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“Hidden Gem - Great Value!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tarpon Springs Castle Winery

Tarpon Springs Castle Winery
320 East Tarpon Avenue, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
(727) 943-7029
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Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem - Great Value!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

GREAT WINE! Wonderful setting. A perfect garden. Charming poeple and educational. GREAT WINE!!! I don't even like white wine but I bought a bottle of theirs b/c it was so good!

This is a Mom n Pop operation and I couldn't be happier with my experience. The owners are warm, smart and genuinely passionate about what they do. I will be back in June for their next deal and I will be sure to stop in for a glass or a bottle during my next visit to Tarpon Springs.

I am guessing the negative reviews below are from people that prefer a more corporate wine drinking atmosphere; you know the kind where you feel like the people facilitating the tasting are probably judging you as you take part...Not here. Nothing but comfort, nice people & delicious wine.

I like Tarpon Springs. Finding out, thanks to Living Social, that a winery was in Tarpon Springs, was a NO-BRAINER to me. Plus they give you a bottle of wine of your choosing?!?! DEAL!!!

This place is nothing but CHARMING and the pad-locks are nice touch. Would def go again! THanks Mr. & Mrs. Marks!

Visited April 2013
2 Thank JaysBay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Palm Harbor, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

Don't do it! The owners are incredibly rude, the wine is disgusting and even with a groupon, it was way overpriced. I paid $37 for a Groupon which had expired because I couldn't make a reservation. When my friend and I arrived the door was locked and we were told to sit on the patio and wait. When I was finally able to talk to the owner, she told me all I could get for the $37 was 2 cheap glasses filled with about 3 oz of cheap red wine and a 1/2 bottle of white wine. We were not even allowed in the winery for a tasting or to see how the wine was made. When I asked if I could get a bottle of red wine instead of the white, both owners started yelling at me that the white was worth $25 and that I couldn't exchange it for anything else. Seems like a scam to me!

Visited April 2013
7 Thank CathyP37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Could be so much better.......”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

From beginning to end. This was a Groupon special; wine tasting, chocolates, 2 wine glasses, and a free bottle of wine. Regularly, I was told, it is a $99 value, we paid $39 for the special.
The place was in need of a scrub, floors, walls, counters, everything just needed to be spruced up. I understand that they are just "remodeling" however, finish one job, do it right, then start the next project, especially when you are going to have customers/guests to your establishment.
The experience of setting the appointment was a trip within itself; having to call back 3 times before getting the lady owner to find her calendar so I could set a date....then we had to go through a ritual of a "secret password" to be used when we arrived at the winery....have no real clue or idea as to why.
So we get there......we are early and didn't mind waiting for others to arrive. No music, no atmosphere at all, just silence other than the lady owner kind of babbling on about....stuff. Her husband comes out to do the wine tasting. VERY GOOD WINE! However.....no description sheet to follow along with and to make notes on the wines.....HINT TO OWNERS: I would have purchased more than one bottle if I had the opportunity to make notes about the wines I really enjoyed, as they do at every other winery I have ever visited, and we do many of them every year throughout the US.
As we are sipping our last taste, we are then told that the next group is getting ready to come in and asked us to leave to go outside to the garden area to finish....but we would have to take our free bottle now and purchase what ever we would like now because they would then lock the doors when the next group started! Wow.....locking us out, or them in?
So to re-cap.......dingy, in dire need of a scrub, needs music to liven up the atmosphere, and a better presentation overall. Would I go again?????? I wouldn't pay for it.......

Visited March 2013
5 Thank Eddie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Harbor, FL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Don't judge a book by its cover”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

I went to a wine tasting here with my father-in-law earlier this afternoon. (It was his idea and he arranged for the groupon thing.) I had never been to a wine tasting before, so I had nothing to compare it to, really, but still, I was expecting things to be a lot different.

The first impression of this place doesn't impress, and the appearance of the owner and his wife doesn't impress either, but once you sit down for the wine tasting and listen to what this man has to say, your opinion will change. He really knows what he's talking about with the wine and he really knows how to make an excellent glass of wine. He is charming in his own way and made the whole experience very pleasant and educational for myself and the group of people I was with.

I have to say this wine is the best I have ever tasted in my life. Granted, I am not rich so I haven't tasted the best this world has to offer, but for the price I would say the wine is absolutely worth it. Its about $20 - $25 a bottle. (I've tasted much worse in restaurants for the same price.) I would definitely buy it as a gift for someone.

At the start of the tasting they gave each person a small box that contains 4 different types of chocolates that are meant to be paired with the different wines. First we sampled a Pinot Noir, then a Merlot, then something that means in italian "The blood of the bull," then we tried two white wines (one of which is a chardonnay). My father-in-law and I agreed that the hardest decision to make is which bottle of wine to choose at the end! (They give you one bottle of complimentary wine with each groupon/living social coupon).

I recommend this place, but say keep an open mind about the whole thing and enjoy the wine! I bought a bottle of the Merlot and my father-in-law received a bottle of the Pinot Noir that comes complimentary with the coupon.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank Rachel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Ignore the bad reviews - worth the trip if you want smooooth wine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

I bought the Groupon for this winery based on a recommendation from a friend. After the purchase, I came to TripAdvisor and was extremely nervous after reading all the horror stories on this site! We relunctantly made the trip with low expectations, but after our tasting experience I have nothing but great things to say about this place.

People need to understand that this is a small, homely "Mom 'n Pop" winery. It's located in a restored blue and white house and filled with boxes of wine, wine racks, and all sorts of wacky decorations. It's not some ultra-modern, ultra-expensive stainless-steel winery.

As for the two owners, many people have posted reviews stating how rude they are. They were incredibly nice to us, a typical friendly elderly couple with cute stories and plenty of knowledge about the wine-making process. We enjoyed their funny back-and-forth conversation and, despite being experienced winos, were impressed with their knowledge.

The real stand-out of this whole experience is the wine itself. We have never been to a winery where we tasted wines and actually enjoyed every one of them. They import grapes from all over the country and use significantly less additives than the "big" wineries, making each wine smoother and richer than you would expect. Naturally, after the tasting is over, they offer you a reduced price/ buy 3-get-1 offer, which has been another source of criticism on this site. Of course the Groupon wine tasting is a means for them to sell you bottles of wine... why would anyone think otherwise? A small privately-owned winery is not going to be super-excited if you purchase a Groupon and walk right out the door without actually buying their wine... The tasting is an introduction to the wines to help you figure out which ones you would like to purchase. I would recommend all five of the wines we tasted, but primarily the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were excellent. These wines do not leave a burning sensation in your throat, or a bitter after-taste. They are incredibly smooth and rich in flavor, enhanced by the small four-pack of chocolates included in the Groupon.

Their wines are in the $25 range per bottle, but considering that A) they import their grapes and produce wine without the usual nasty additives, and B) the prices drop if you take advantage of their buy 3-get-1 offer, the wine is accurately priced. Compare one of these wines to a $10 name-brand bottle from your local Publix and you will taste the difference.

In short, this winery is not some huge, exquisite palace, but the friendly owners and the wine itself more than make up for the decor. We will be recommending it to our friends and family.

Visited March 2013
7 Thank Justin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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