In the 16th-Century, Spanish missionaries planted the first vines to use as a sacramental wine in what is now present-day Florida. Therefore, the Sunshine State has always been considered as the original vinicultural area in regard to winemaking in the United States. However, many of the wine varietals introduced by the Spanish and French did not fare well in the tropical climate and with the passage of time, the production of wine completely vanished into history. But all was not lost because a group of scientists in the 1930s developed hybrids which could withstand the humid and tempestuous Florida climate. Since then, these varietals with names like Swanee, Blanc du Bois, Chardonnel, Caribe, Merlan, Lomanto and the aptly named Daytona have all thrived under the hot Caribbean sun.
Fruit Wine & More
Beyond the Grape does not always feature these hybrid grapes, as the knowledgeable vendors still sell red wines from traditional grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, Syrah, etc., and the bottles have appellations from the most prominent winemaking regions around the world. In addition to the superb selection of traditional vino, Beyond the Grape is also an excellent purveyor of fruit wines. With options that combine Riesling with fresh Green Apples, Bing Cherry & Cabernet Sauvignon, Cranberry & Malbec, Dragon Fruit with White Shiraz, the amount of variety is quite impressive. For example, the range of wine is categorized into tropical, berry and citrus varieties, and no two bottles ever taste exactly the same. Moreover, fruit wines are made by the same method used in more traditional wines, and in fact, the sparkling fruit wines at Beyond the Grape are perfect on any warm summer day.
Muscadine & Mead
The wine shop also has two additional beverages which aren’t that common, muscadine and mead. Muscadine takes its name from the grape varietal native to the southeastern United States, and though it has traditionally been considered a lesser grape, the qualities and characteristics it displays when converted into a rosé could rival the flavor of those more famous ones made in Provence. Mead is an ancient drink traditionally made from honey, but at Beyond the Grape visitors can find a bottle made with hibiscus, hops, apple, ginger and plenty of spices. The two international varieties of mead on the shelves hail from Bilund, Denmark and Bunratty, Ireland, respectively. The shop also has local mead which comes from the Royal Manor Meadery in Interlachen, Florida.
Located inside the Cordova Mall, Beyond the Grape also offers fortified wines such as port and madeira which are also combined with fruit. Additionally, visitors must try one of the innovative adult ‘smoothies’ served from behind the bar. The flavors are incredible and they are definitely worth a try. So, whether you are looking for a traditional red or white wine, a fruit-infused beverage or a tasting flight of mead, Beyond the Grape is a one-of-a-kind experience and not your typical wine shop.