Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Savor at Catania’s Winery in Englewood, Florida
Pulling into the Englewood, Fla., industrial park, I honestly thought it was an odd location for Catania’s Winery and wondered how the wine would taste. Wine snobs’ noses wrinkle when I mention Florida-made wine. While the idea of grapefruit and key lime wine seems intriguing and delicious, it’s definitely an acquired taste.
Florida has several wineries, some producing wine from exotic fruit such as Schnebly Redland’s Winery in Homestead (their avocado wine is quite delightful) while others make it from Florida grapes, such as Monticello Vineyards & Winery in Monticello (crafted with organic muscadine grapes grown on the vineyards).
Not Your Typical Florida Winery
Catania’s Winery isn’t like other Florida wineries. Grapes are imported from California and Europe to make award-winning Sauvignon Blancs and Cabernet Sauvignons. I don’t have a nose or palate for wine but I know what I like. Some wines I’ve tasted have a little bit of a bite but not Catania’s wines. Both the white and red are extremely smooth and delicious.
John Catania, owner and winemaker, has been making wine for more than 40 years, learning from his Sicilian grandfather. Later in life, he took courses to learn the art of winemaking. Originally from Connecticut and seasonal Englewood resident, John and his wife Margherita now call the Southwest Florida community their full-time home and opened the winery to the public in Aug. 2011.
Genie in a Bottle?
Space is tight yet utilized well. Three, 500-gallon wine vats dominate the space and share it with bottling and pressing equipment along with a sweet tasting area and kitchen. Although the huge wine vats dominate the space, the first thing you’ll notice is the incredible bottle collection throughout the winery.
I’m just not talking about typical wine bottles but others that come in shapes of critters and buildings and a variety of shapes and colors. Dale Sanders, a collectibles bottle expert and travel journalist, was with me and several bottles caught his eye.
The winery crafts and distributes wine to restaurants, offers wine making classes, sells wine making equipment for those interested in setting up their own home winery, and sells cold press extra virgin olive oil from Italy.
Catania’s Winery is open for wine tastings for those 21-years-old and older, Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. or by appointment so you can swirl, sniff, sip and savor their delicious wine. It’s a great place to spend a Southwest Florida afternoon to either escape the heat or rain. Cheers1
524 Paul Morris Drive, Suite B
Englewood, Fla. 34223
Wine is available for sale, cash only.
Disclosure: This post contains links with hopes of supporting my traveling habit.