Mak­ing rasp­ber­ries into wine

Mansfield Courier - - PROPERTY - BY RHYLL McCORMACK

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.

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