PHILIPPINES: Professor produces wine from tropical fruits

A university professor in Kabacan, North Cotabato developed a wide selection of wines from exotic fruits grown locally in Mindanao.


Dr. Luz A. Taposok, a wine master and a professor of the College of Agriculture of University Southern Mindanao (USM), set up CT South Tropics after she discovered the great potentials of the local fruits for wine making.


“We want to make use of our tropical fruits, instead of grapes,” she said.


She and her husband Professor Omer D. Taposok own a farm in Kidapawan where they grow some of the fruits they use for making wines while some are sourced fresh from neigboring areas.


It was in 2011 that the couple embarked on winery when Dr. Luz returned home after completing a one year scholarship study in United States where she also learned wine making for six months.


“Just to make use of our resources, nag-invest kami on wines, fruits are from our farm and from the neighboring farms. So, instead of selling them fresh, we process them into wine,” she said.


Almost four years since, CT South Tropics has come up with 25 variants of wines, which will be available in the major malls by next year.


The mangosteen, passion fruit, and mango variants are the bestsellers. Among other fruit flavors include banana, dragon fruit, durian, guyabano, jackfruit, lemon, marang, passion fruit, pineapple, and watermelon.


For those who have explorative palates may choose to taste CT South Tropics’ herb and vegetable variants such as calabash, carrot, and turmeric.


“All these are natural and organic. Hindi ito ginagamitan ng fertilizer,” she said.


The wine yeast used to ferment the fruits is imported from Australia while the alcohol is natural from the fruit itself.


She is hoping to help the farmers earn a better income by the time her wines are made available in the market.


“We want to help our farmers not only in Cotabato but even in the whole Mindanao. Kung may market na, we can contract buying from farmers.


Mabigyan ng livelihood ang mga tao and those people who grow this will be given the right price for their products,” she said.


Right now, CT South Tropics has something up in its sleeves for those who believe in the medicinal powers of malunggay, as it is looking at making wine out of this herb.


Taposok was among the exhibitors being showcased at the Organic Fair at the Abreeza of the Ayala Malls.


Source: Sun Star

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