite weekend activities--besides hiking--was visiting various vineyards and wineries located throughout the region. Viticulture has burgeoned into a vim-and-vinegar enterprise in Illinois over the past few decades. Here's a link to a YouTube video that explains some of the history behind the phenomenon. Quite a lot of the credit for the tremendous growth goes to partnerships established between industry leaders and university researchers. A great deal of public funding in the form of grants and low-interest loans has been made available over the past several decades for entrepreneurs to try their hand at winemaking. You might say it's a vin-vin situation for everyone concerned, including consumers like us.
Once we moved to Florida, I began to miss our weekend visits to the countryside to sample the fruit of the vine. Our first home in Florida, a rental place on Anastasia Island, afforded us a chance to stop by San Sebastian Winery in St. Augustine. There we discovered fine wines, yes, but a vineyard with rustic ambiance? No.
Center for Viticultural Sciences and Small Fruit, which has been in existence since 1978.
So why is there a veritable vacuum or void of any viable vineyards close to Tallahassee? The consumer base is here, believe me. The student population alone could drain a thousand casks an hour or more if given the chance.
I guess lately the economy has placed public funding in peril or over a barrel. The think tank is in place. It's just missing someone with the vision to make it all happen here like it has in southern Illinois. A certain joie de vin--along with vast amounts of cash--is all that's required. So is anyone out there interested in vineyard investing?
Please visit A to Z Blogging Challenge for links to more "V's" from Challenge hosts and other writers.