Mighty Fine Plum Pines

These truly majestic trees have to be seen to be believed – in full fruit they are a sight to behold, and what better way to appreciate their unique beauty than sitting beneath one feasting on their very unusual fruits. Don’t forget to look up and marvel at their ancientness (is that even a word?) and typical pine form, with branches at right angles to the trunk. As an added bonus, the fruits are packed with antioxidants and cancer fighting phytochemicals, according to this report from 2012 (which has a very long title so click and see for yourself!). We like to think that at least some of these qualities are preserved in our Plum Pine dessert wine, just as grape wines do with the antioxidants from the juice of the grapes.

Plum Pines in the picking net

Plum Pines in the picking net

So May is harvest time for the plum pines, and we are always keen to hear from landowners who have these trees on their property – not least because only the female trees fruit, and usually every second year – meaning we can only pick fruit from one out of every four trees annually. And if you have fruit to spare, we will be happy to return the favour with a bottle or two of elysium’s finest! Of course we drag the kids along to help (?) and when they’re not complaining they entertain themselves quite nicely as you can see from this photo… they also love it when they find a “double-seeder” which is sort of like finding a four-leaf clover.

"Barbed Wire with Plum Pines" by Rocco Sharman

“Barbed Wire with Plum Pines”, by Rocco Sharman


The cellar door will be open for business every day over the long weekend. Ask us about our rainforest dessert wine offer!

Apples, apples, apples

Rocco helps pick applesThis year’s crop has been small but sweet – lots of apples knocked off the trees by strong winds before maturity, but also nice hot days to ripen up what’s left nicely! Its a great way for the kids to be involved with the family business as well – since most wine-making duties they can’t participate in until they’re a bit older.

And there’s me, pretending to be happy about hand-chopping 400 kg of apples, after an ‘apple crusher malfunction’ right before the weekend.  Jim was also happy about hand-cranking the crusher (not). Oh well, thats how we did it in the old days – perhaps with slightly less apples though – and I suppose its good exercise.

Chopping chopping never stopping!Thanks to all the wine-and-food-lovers who supported the inaugural EAT Merimbula event held last Sunday….. a “locavore’s paradise”. What a great turn out – actually, so many people came that all the food sold out! Most of us stall holders didn’t get time to eat it was so busy, but I did enjoy the aromas of Patrick’s paella wafting from the Cranky Pants stall next  to mine. Other stalls’ delicious fare included warm squid salad, fresh fish tacoes, felafels and handmade chocolates by The Original Fix.  Our wines were a real hit and we’ll definitely be there ‘with bells on’ next year – so make sure you put it in your calendar, its definitely not to be missed.

elysiumwines_appleboyCheck out this photo from the elysium archives… Rocco (who is ten this year) sitting on his “Apple Throne” back in 2005… and yes he still loves fruit especially apples! 

Markets and more

Lauren at the marketsAs you may have noticed we have resumed our stall at the Moruya Country Markets, Riverside Park – definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area, not least because you can taste all of our wines by the beautiful Moruya river. And if you are out and about mid-week and looking to find some local produce, dont miss the SAGE Farmers Market, also at Riverside park on a Tuesday afternoon from 3.30pm. There you’ll only find local goodies – vegies, dairy, honey and wine to name a few.

Only one week to go until the Berry Wine & Food Showcase , held annually at the Berry School of Arts – Saturday 2nd Feb from 12 noon.  With a myriad of wines from the maritime Shoalhaven climate you’re sure to find a bottle or two to take home, and perhaps another for the cellar.  Be sure to check out the famous Berry Agricultural Show while you’re there as well (might I recommend the poultry pavilion – those guys are serious about their chickens!).

Wild Apple is back…

…with its good companion, Native Mint. Yes folks, you asked for it! 2011’s ‘experimental’ vintage – infusing our Wild Apple wine with Prostanthera incisa (cut-leaf mint bush, indigenous to Mogo) proved immensely popular – but unfortunately we only made a small amount, which soon sold out…. there wasn’t even any left for us! Of course, 2012 saw us produce much more – enough for us, the rellies’ Christmas presents (loved it) plus all you wine lovers out there.

elysium_prostanthera incisa1elysium_prostanthera incisa2

Stay tuned for an update on the new SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture & Gardening Eurobodalla) farmers market, which kicks off on the 1st of January and will be held every Tuesday from 3.30pm at Moruya’s Riverside Park. We’ll be there with bells on!