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

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By: Shayne Benowitz

Visit Schnebly Winery and Brewery in Miami's Redland Area

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, Miami’s countryside and a far cry from the glittering skyline and hustle and bustle of city life. It’s the heartland of Miami’s farm-to-table culinary movement, where many top chefs forage for local produce including strawberries, tomatoes and honey. And it’s where you can go when you crave wide open spaces, a moment in nature and a break from the city’s nonstop energy. 

It’s 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 native tropical fruit – think mangos, lychee, passionfruit, guava, starfruit, coconuts and even avocados. 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

Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery wine tasting bar
Enjoy a selection of Schnebly wines at a wine tasting.

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 made the move to South Florida in the 1990s and started a fruit-packing business, eventually buying up 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. 

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 tropical vernacular architectural style, with limestone walls and a thatch palm roof. The front is reminiscent of a Napa winery, with a grand Colonial Revival-style facade with columns and a shaded portico. A pathway lined with towering palms and flowers leads past a bubbling, tiered fountain to the front door. Across the street, the vineyard stretches on for acres, shaded by blossoming royal Poinciana trees. Beyond the tasting room with a vaulted ceiling, visitors will reach a lushly landscaped courtyard. 

This is Schnebly’s idea of a tropical paradise. “It’s an escape from normal life, cell phones, traffic, noise pollution, cement,” he said. Not to mention a global pandemic.

Guided tours of the winery and brewery are available on the weekends and by appointment, and wine tastings are available seven days a week. You can also opt to order a flight of wine bottles with two Schnebly Winery glasses so you can enjoy a virtual tasting in the comfort of your own home.

The winery regularly hosts live music and movie screenings on the weekends – its expansive outdoor courtyard, lawn and shaded picnic tables allow plenty of space for guests to spread out.

Schnebly Redlands Winery & Brewery tiki hut
Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery tiki hut is made from locally sourced materials.

Tasting Wine

A visit to Schnebly starts with tasting wines from their 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’s Guava, Lychee and Carambola (starfruit) wine. 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 semisweet Sparkling Lychee or Sparkling Passion Fruit. 

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 fancy yourself an aficionado, Schnebly offers a wine club, where you’ll receive a variety of wines delivered to your home throughout the year.

Schnebly Redlands Winery & Brewery in-house brewery
Sample MIA Beer Co. beer brewed on property.

Brewing Beer

Beer drinkers should plan a trip to Schnebly on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, when the Miami Brewing Co. taproom is open. There you’ll enjoy some amazing, one-of-a-kind craft beers with names highlighting the flavors of Miami such as the Big Rod Coconut Blonde Ale, Shark Attack Wheat Ale, Speedway Pale Ale and the Gator Tail Brown Ale. 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 – which will stay good for two to three days after you open it. 

If you can’t make it down to the Redlands for the full experience, look for Miami Brewing Co. beer on tap at many Miami area restaurants.

The Restaurant

For those planning to visit between Friday and 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 South Florida tropical twist. Think smoked fish dip, conch fritters and surf and turf served with the local catch – and plenty of Schnebly Redland’s wine and Miami Brewing Co. beer to go around.

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

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