About an hour's drive from downtown Miami, the Homestead destination is located on lush grounds where visitors can participate in guided tastings of wines made from tropical fruits or enjoy a coconut-infused ale in the taproom.
Coronavirus-related emergency orders have ruled out a trip to this tropical getaway, but Peter and Denisse Schnebly and their staff are offering virtual winetastings. And while other winemakers are conducting tastings on YouTube and Instagram, the Schneblys are going with an interactive model.
"We're using Zoom to have a two-way discussion about the wine, along with the tasting," Peter Schnebly explains, adding that the tastings can be arranged for couples or groups looking for a virtual happy hour or wine party while maintaining their physical social distance from one another.
Each tasting begins with a collection of four bottles, shipped free. The shipment also includes two Schnebly wine glasses, 20 percent off a future online purchase, and the virtual tasting, all for $135. (The various collections can be found at virtualwinetasting.schneblywinery.com.
When the wine arrives, the customer chooses a tasting date. Tastings are available for groups of eight, and Peter Schnebly or another taster leads the discussion.
Schnebly says his virtual tastings, much like his wines, are nothing like others that people have experienced. "Of course, we'll walk you through the history, nuances, and intricacies of each wine," he says, "but the goal is to have fun."
The winery and brewery owner says wine is different from beer because it's meant to be savored at a more relaxed pace. "You really don't down a glass of wine like you would a beer on a warm day."
With anxiety levels running high and plenty of time of everyone's hands, the idea of being gently led through four bottles of wine at a leisurely pace in the privacy of home seems like an activity Miamians could get behind.