|The winery is located in North Central Florida, southeast of Gainesville in Alachua County. For decades, Alachua County has been the heart of Florida blueberry production and remains so today producing 25% of the entire state’s production of this flavorful fruit.
Our blueberry wines are made from 100% blueberries with no grape juice or flavorings used and are very low in sulfites. We also produce several tantalizing fruit wine blends to appeal to any occasion.
Island Grove Ag Products is a major supplier of Florida fresh blueberries in the March to May window. The process of delivering Grade “A” quality to markets requires sorting out good fruit with minor blemishes.
Through the years, as production soared, so did the cull rate. The Island Grove Ag Products founders began the search for a suitable value-added product. Many products were developed and tested, but none passed the Island Grove Ag Products standards. Two years had passed when premier wine maker, Chase Marden, entered the scene. Chases’ extraordinary wine making reputation in the Plant City area preceded him and he became a perfect fit for the Island Grove family. His years of experience and dedication in winemaking have earned numerous state awards and Chase has been selected to judge many prestigious competitions. A keen eye for detail and commitment to quality represented perfectly the Island Grove theme and the Island Grove Wine Company was born.
Presently the winery is entering a new phase of expansion and will move into a state of the art 10,000 sq. ft. facility in the summer of 2011, guarantying the consistent quality Island Grove Ag Products stands for.
Island Grove Town History
The quiet, small community of Island Grove was settled in 1882 and a post office was established in Island Grove on February 17, 1884. By 1888, ten thousand boxes of oranges and ten thousand crates of vegetables were being shipped annually from the Island Grove station of the Florida Railway and Navigation Company. In 1894, the town had three general stores, a moss factory, cigar factory, and “several hundred inhabitants.” Fishing was also an important industry.
The name Island Grove reflects the fact that the town was originally surrounded by water; Orange Lake on the south, Cross Creek on the west, an unnamed body of water to the north, and cypress swamps on the east. In 1911 local citizens began drainage projects and raised funds for building the hard roads needed to connect the town with surrounding communities.
The nearby community of Cross Creek is well-known as the home of famous resident and author, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings whose works include “The Yearling” and “Cross Creek” to name a few. Her final resting place is in serene Antioch Cemetery in Island Grove, a stone’s throw from Island Grove Ag Products blueberry production and wine manufacturing site.
The town of Island Grove also hosts a Blueberry Festival each year in mid-May at the peak of blueberry harvest. Blueberry u-pick, blueberry plants, and various local arts and craft vendors provide an array of entertainment and shopping pleasure with something for everyone. All proceeds help fund the local fire department.
IGAP & Companies
Island Grove Ag Products was officially founded in 1994 by the owners of the two separate blueberry farms with common ethics and goals. Both wanted an integrity-driven and sustainable blueberry plant nursery to supply grower and retail outlets with quality plants. The nursery and the relationship grew and in 1999, the farms merged; encompassing the nursery and 60 acres of the production fields.
By 2005, Island Grove Ag Products had grown to 100 acres of production fields. Later that year, Island Grove Ag Products expanded its operation southward near Arcadia in Desoto county and planted one of the Florida’s southern most blueberry plantation.
Today, Island Grove Ag Products maintains 300 acres of blueberries between the two sites, as well as 45 acres of strawberries and blackberries. The nursery division continues to supply millions of plants annually to growers and garden centers along with a full line of other edibles and Florida Natives.
Through our years of growth, one theme has remained constant: dedication and commitment to our customers and employees.