Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Florida

This was a very fun stop for my husband and I!  We had been making fruit wine for a couple of years and this winery uses the same techniques for the American grapes they use… as well as the other fruits.  Most of their offerings are pretty sweet, so keep that in mind.

In the middle of Florida outside of a small town called Lake Placid, there is a rustic cracker style barn set amidst vineyards of Muscadine grapes, high bush blue berry bushes and hydroponically grown strawberries.  There are a couple of pigs and lots of chickens running around, including into the shop as it is all open air.  Behind the shop is an enclosed building where harvested grapes are crushed.

Country, small, and lively, this winery’s forte is home-grown friendly wines, jellies and jams, as well as fun gifts or decor for your home.  We met Andrea, the Executive Assistant to Drew Jones & Brooke Bundy that own this adorable place.  Drew is the winemaker.

Henscratch Farm shop:
All of the fruit on the farm is utilized in the production of his wines: Blueberry Port and Country Strawberry are an example of fruit wines that are desserts themselves.  The American grapes for most of his wines come from this property, producing primarily sweet reds and whites.  These are award-winning wines in their category!  For such a small-scale operation, it produces fun wines meant for sharing.

Red Rooster, Barred Plymouth Rock

Wanting to create a drier red, Cabernet Sauvignon juice was blended with a red Muscadine; Red Rooster.  A freshly opened bottle smells and tastes much like a Syrah, but if left open without drinking this wine rapidly sours.  Andrea poured us a small amount of the ‘old’ bottle for comparison; it seems to taste like a Muscadine that continued to ferment with the sharp acid flavors that dominated it.  It was an interesting experiment, wishing them luck with further attempts; wine making is pure chemistry!

Their Country White tastes like an old vine Chardonnay or sweet Chennin Blanc, the Red Sunset has a spicy aroma and does indeed taste like dark chocolate, Golden Sunrise is a drier, but still sweet, white made from a varietal called Scuppernong.  Florida has such warm weather that most wines here need to be kept cool, most do well refrigerated.

This lovely winery is a bit off the main thoroughfares, but if you find yourself with some time on your hands in the middle of Florida it is certainly worth a visit.

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