Downtown Ocala continues to expand, and adding to your options for new experiences in the Downtown Square is the grand opening of the Sokol Vineyards Tasting Room on July 27th, 2017!
In the same vicinity as the new Downtown Hotel, the Sokol Vineyards Tasting Room project has been underway for the past several months in preparation for their grand opening at the 101 Building.
The 101 Building was purchased in 1987 by the Castro Family, who have invested in Marion County real estate projects for decades. In addition to the 101 Building, the Castro family owns the Golden Hills Center in northwest Ocala horse country, home of the infamous Horse N Hounds Restaurant. With a variety of exciting real estate improvement projects underway in downtown Ocala, the Castro family is thrilled with the addition of the Sokol Vineyards Tasting Room to the city that they love.
Sokol Vineyards is a small family business owned by Patricia Sokol and Katherine Sokol, the mother and daughter team who are managing the marketing and core business operations. Husband, David Sokol, is the master winemaker who chooses the grapes and blends being created by Sokol Vineyards. Their 24-acre vineyard is located a half hour northwest of Ocala in Morriston, in a region that offers great soil and climate for California style hybrid grapes. They are currently producing “small batch” wine from their vineyard, which will eventually produce 15,000 cases of wine per year. The downtown tasting room will sell their Ocala grown wine and additional proprietary blends.
Katherine provided the following commentary on their unique family vineyard, “My father creates excellent wines. Our wines are handcrafted from start to finish; from the pruning of the vines to the labels being placed on the bottle. We wanted to share our passion for good wine through a comfortable location on the square in downtown Ocala. This is wine Ocala can call its own.”
The Sokol family has preserved the original flare of the Castro building including the structural brick of the outside walls built around 1923, the original exposed rafters/wood of the second floor as well as the brick arches that were added by the Castro family in 1987. The custom wine bar was crafted especially for Sokol Vineyards from reclaimed 1853 homestead wood bead board, heart pine from the original Coca-Cola bottling plant in McRae, Georgia and reclaimed thick cherry planks that form the bar top and back bar.
Patricia added that “the downtown is coming alive in new and exciting ways especially with the new hotel planned across the street from our tasting room. We saw a need for a winery which Ocala could call its own and be proud of. We are bringing our fine, handcrafted wines to the community, including exquisite wines from other selected small vineyards and our partners, only available for purchase at our location.”
In addition to being a great destination for guests to come enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting, the Sokol Vineyards Wine Institute, located in the tasting room, is the only training/certification for area wait staff for restaurants in North Central Florida.
“Sokol Vineyards is proud to be a participating member of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, providing unique, exceptional education experiences in Central Florida. As an approved program provider (APP) we are able to deliver WSET best-in-class education and qualifications to inspire and empower the world’s wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts. Those who desire to excel in the wine and spirits industry, attend Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses and sit for the multiple level examinations.”
As a full member of The Wine Scholar Guild, The Society of Wine Educators, The Culinary Wine Institute, and the American Institute of Wine and Food, amateur foodies and wine enthusiasts will experience “fun” non-certification based wine pairing classes and other educational opportunities at Sokol Vineyards – all open to the general public!
“Our vision of the Sokol Vineyards Tasting Room is a place for the Ocala Community to come together to relax, unwind, socialize, gather and celebrate. We plan to have free WI-FI for all guests. Stay to write your articles, read the latest novels, bring a first date, discuss your financial investments, hang out with coworkers or throw a party in an intimate setting! The tasting room is our second home, and we are opening the doors for everyone to enjoy.”
The team at Ocala Horse Properties wishes the Sokol Family the best of luck with their new venture in downtown Ocala.
For more information, news and events, please visit the Sokol Vineyard’s website.