Cool Vineyards Within A Short Drive of Tampa

The summer months call for great wines. But why travel to Martha's Vineyard when there are vineyards in our own backyard? While there are many businesses that produce their own wine in the area, few harvest their own fruits to make their wine.

In a short drive, you can have a piece of wine country within your grasp. While you may wonder about the quality of the wine, these wines are distributed across the country and the world and have even been recognized in competitions. So pace yourself and spread your visits out over the next couple of months. (Safety first. No drinking and driving.) You are in for a treat.

Keel & Curley Winery

Keel & Curley Winery is located in eastern Hillsborough county just East of Tampa, Florida in Plant City. Keel & Curley has been producing wine from locally grown produce since 2003. Open 7 days a week, visitors can do a wine tasting, visit the manufacturing facility and on the right day enjoy trivia, food truck or a guest band. Go by yourself or with a group, there are always plenty of activities that occur on a regular basis.

Strong Tower Vineyard & Winery

Strong Tower Vineyard & Winery is located in Pasco county just North of Tampa, Florida in Spring Hill. Strong Tower is a family-owned Florida certified farm winery and is known for its variety of grapes. Besides U-pick season, visitors can enjoy wine by the glass or bottle at events open to the public. Strolling the vineyard also makes for a great date night activity.

Rosa Fiorelli Winery, Inc

Rosa Fiorelli Winery, Inc. is a family-owned business located just south of Lake Manatee in eastern Manatee County. Open since 1998, the owners relocated from Casteldaccia, Sicily. They earned over 100 awards in international wine competitions. With complimentary tastings on their 10-acre property, guests can enjoy lunch tours on the weekend.

There are many companies in the area producing their own wines, spirits and beers. In fact, they should be applauded for helping to make our area even better. However, there is something even more special when you get to walk the land producing the backdrop of our summer memories.

Are there any other vineyards in the area not listed above? List them in the comments below.

Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of "Because You're Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation" which is sold online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.