In the sport of lawn bowls we get to meet a lot of fellow players, but we do not always get to know their background or the many and varied hobbies they may pursue “beyond the green”
At first glance, many will know of Tony Pearce from Ourimbah Lisarow RSL Bowling Club on the Central Coast of NSW’s, as a Bowls Administrator who is the Secretary at his home Club and also a Director of Bowls Central Coast.
But there is another interesting side to Tony’s 73 years. Throughout his life he has enjoyed the outdoors and has taken a keen interest in many activities outside of lawn bowls, such as fossicking, lapidary, jewellery making, bee keeping, pottery, leatherwork and beer making. All a lot of fun and enjoyment but there is one hobby that has held his interest for more than 45 years and that is the ancient art of making fruit wine.
It all started back in 1970 when he was thumbing through a women’s magazine one afternoon and an article about making Fruit Wine captured his attention, so he thought he would give it a go.
That year there was an over abundance of oranges on the market so that seemed to be a logical starting point and his very first batch of Orange wine proved so successful he followed up by making an experimental batch of Carrot wine.
Since then he has made many varieties of fruit wine, such as Plum, Mulberry, Strawberry and Cherry to name just a few and enjoys the challenge of developing new recipes and creating different varieties of wine. Name a fruit and there is every likelihood Tony has converted it into wine. He has recorded all his different recipes with notes about the process and rates every batch. There has been the odd failure!
He aims to produce wine with an alcohol content of between 13% and 15%, and usually in batches of 12 litres at a time. It takes around six months from the start of production to drinking time. After the fermentation process finishes the wine is left to settle and clear for several months, as he does not speed up the process up by using any of the commercial products such as egg or fish extracts and certainly no preservatives. His wine is additive free and a completely natural product.
These days he only makes wine when he can buy the fruit in season at a cheap price or sometimes he receives fruit from friends who have fruit trees on their property or growing nearby. One good mate recently spent many hours gathering wild blackberry’s in the knowledge he will share the spoils some months down the track.
Patience is one of the important ingredients in the overall process, as Tony recently bottled blackberry wine and a banana wine in July of this year and then started a batch of Pear wine which will not be ready for quaffing until early in the New Year. At that point he will be on the lookout for some cheap over ripe Mangoes, as that is one fruit that remains on his “yet to do list.”
BCC Publicity Officer