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Get A Taste Of Florida's Wine Industry

Bottles of wine produced in Florida, including some from Florida Orange Groves Winery and others produced by hobbyist winemaker Chuck

This program originally aired August 6, 2019

Many people may not realize that wine making in Florida is a billion-dollar industry. There are dozens of wineries across the state employing nearly 100,000 people, and university research departments dedicated to viticulture.

How can this hot, humid, fungus-friendly state support successful wine production? And how does the reputation of Florida wines stand up to wines grown elsewhere like California or New York?

We talk about whether Florida’s wine industry is economically viable on this week’s Florida Matters.


Our guests include:

•  Vince Shook, president of Florida Orange Groves Winery, which sells tropical fruit wines

•  Chuck Hollweg, non-commercial hobbyist grape grower and wine maker from Central Florida

•  Gina Birch, host of the WGCU podcast Grape Minds

Listen in as panelists sample some Florida wines and discuss more about the industry in an upcoming episode of WUSF's podcast The Zest, which will be available online Aug. 8.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
Robin is Senior Editor at WUSF, spearheading the station's podcasting initiatives and helping to guide the vision for special reporting projects and creative storytelling. She created The Zest, the station's podcast that's all about food, which she continues to host and serve as senior producer.
"I host a food podcast" is a great icebreaker at parties.