We have a hidden gem near the lakes and rolling hills of eastern Manatee County in Florida.

Thanks to a recommendation from Javier, chef-owner of Javier’s Restaurant and Wine Bar on Siesta Key, I enjoyed a unique tour and experienced award-winning wines. I look forward to returning after a trip to California’s Temecula wine region to hand pick fresh grapes. The bronze and red Muscadine grapes will be in season from August 15 until early September.

Vineyard owners Rosa and Antonio moved to Manatee from Sicily. They were struck by the similarities in mid coast Florida to their native land. A few rows of a bunch of grapes in their back yard garden grew into a ten acre productive vineyard and winery.

It was a warm night when I visited Javier’s for a few Peruvian tapas. Javier buys his premier meats from the same place I do, The Sarasota Sausage Company in Gulf Gate. He recommended the silver award winning Blanc Du Bois. This young, dry white paired perfectly with the spicy sausage bites. Notes of grapefruit and green apple jumped in my mouth at first sip.

Another favorite is the bronze awarded Southern Red Reserve. My favorite Zinfandel grape is blended for a robust flavor, ideal with Javier’s rich and spicy peppercorn steak. This week a small group of international food lovers will meet to sample Javier’s 4 course tapas dinner special. Even on a warm summer weeknight, Javier’s had a full house in their charming dining room.

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The Fiorelli Winery and Javier’s Restaurant and Wine Bar are ideal places to visit with the family or out of town guests any time of year.

Call the winery for hours and to schedule a special tour or party in their pavilion surrounded by grapevines

Rosa and Antonio Fiorelli

Rosa Fiorelli Winery, Inc.

4250 CR 675

Bradentown, FL 34211

Email: rfwinery1998@aol.com

http://www.fiorelliwinery.com/

Mary and Javier Arana

Javier’s Peruvian Restaurant and Wine Bar

6621 Midnight Pass Road

Sarasota, FL. 34242

www.javiersrestaurant.com

Brenda C. Hill


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