St. Augustine serves up more than its history. There are many tantalizing tasting tours in the Oldest City that will satisfy your stomach's appetite as well as your mind's thirst for knowledge.
At the first mention of St. Augustine, most people instantly think about the town's lengthy history and the beautiful beaches. But have you heard about the award-winning, tasty food and drink tours available in town?
Along with the guided tours that stop at multiple restaurants and bars, many of the local producers in town who create renowned treats offer tours of their facilities. While touring their businesses you will get to see how local products are made and then give them a taste: wine, spirits, and chocolate!
White chocolate samples while touring the Whetstone Chocolates.
The Whetstone Chocolate tour is $8.95 for adults, $6.50 for kids 5-17, and free under 5. On the tour you will try about five different types of chocolate. Bring a bottle of water with you; by the third or fourth chocolate, you may want one to cleanse your palette.
Like most tours this one starts out with a short video on the history of Whetstone Chocolates before you are whisked away into the magical land where chocolates are made. Be prepared— you too will get to wear a fancy hair net like the tour guide. The guide will walk you through production and show you the process of how to make chocolate from the initial pounding of the cacao to the mechanical chocolate wrapper. Being handed the gold foil-wrapped shell at the end is a perfect close to the tour. You can either save it for later or rip it open and try it then.
At the bottom of your ticket is a coupon you will definitely want to use in their shop. Stock up on fudge, Whetstone's signature chocolate shells, caramel, or any of the other sinfully sweet candies available.
The tour guide freshly wrapping chocolate shells with the chocolate wrapping machine.
On the San Sebastian Winery's free tour, you will sample the wines starting with the driest and leading to the sweetest. If you go on the weekend, the winery tour is slightly abbreviated—visit during the week so you can hear more details from the guides. The tour ends in the gift shop where you can buy individual bottles or discounted cases of your favorite wines from the tasting. The Winery has a rooftop area called The Cellar Upstairs with a great view that pairs perfectly with a glass of their Vintner's Red wine. If you don't stop by after the tour, go back in the evening, there's usually live music playing.
Cheers to wine tasting at San Sebastian Winery.
While touring the St. Augustine Distillery you will try two of the cocktails served in the Ice Plant next door. The Ice Plant is the Distillery's urban, 1920s themed restaurant and bar with the same branding as their liquors. The free tour begins once you clock in with your ticket. First you watch a short video about the local sourcing of the ingredients. Then you get to see the copper pot stills where their liquor is distilled and learn about the process. After the tour you will step into the shop to buy their liquor and specialty cocktail mixers.
No visit to St. Augustine is complete without a tour of St. Augustine Distillery.
Taste Your Way Around Town
Try a guided tasting tour if you are only in town for a little while and want to sample some of the favorites from the local restaurants. These guided tours stop at a few establishments for a quick taste of what each has to offer. Here are a few options St. Augustine has to offer:
City Walks hosts several tasting tours including wine pairings at various stops and pub walks.
Looking for a Haunted Pub Tour? GhoSt Augustine offers a two-hour pub crawl in haunted, historic downtown St. Augustine.
Travel & Leisure Magazine named Tasting Tours' Corks and Forks tour "best food and wine tour." We are a drinking town with a fishing problem (according to some of the locals), so it should come as no surprise that Tasting Tours offers a Just Beer tour, too.
Local St. Augustine blogger Meaghan Alvarado is a Flagler College alumni who writes on many topics ranging from fashion and food to crafts and local St. Augustine happenings. Check back here at VisitStAugustine.com regularly to see the great events and activities Meaghan will be writing about next, and check out her personal blog at http://justmeaghan.com/.