Island Grove Wine Company | Foxtale Photography

When you think wines and wineries, I don’t know if Florida is the first place to pop into people’s heads. However, just between Ocala and Gainesville there’s a giant blueberry farm, native plant nursery, and yes—a winery. We jumped at the chance to photograph the owner and crew at their new wine-making facility and historic Cracker-style hunting cabin. We spent the day at the Island Grove Wine Company  learning and documenting how they make their blueberry and other fruit wines.

To get to the winery, you drive down dirt roads that bring back memories of old Florida. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ old stomping grounds are only a stone’s throw away. When you make that last turn to the farms, you realize the scale of the operation. Just the winery itself is impressive, holding over six gigantic distilling containers, a bottling facility, and a beautiful tasting room and scenic deck looking out on the farm.

We have a soft spot for the old hunting cabin in the back of the farm. The inside has been renovated but not to the point of losing it’s old-style charm. It reminded me of our family’s old hunting grounds and hunting cabins in Marshall Swamp. In the evening as we photographed our final shots for the day, the quietness of the land without nearby roads or neighbors made for one of our most peaceful shoots to date. Oh, and the cheesecake with fresh blueberries weren’t so bad afterward, either.

This was all made possible through the graciousness of my friend and talented designer Sarah Aschliman  and her father (featured holding the wine below) Ken Patterson. If the pictures alone don’t make you thirsty, do yourself a favor and get a bottle (or three) of their delicious wines.

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Kim - Oooh the last one! And the third to last one! That light is so gorgeous in both of them.

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