LISTEN: Couple makes winning wine with weird fruit
WHEN I say wine, you think grapes.
But one young couple who have made a fresh start in Childers are challenging your ideas about wine.
Ohana Winery's Zoe Young and Josh Philips have taken out seven awards from seven entries at the Perth Royal Show - their first award entries after making wine for less than a year.
"We have 11 acres here and we grow all sorts of weird and wonderful things, so it's natural that we want to experiment," Zoe said.
The jaboticaba wine was a pleasant result of that, tasting of "a cross between a grape and a lychee".
"You get some really interesting tannins from the skin of the fruit, but the flesh is juicy and luscious.
"We have 400 jaboticaba trees and they all fruit at the same time, so it's miserable when we're picking, but it's worth it.
"To pick up a silver for our tawny port was really surprising and exciting."
Their other silver winner, the dragonfruit, is one of the most popular wines at the cellar door.
"The beautiful climate in the region means an abundance of fresh fruit, and once we started talking to local farmers, they've all been happy to help us out."
They hope go for gold next time, with fruits including mango and lychee.
"(Our first batches) sold out really quickly, before we even considered entering any awards," Zoe said. "So we definitely want to work on those and keep some aside for next year."
Zoe and Josh have moved to Childers from Western Australia, after they "had a mid-life crisis at 26, fed up working behind a desk".
"We found this property for sale and about five days later we owned it," Zoe said.
"It's been a really steep learning curve, and we're loving the winter sunshine here."
Like the Bundaberg climate, the winery's name is inspired by Hawaii, translating as "family".
The couple thought moving to a small town might be tough, but she said it had proven otherwise.
"It's great to be able to share ideas and work with like-minded people."
Josh has nearly finished his wine science degree, which will make him a qualified winemaker - so the best fruits of their labour may be yet to come.
TASTING NOTES: OHANA'S WINNING WINES
- Dragonfruit (Sweet) - Silver (Class 0003 Sweet Red and Sweet White) SOLD OUT
A light and refreshing rose-style wine, with abundant earthy and herbaceous flavours. Best paired with spicy Asian dishes.
- Jaboticaba Fortified - Silver (Class 0007 Fortified Dry or Sweet)
A complex tawny port, full of cinnamon and anise flavours. A smooth, sweet finish with lots of fruitiness. Best enjoyed after dinner.
- Dragonfruit (Dry) - Bronze (Class 0001 Dry White and Rose)
Grassy and herbaceous, with refreshing acidity. Best paired with fatty dishes, such as pork belly.
- Pineapple - Bronze (Class 0003 Sweet Red and Sweet White)
Using a low-acid and particularly aromatic hybrid pineapple, this wine is crisp and refreshing and full of tropical flavours. Best paired with a hearty salad or cheese platter.
- Starfruit - Bronze (Class 0003 Sweet Red and Sweet White)
This wine has the aroma of freshly picked carambola, and a creamy palate after spending a short time on its yeast lees. Best paired with seafood.
- Plum - Bronze (Class 0003 Sweet Red and Sweet White) SOLD OUT
A medium bodied red-style wine, with bold plum flavours and soft tannins. Best served alongside red meat.
- Limoncello - Bronze (Class 0007 Fortified Dry or Sweet)
A traditionally made lemon liqueur which packs a sweet citrus punch. Best enjoyed ice cold after dinner, or topped up with soda water for a refreshing afternoon cocktail.