The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - BEN WATER­WORTH

FOR some­body who has nearly tried it all when it comes to cui­sine in the Der­went Val­ley, Sally Wise is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to try her hand at some­thing new.

The ac­claimed cook and au­thor re­cently ac­quired a wine­press from some fam­ily friends and was look­ing for­ward to try­ing her hand at wine­mak­ing for the first time.

“It’s so much fun in the try­ing and learn­ing,” she said. “We’re very much novices at the mo­ment.”

The press had been sit­ting with her friends in South Oak­leigh in Mel­bourne for more than 45 years, where it was pre­vi­ously used by the fam­ily and sev­eral of the area’s Ital­ian im­mi­grants to make large vol­umes of wine over the Easter pe­riod.

“My friends came over and asked if I knew any­body who wanted a wine­press and I said as a mat­ter of fact I do,” she said. “We were on to it im­me­di­ately and par­tic­u­larly the fact it has his­tor­i­cal mean­ing to it. It’s been in their fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions and they’ve used it and loved it and here it was sit­ting idly in a garage and we had the op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing with it. It was just one of the best gifts ever.”

Mrs Wise hoped to ex­per­i­ment and po­ten­tially hold wine­mak­ing classes through her pop­u­lar cook­ing school in the fu­ture.

“We’ve re­searched till we’re blue in the face and we’ve sifted through it and now we have a def­i­nite process and we know what to do and we’re go­ing to make won­der­ful wine.”

Mrs Wise will launch her lat­est cook­book next week be­fore turn­ing at­ten­tion to next month’s Der­went Val­ley Au­tumn Fes­ti­val.

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