Trop­i­cal win­ery in­dus­try leader

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

TONY and Trudie Woodall didn’t move to Shan­non­vale with the in­ten­tion of be­com­ing trop­i­cal fruit wine ex­perts.

Now, how­ever, they have been in­cluded on a reg­is­ter of Aus­tralian trop­i­cal ex­per­tise, recog­nised as lead­ing lights in their in­dus­try.

“I sup­pose we’re as ex­pert as it gets,” Tony said.

“We’ve been mak­ing wines from trop­i­cal fruit for 17 years, and de­vel­oped com­mer­cial stan­dards eight years ago.

“You could say we’re writ­ing the book on com­mer­cial drystyle fruit wines.”

Ev­ery wine the Woodalls have ever en­tered in a wine show has come home with an award, due in part to the as­sis­tance of a com­mer­cial grape wine judge who acts as their con­sul­tant.

“We have to de­velop wines to his stan­dard, or he won’t work for us,” Tony said.

Tony said he hoped the Aus­TropEx reg­is­ter would al­low oth­ers to tap into a wide range of knowl­edge.

“We’ve done a bit of con­sult­ing over the years,” he said.

“Most of the grow­ers we’ve helped have been am­a­teurs, but we wouldn’t hes­i­tate to put peo­ple onto our con­sul­tant if they wanted to get se­ri­ous.”

The Woodalls started col­lect­ing trop­i­cal fruit trees soon af­ter ar­riv­ing in the re­gion, grad­u­ally ac­cu­mu­lat­ing 70 dif­fer­ent types, and re­alised they needed to do some­thing with the fruit.

“We didn’t start out with the in­ten­tion of mak­ing wine,” Tony said.

Once they started, how­ever, they be­came in­ter­ested in the process and de­ter­mined to make fruit wine, which is nor­mally associated with a sickly-sweet taste.

“Our motto is ’ No, it’s not sweet and sticky’,” Tony said.

“Mak­ing wine from trop­i­cal fruits is ac­tu­ally eas­ier than us­ing grapes.

“Grapes are so sweet, you have to pick them when they’re half-ripe.

“Mango, on the other hand, has about one-quar­ter the sugar con­tent of grapes.

“We have to add sugar to get the al­co­hol con­tent up to 12-13 per cent.”

The Aus­TropEx reg­is­ter, which lists trop­i­cal ex­perts in 10 fields in­clud­ing agri­cul­ture, food, health and en­ergy, is avail­able on www.aus­tropex. com.au.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

Trop­i­cal ex­per­tise: Shan­non­vale Win­ery owner Tony Woodall

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