Episode 28

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards - Clermont, FL Pt. 3

COO Barry Hus, explains the adventure of a tour at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards.

So in our typical guided tour, when I say that they stay within the building, our main building is fairly large. It has a second floor, they go up into the theater. It's a church pew style. They sit and watch the film. It's about 10 minutes. It goes through the history of wine and winemaking in Florida and how we got involved in it. Then there are walkways that go across our production area and from the walkways. They can see our bottling line and our tanks and the processes and the pumps and everything and the workers down below. The guide would explain to them what's going on. We have cold stabilization going on or we've got bottling, going on, or whatever might be happening at the time. They then walk outside. We have an outdoor balcony on the back of the building that overlooks our crushed deck and the vineyard so they can see the vineyards from there. They can see the crushed deck and the equipment, the presses, pumps, and all that kind of stuff. And depending on the time of year, like right now, we just finished pressing the last of our grapes yesterday. So from August and early September, they can see the grapes being crushed. The rest of the time, they will see the vineyards in full bloom or dormant, you know, depending on the time of the year, and the guide will talk to them about that. They don't go out into the vineyard. And then from there, they come across another walkway mezzanine. Generally, Monday through Thursday, we're bottling. They can see the bottling line in action and then from there they go into the main part of the retail shop where our tasting counter is. Customers can get up close to the vines out in our festival area. They can walk right up to the vineyard and see the vines and the grapes and things like that.

Pre-covid, in 2019, I see where Florida had over 130,000,000 million visitors, tourists. So out of those people, when they visit the winery, are you seeing some kind of commonality between the novice and the expert in your visitorship?

Yeah, there's a commonality and they do run that full gamut, you know, from people who are very curious and have never seen it to people who have seen hundreds of them, you know, have been all over the world and seen them. I think the commonality is the surprise that something like this exists in Florida. Nobody thinks Florida is having any kind of wine industry at all, let alone something that's of this size. And then the flavor of the wine is so uniquely different from anything else that they're going to taste, and even people who generally are dry drinkers are surprised at it. It's a sweet wine, but it's more of a fruit-forward, kind of a sweetness and not like a sugary sweetness to it. We serve it chilled. It's very refreshing. It's something that goes well with the Florida climate.

Transcript
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Welcome, to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast.

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I'm your host, Forrest Kelly, from the seed to the glass wine has a past.

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Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around

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the globe. After all, grape minds think alike.

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Let's start the adventure.

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Our featured winery is we continue our conversation with Barry House of Florida's largest

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winery, Lake Ridge Winery and Vineyards.

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Let's touch on just a little bit about what kind of experience when somebody comes to the

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winery and they plan on spending a good amount of time, what will they be doing?

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So in our typical guided tour, when I say that they stay within the building, our main

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building is fairly large.

Speaker:

It has a second floor, they go up into the theater.

Speaker:

It's a church pew style.

Speaker:

They sit and watch the film.

Speaker:

It's about 10 minutes.

Speaker:

It goes through the history of wine and winemaking in Florida and how we got involved in

Speaker:

it. Then there are walkways that go across our production area and from the walkways.

Speaker:

They can see our bottling line and our tanks and the processes and the pumps and

Speaker:

everything and the workers down below.

Speaker:

The guide would explain to them what's going on.

Speaker:

We have cold stabilization going on or we've got bottling, going on, or whatever might be

Speaker:

happening at the time.

Speaker:

They then walk outside.

Speaker:

We have an outdoor balcony on the back of the building that overlooks our crushed deck

Speaker:

and the vineyard so they can see the vineyards from there.

Speaker:

They can see the crushed deck and the equipment, the presses, pumps and all that kind of

Speaker:

stuff. And depending on the time of year, like right now, we just finished pressing the

Speaker:

last of our grapes yesterday.

Speaker:

So from August and early September, they can see the grapes being crushed.

Speaker:

The rest of the time, they will see the vineyards in full bloom or dormant, you know,

Speaker:

depending on the time of the year, and the guide will talk to them about that.

Speaker:

They don't actually go out into the vineyard.

Speaker:

And then from there they come across another walkway mezzanine.

Speaker:

Generally, Monday through Thursday, we're bottling.

Speaker:

They can see the bottling line in action and then they from there they go into the the

Speaker:

main part of the retail shop where our tasting counter is.

Speaker:

Customers can get up close to the vines out in our festival area.

Speaker:

They can walk right up to the vineyard and see the vines and the grapes and things like

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that.

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That sounds like a great experience getting to see all of those activities, those

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sensations. Now to become Florida's largest winery.

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I'm sure you've probably had to overcome some obstacles, maybe.

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Or is it just on how you view things?

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There really hasn't been one.

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It's been. We've had some challenges like COVID.

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We've had some things come up along the way that but you know, that's business.

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That's it doesn't matter whether you're in the wine industry or printing business or

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you're making tractors or whatever, you know, things come up and that's the job of upper

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management to make sure that the employees are prepared, that the building is ready to

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go, that you have the proper equipment.

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I tell people my job is to make sure everybody else has what they need to do their job

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and it's gone.

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I'm going to knock on wood here.

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It's gone pretty smooth considering, you know, all the challenges.

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We have really good people.

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That is the key.

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Every problem that you have in your business, it's a people problem.

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Like, if you have the right people, you can solve any kind of problem.

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The first thing you have to do is really make sure that you get the proper people in

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place and all the jobs, as they say, the right people on the seats and the bus kind of a

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thing.

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Pre-covid, in twenty nineteen, I see where Florida had over one hundred thirty million

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visitors, tourists.

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So out of those people, when they visit the winery, are you seeing some kind of

Speaker:

commonality between the novice and the expert in your visitorship?

Speaker:

Yeah, there's a commonality and they do run that full gamut, you know, from people who are

Speaker:

very curious and have never seen it to people who have seen hundreds of them, you know,

Speaker:

have been all over the world and seen them.

Speaker:

I think the commonality is the surprise that something like this exists in Florida.

Speaker:

Nobody thinks Florida is having any kind of wine industry at all, let alone something

Speaker:

that's of this size.

Speaker:

And then the flavor of the wine is so uniquely different from anything else that they're

Speaker:

going to taste, and even people who generally are dry drinkers are surprised at it.

Speaker:

It's a sweet wine, but it's more of a fruit-forward, kind of a sweetness and not like a

Speaker:

sugary sweetness to it.

Speaker:

We serve it chilled.

Speaker:

It's very refreshing.

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It's something that goes well with the Florida climate.

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Will somebody answer that phone?

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It's time boys and girls for our listener voicemail.

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Hi, this is Caryn from Great Falls, Montana.

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And I just kind of wondering what wine is good for the body, good for my health?

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If you're in it for the health aspect.

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Pinot Noir is hands down the number one grape as it has the highest level of resveratrol,

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which is an antioxidant, and in clinical studies that have been shown to lower bad

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cholesterol and blood pressure.

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And it's been shown to have lower sugar content and fewer calories.

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Thank you for listening.

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I'm Forrest Kelley.

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This episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by IHYSM.

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If you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe.

About the Podcast

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The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast
The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is a weekly podcast by Forrest Kelly exploring wineries around the world. We take 5 minutes and give you wine conversation starters and travel destinations. In addition, you'll hear candid interviews from those shaping...

About your host

Profile picture for Forrest Kelly

Forrest Kelly

The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is a weekly podcast by Forrest Kelly exploring wineries around the world. We take 5 minutes and give you wine conversation starters and travel destinations. In addition, you'll hear candid interviews from those shaping the wine field. Join us as we become inspired by their search for extraordinary wine and wineries.
WELP Magazine recognized the podcast as one of the best Travel Podcasts of 2021.