What does it mean to be an award-winning restaurant? Take a walk down the hallway of The Vineyard Wine Company at Colonial TownPark, and you’ll find out. For the local siblings who own the eatery, Erin Jones Caneza and Robert Jones, keeping the award wall up-to-date is a challenge. The Vineyard usually receives several new awards every year, both locally and nationally. The restaurant did well in both of the Orlando Sentinel’s competitions in 2017, the 19th annual Foodie Awards and Best Bets. The Vineyard has also been consistently awarded a Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. In fact, it’s the only restaurant in Seminole County to receive the magazine’s coveted two-glass award.
Erin and Robert better clear a little more wall space, though, because new changes at The Vineyard portend even more awards to come. The Vineyard’s wine list, while already impressive, is expanding to include a new variety of wines at different price points.
“We’re adding about 50 new wines,” Robert says. “I feel like with our cellar’s list, the majority of bottles were between the $100 to $300 price point. So I went out and found some really good wine that’s closer to $60 per bottle, which we find is our customer’s sweet spot. These wines pair exceedingly well with the new menu we have recently rolled out and fill a niche between our wonderful wines by the glass and our cellar’s list.”
Additionally, Robert found some high-end, sought-after wines for those looking for special occasion wines at about $1,000 per bottle.
Part of the reason The Vineyard Wine Company remains a leader in culinary competitions is head chef Liz Lasher and general manager Dan Richey’s approach to food and service. At many restaurants, the specials are just a clever way to clear leftovers from the fridge and pantry, but not at The Vineyard. Chef Lasher crafts all of The Vineyard’s delectable specials with purpose, and customers are truly rewarded with dishes made from the very freshest and best quality ingredients. And if patrons come in and say, ”Hey, remember that thing you made last November?” Chances are, the chefs and cooks in the kitchen will gladly make it again.
Beyond the awards and the delicious food and wine on the menu, The Vineyard Wine Company’s staff and regulars have even more to celebrate. This coming November will mark the restaurant’s 10th anniversary in Lake Mary. Anniversary celebrations begin this summer, though, so be on the lookout for a variety of can’t-miss events.