Masaryk Winery: From Blueberries to Brunch, a Decade of Delicious Evolution
Nestled in the heart of Hernando County, Masaryk Winery stands as a testament to the beauty of transformation and culinary passion. What began as a commercial blueberry farm in 1996 has evolved into a multifaceted establishment, offering a delightful array of experiences to its patrons.
From a U-pick farm to the winery and now a full-fledged eatery with an expanding menu, Masaryk Winery has become a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike.
The journey of Masaryk Winery mirrors the aging process of fine wine – years in the making, carefully crafted, and culminating in a rich and satisfying outcome.
The Cafe at Masaryk Winery
Intrigued by the glowing recommendation of a longtime Hernando County local, I ventured to Masaryk Winery, eager to discover its charm and savor its renowned brunch offerings, particularly the eggs benedict with their signature homemade hollandaise sauce.
As I arrived, I found a quaint, unassuming building surrounded by acres of freshly plowed fields, fallow, but brimming with the promise of abundant crops – blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries – all flourishing under the watchful eye of a visible greenhouse.
While the building is compact, the culinary experiences within offer a true farm-to-table experience. The atmosphere is casual, and the food is nothing short of extraordinary.
Masaryk Winery’s menu boasts limited, fresh offerings – primarily brunch that capitalizes on the flock of chickens laying daily just outside on the farm. The ambiance of the establishment maintains a distinctly casual vibe, which extends to the staff as well.
Casual Atmosphere, Free Wine Tastings, and True Farm-To-Table Experience
The interior exudes warmth and coziness, boasting a small yet intimate dining area alongside a welcoming bar. The menu, both in terms of food and wine, appeared surprisingly diverse for the modest space, piquing my curiosity to try “Create Your Own Farmhouse Omelette”, made with fresh eggs sourced directly from the farm, along with locally sourced vegetables from neighboring farmers.
The farm-to-table concept is fully embodied at Masaryk Winery, and every bite of the omelet confirmed the difference that fresh, quality produce can make. When seeking the server’s recommendation, he earnestly stated, “Honestly, our omelets are the best I’ve ever had.” I needn’t look further – my decision was made.
A Journey for the Taste Buds
Describing the omelet’s flavor poses a delightful challenge as it went beyond the constraints of ordinary vocabulary. The taste was an exquisite fusion of flavor profiles that waltzed across my taste buds, leaving me revitalized and reenergized.
The omelet I enjoyed evoked reminiscent notes of an egg soufflé, a harmonious blend that mirrored the sophistication of such a dish. Its texture was velvety, striking a balance between richness and cheesiness without descending into an overly gooey consistency. It trod the line gracefully between creaminess and structure, elevating the perfected egg base and expertly cooked seasonings that accentuated the crunch of fresh vegetables. The essence of the earth seemed to grace every bite.
Accompanying the omelet was a side of their house-crafted strawberry jam, a testament to their prowess in fresh fruit preservation.
And the journey didn’t end there; an enticing assortment of wines crafted from their own blueberries and blackberries is offered at Masaryk Winery, a true testament to the farm’s dedication to creating unique and exceptional products.
Try a Free Wine Tasting at Masaryk Winery
The wine was fresh and crisp. The blueberry was certainly sweet. It is very much a dessert wine, as advertised. The Blue and Black variety is a bit less sweet and robust. Before leaving, I was enticed to try the Hibiscus variety. It really encapsulated the floral sense of the Sunshine State. It was light, refreshing and crisp, and very much Florida.
Fresh-baked Sweets add to the Experience
To complete the meal, a bakery case at the Winery features fresh-baked pies, cookies, and cakes that incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, yielding a delectable selection of desserts. The banana pudding and brownies stand out as beloved choices among customers, with the owner noting that these two treats are an absolute must-have. This preference stems from the enthusiastic requests of her dedicated clientele. You should be able to expect this.
As Sue Ebbecke, the mastermind behind the bakery, put it, “It’s really whatever I decide to wake up and bake.” The spontaneous creativity combined with customer demand has proven to be a recipe for success.
I couldn’t resist bringing home an incredible slice of carrot cake that was laden with a generous amount of nuts and topped with a lavish layer of frosting, the sweetness was undeniable yet immensely satisfying – especially if you like your carrot cake sweet.
Ten Years of Transformation
October will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Masaryk Winery, coinciding with the start of Upicktopia’s harvest season.
But when did Masaryk Winery begin to bloom into the multifaceted destination it is today?
The transition began over a decade ago when the commercial side of the blueberry farm started phasing out, only completely in the past 2 years, making way for a more community-oriented approach.
First, the U-pick farm emerged, inviting locals to engage in the joy of harvesting fresh produce. Then, the winery came into being, marking a significant milestone for its establishment.
Three years ago, the kitchen was set in motion, offering food to the community through Suzy’s Kitchen, a venture specializing in desserts and catering. Due to licensing constraints, the establishment made the most of its food truck, diligently working towards the goal of establishing a full menu, which has been a resounding success.
Through each phase of its evolution, Masaryk Winery has remained steadfast in its commitment to the community and the pursuit of culinary excellence. “It’s always been about the community,” Sue expressed warmly, “and it’s also been more about quality over quantity for us.”
Visit Masaryk Winery any Weekend for a relaxing Farm-to-Table (and Bar) Experience
Open Friday through Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm, Masaryk Winery, the Café, and the Bakery at the Winery offer a relaxing experience where you can enjoy a true farm-to-table dining experience. Located at 19121 Phillips Rd in Masaryktown. You can call 352-308-0110 for updates. Visit their Facebook page for the latest sweets and new varieties of wine. Tell Dan that NatureCoaster sent you!
Try a free wine tasting of the Masaryk dessert and table wines any time the winery is open. They are made onsite with fruit grown on the farm or order locally made craft beers and other special wines.
Charcuterie options are available with Boars Head meats and cheeses, and you definitely want to enjoy one of the Café brunch offerings, perhaps followed with a sweet treat from the case.
As Masaryk Winery continues to grow and evolve, it promises to be a delightful destination for food and wine enthusiasts seeking a genuine farm-to-table experience.
“This place is becoming an open secret,” a staff member remarked with pleasure before I left. With each passing year, like the finest of wines, it only gets better with age. The next time you find yourself in Hernando County, do not miss the chance to savor the magic of Masaryk Winery – a place where passion, creativity, and community converge to create an unforgettable culinary journey.