Making raspberries into wine
RASPBERRRIES are typically associated with all things decadent – sweet treats, dripping red dessert sauces and melt in your mouth muffins.
But earlier this month Timo and Emily Ploshke turned the traditional raspberry into a not so traditional red wine - launched at their first ever trade tasting a few weeks ago.
Produced under their Northern Slopes Plantation label, the Ploshke’s have managed to create a completely unique product, and the first of its kind for Mansfield.
“Raspberries by nature are quite tart,” Timo explained.
“We wanted to make it just like a grape wine – it’s a bit like a Sav Blanc; the structure of it is quite acidically driven and it has a nice firm taste.”
The wine faithfully reflects the crisp tartness of a fresh raspberry.
This is not the first time Timo has ventured into the world of wine – in fact, he has been the manager at Barwite Vineyards for seven years.
Through his connection with Ros Ritchie, Timo and Emily were able to have their boutique raspberry wine produced right here in Mansfield.
With two and a half acres under raspberry production, it has taken four years for the Ploshke’s to have enough produce to begin the wine process.
Around 700 grams of raspberries is contained in each bottle.
“Raspberry wine uses a slightly different process, but the end result is a variety that is similar to grape,” Timo said.
“The wine is ideally suited to lighter meals – seafood and pasta.”
It also makes a killer accompaniment to a dark chocolate pudding, where the raspberry based wine reveals its true colours.
Like all good businesses, the Ploshke’s have evolved since they first came up with a concept plan for Northern Slopes Plantation.
What started off as an original pick-your-own berry farm idea has instead grown to be something bigger.
“We had hopes of producing natural oils, with a line of berries as well,” Emily explained.
“We have raspberries of course, but also blackberries and blueberries – but we found that the logistics of doing fresh, perishable produce on our scale was just too hard.”
Instead, the Ploshke’s turned to what Timo knows best – wine.
Now, with 120 dozen of their first raspberry wine bottles available for sale, the pair will begin the process of making a blackberry, and eventually a blueberry, based wine variety.
“It’s amazing what you can make wine out of,” Timo said.
“There’s no limit to what you can create.”
Because he has 20 years experience in the wine industry, Timo wanted something that was a bit off centre to the norm.
“I really didn’t want to grow grapes at our home, because they are what I do for a living – we wanted to create something that was fresh and fun, something unique that we could all be involved in,” he said.
With three young boys to help with harvest – and taste – the berry produce, the Ploshke’s have achieved just that.
The Northern Slopes Plantation Raspberry Wine is available at High Country Wine Cellars on High Street for $27.
A Northern Slopes Plantation Blackberry Wine will be available later this year.
SO PROUD: Mansfield’s Timo and Emily Ploshke have just finalised their first batch of boutique raspberry wine, and they couldn’t be more pleased with the result.