Young couple open Ohana Winery in Childers after global trip
A LIFE-CHANGING trip to Hawaii for a Western Australian couple saw them quit their desk jobs and move to Childers to open a winery.
Josh Phillips and Zoe Young, both 26, travelled to Hawaii last year and fell in love with the tropical lifestyle Hawaii had to offer.
Bored with their respective office jobs, the couple decided to throw caution to the wind and chase their dreams.
"When we got back we looked around at different properties and even considered growing coffee," Mr Phillips said.
"Then we saw Isis Winery for sale online and it ticked all the boxes."
A whirlwind trip on a warm weekend in September convinced the couple Childers was their future home.
"The agent said it was available on Thursday, we flew over on Friday, drove up from Brisbane and stayed at a pub," Ms Young said.
"On Sunday we were here for two hours and on Monday we put in an offer.
"It was exciting - we could see the potential."
The couple moved to Childers at the beginning of the year to start restoring the property and worked hard to have it ready for the grand opening on Easter Saturday.
"We had about 40 people show up, which was great because we didn't do a great deal of advertising," Ms Young said.
"We changed the name to Ohana Winery and Exotic Fruits - Ohana means family and friends in Hawaiian.
"The name represents us well because we've had a lot of family support both physically and financially."
Mr Phillips said although his family was involved in the wine industry back in Western Australia, it had been a challenging few months.
"We had a lack of knowledge on agriculture and farming, which has been difficult," he said.
"We started by mowing everything, paving the areas, putting shade up and pruning the trees.
"The community has been very supportive and helped us out."
The couple's short-term goal is to focus on the unique wines and tropical liqueurs the land provides.
"All our 20 ports are made of jaboticaba, which is a Brazilian tree grape, and we have 400 trees growing here," Ms Young said.
"We also make jackfruit, aniseed and macadamia liqueurs.
"If I can't make it into a liqueur, I turn it into a jam."
Long-term, the couple want to capitalise on the 50 fruit trees growing on their property.
"We want families to sit around and have a fruit platter of these exotic fruits they'll have never tried," Mr Phillips said.
"One thing we are very keen on is to work with other businesses.
"We want to attract people here not just for the wine but for the exotic fruits."
For more information visit www.ohanawinery. com.au/.