About a year ago I mentioned to my friend & fellow travel lover that I was interested in touring a local winery in the Smoky Mountain Area. Since we both have visited the area frequently she mentioned that she has taken her entire family to local wineries for a tour and free wine tastings. Her children are the same age as mine so I though if she felt comfortable doing that, why shouldn’t I?
I thought it was a great idea and since then have taken both my children to local wineries while traveling. While visiting St. Augustine my entire family visited San Sebastian Winery. San Sebastian Winery is home to the award wining wine currently located in St. Augustine in one of Henry Flagler’s old East Coast Railway buildings located just a few blocks from historic downtown. If you are not aware of the historical relevance Henry Flagler has to the St. Augustine area (Google it) I will be sure to share as I continue my St. Augustine travel coverage.
We had a large group in our wine tasting but I think that made our experience more enjoyable. As you can see in our picture above, we had our wine tasting where we learned about pairing wines, In addition we were able to experience table, sparkling and dessert wines. I love dessert wines! From hybrids to muscadine wines, you can fine a dessert wine that suits your palette.
More than 100,000 visitors are expected to tour the winery this year. They also due to produce over 80,000 cases this year. From their vintage- dated varietals from hybrids, Stover and Blanc Du Bois Port to their Cream Sherry dessert wines you will not leave empty handed. Many of their wine labels have won many awards for excellence in winemaking. Over 300 have won awards thus far.
In addition to wine tastings and tours, San Sebastian also has live music at the “The Cellar Upstairs” Wine, Jazz & Blues Bar located on the rooftop of the Winery building. It is definitely St. Augustine’s best kept secret with locals. Even I didn’t notice it until we took the complimentary tour. The Celler Upstairs is open on weekends and features live music from local talent to regional Bands. While on the rooftop you can also enjoy the St. Augustine skyline. Music, Appetizers and wine create the perfect atmosphere to tourist and locals alike.
San Sebastian offers wine tasting and winery tours daily at no charge. We took the trolly directly to San Sebastian Winery and took the trolly back to our car at the end of the day. Both large trolly companies have direct stops to San Sebastian so save time and have a designated driver! Complimentary Winery tours and wine tasting are offered 7 days a week; Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. Our kids are older, 9 and 13 years old, so we took them alone. They sat in the corner and listened as we took our tour and enjoyed our wine tasting. My teenager said she knows more about wine and the science of wine making more than a 13 year old should. Well, I consider that Education Travel!
Have you tours a local winery? What were your thoughts?