SUMMER CRUSH VINEYARD & WINERY, 4200 Johnston
Road, Fort Pierce. Opened July 2012. Serves various
types of Florida muscadine wines, and a port, all made on
site, among other beverages. Snacks available on site. Food
trucks are frequently on site. Phone: 772.460.0500.
During the recession of about a decade ago, Gary Roberts’
nursery and landscaping business was flagging. He asked a
St. Lucie County extension agent to come out to his property
northwest of Fort Pierce and advise him how to make the
land profitable. This was about the time Roberts told his wife,
Susan, that he was 50 and didn’t have the energy to start and
nurture an altogether new business.
“We looked at growing vegetables in little row houses, we
looked at growing plants that you can derive alternative fuels
from. We looked at a lot of different options.” Finally, on his
last visit, he was walking back to his car when he threw up
his hands and said, “What about a winery?”
Roberts studied the winery business in Florida and beyond.
Eventually, he adapted ideas from others and came up with
his own. He visited 26 wineries before opening his own. He
hired a business consultant after he decided to have a vineyard
and winery but before planting grapes.
“He told me that there were two things that I must do,”
Roberts says. “First, he told me to plant some palm trees. I
said I’ve never seen a winery with palm trees, and he said
every one of them would have them if they could. Second,
he said that people have to know what I’m like, how I am, by
visiting this place.”
So Summer Crush has classic surfboards, palm trees, and
one of the most popular music venues on the Treasure Coast. >>
Allen Cooley explains the process of making wines to visitors during a tour
of Summer Crush Winery in Fort Pierce.