A Day at Schnebly: Miami’s Tropical Winery & Brewery

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By: Shayne Benowitz

Drive an hour south from Downtown Miami and you’ll find yourself on long country roads surrounded by acres of farmland, lush palm trees and a vast blue sky. This is South Dade’s Redland area. It’s Miami’s countryside and it’s a different world from the glittering skyline and hustle and bustle of city life. Here, you’ll find the heartland of Miami’s farm-to-table culinary movement, a place where many top chefs go for local produce like strawberries, tomatoes and honey. It’s where to go when you crave wide open spaces, time spent in nature and a break from the big city’s nonstop energy.

The Redland is also home to Schnebly Redland’s Winery, a massive estate with a novel, subtropical approach to winemaking. Instead of producing wines using grapes, Peter Schnebly, a farmer and the founder of the winery, creates wines made from local tropical fruit – mangos, lychee, passionfruit, guava, starfruit, coconuts and even avocado. Over the years, Schnebly’s vision has evolved to become a unique gastronomic destination, home to not only his winery, but also the Miami Brewing Co. and The Redlander Restaurant.

wine barrels
Discover Peter Schnebly's tropical wine creations

Schnebly Redland’s Winery is Born

Growing up in New York’s Finger Lakes wine country, Schnebly worked in vineyards from the age of 13, but he always dreamed of living near the Florida Keys, “where Flipper is from,” he says. He made the move to Miami in the 1990s and started a fruit-packing business, eventually buying 100 acres of farmland and growing fruit himself.

Frustrated with the idea of throwing away produce with blemishes that wouldn’t sell at market, he consulted a boutique winemaker, eventually producing his first fruit wine in 2004. He opened Schnebly Redland’s Winery the next year and, in 2012, he added brewmaster to his already impressive resume with the establishment of the Miami Brewing Co. The whole operation is Schnebly’s idea of a tropical paradise. “It’s an escape from normal life, cell phones, traffic, noise pollution, cement,” he explains.

Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery Koi pond and tiki hut
Explore beautiful grounds complete with koi pond and tiki hut

A Visit to the Winery

The winery is built in a vernacular architectural style, using materials found in abundance in Greater Miami & Miami Beach, with limestone walls and a thatch palm roof. The façade is reminiscent of a Napa winery, in a grand Colonial Revival style with columns and a shaded portico. The pathway leading to the front door is lined with grand palms and purple flowers with a bubbling, tiered fountain as the centerpiece. Across the street, the vineyard stretches on, shaded by blossoming royal poinciana trees. Inside the winery, the tasting room opens up to a lushly landscaped courtyard complete with a waterfall.

Guided tours of the winery and brewery are available on weekends and by appointment. Schnebly also hosts a robust calendar of events to make your visit extra-special, with activities including live music, goat yoga, golden hour happy hour, food truck meetups, karaoke and country line dancing.

Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery wine tasting bar
Experience Schnebly's tropical fruit wines at a wine tasting

Tasting Wine

A visit to Schnebly starts with tasting wines from its portfolio of more than 20 varieties, with groupings including sweet, off-dry and dry. As you taste, you’ll notice a hint of the tropical source fruit combined with familiar wine properties. Sample the mango wine, which has the buttery texture of Chardonnay with sweet hints of mango. The Avovino, made from avocados, has a crisp texture with a citrus nose and a young, green flavor, reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. On the sweeter side, there are guava, lychee and carambola (starfruit) wines. For red wine devotees, the Cat 2 and Cat 3 Hurricane blends combine a variety of tropical fruits for unique flavor profiles. If you’re in the mood for something bubbly, try the semi-sweet sparkling lychee or sparkling passion.

Once you’ve discovered your preferred tropical fruit wines, order a glass to enjoy in the courtyard and purchase a bottle or a case to take home as a souvenir. If you consider yourself an oenophile, Schnebly’s offers a wine club where you’ll receive a variety of wines delivered to your home throughout the year.

Mia Brewing Co Hops
Enjoy craft beers inspired by Miami's cultures & flavors at Miami Brewing Co.

Craft Beer

At the 10,000-square-foot Miami Brewing Co. taproom, enjoy a flight of some amazing, one-of-a-kind craft beers with clever names highlighting Miami's culture and flavors, such as Big Rod Coconut Blonde Ale, Shark Bait Wheat Ale and Vice IPA, along with a rotating selection of seasonal suds. Want to take some of the delicious flavors home with you? Ask for a growler – a 32-ounce glass container filled directly from the tap and sealed for freshness – it will stay fresh for two to three days after you open it.

If you can’t make it down to the Redland for the full experience, look for Miami Brewing Co. beer on tap at many restaurants in Greater Miami & Miami Beach.

Redlander lychee
Try farm-fresh cuisine with a Miami take at The Redlander

The Restaurant

For those planning to visit on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, consider making a reservation at The Redlander, the winery’s open-air, farm-to-table restaurant set beneath a thatched palm canopy on the lawn. The restaurant specializes in farm-fresh cuisine and local produce with a tropical Miami twist. Sample smoked fish dip, conch fritters and a surf and turf wagyu burger served with grilled shrimp – with plenty of Schnebly Redland’s wine and Miami Brewing Co. beer to go around. There's also a vegan menu for guests who follow a plant-based diet.

Wine, beer and farm-to-table cuisine in the lush subtropics – Peter Schnebly got it right!

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