When Tony Woodall tells people that Shannonvale Winery makes award-winning wines from tropical fruit they are likely to assume that this means they are sweet and sticky. Many people ask how it is possible to make dry wines from sweet fruits like mango and lychee, forgetting that grapes are the sweetest of all fruits.
The Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery is a family business. Tony and Trudie Woodall and eldest son Laza have lived on the farm since 1992 and produced commercial fruit wine for the past six years. What started with a hobby of growing tropical fruit became a winery 12 years ago after they started producing surplus fruit and what better to do with fruit but make it into wine! After all, you can only eat so much jam!!! And then seven years ago they took a big step and decided to convert their amateur wine-making into commercial quality wines.
Now the winery produces around 12 wines to taste and purchase. Amongst these are two Gold medal winners, two Silver and three Bronze. These medals were all awarded by qualified grape wine judges at the Australian Fruit Wine Awards held in November 2006. There are four dry wines, two medium wines, a "sweet and sour" dessert wine, a medium-sweet dessert wine, a lemoncello and four port wines.
All are single-fruit wines, not blends as the Woodalls have established that people enjoy having a wine which actually tastes of the fruit that it is made from. All the fruits have big flavours, so that unlike most grapes, the flavour of the fruit isn't lost in the fermenting process. So, chances are, if you like the fruit you will like the wine and this makes Tropical Fruit Wines an ideal companion for foods.
The fruit is grown in the organic way and in the Woodalls own orchard and no chemicals are used on the fruit trees, Shannonvale has also made wines from caimito, acerola, figs, plantain, purple mangosteen, carambola, water cherry and guava. Depending on fruit supply it is possible more of these wines might be made in the future.
This boutique winery grows the fruit, makes the wine, and bottles and labels the wines on the farm, choosing to limit the volume of wine made to a maximum of 12,000 litres. Currently all wines are sold at the Cellar Door and through Mail Order.
Open: 10am-4.30pm, daily.
DIRECTIONS: The winery is 20 minutes north of Port Douglas, Queensland.
Turn left at the Mt Molloy turnoff. Turn right at Ponzo Road and follow the rest of the signs.