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Back to basics – Tomatoes

As a winemaker and farmer, you make a deliberate choice to surrender your life to Mother Nature.  She becomes your ‘boss’ and she is the one who calls the shots.  She sets the rhythm by which you live – the seasons – and depending on her mood, you respond accordingly… 

Naturally at Fowles, our biggest focus is wine, but the other seasonal delight she dishes up at the end of summer is tomatoes.

Each year, around vintage, we have a bonanza of tomatoes.  We eat them every day at home in amazing salads.  We make slow-baked tomato sauces that sustains us through the winter months.  And, for one day every year, we make passata!

Passata is basically a tomato pureé that sits in our cellar (alongside the wine) and forms the base of most dishes during winter: every Bolognese, every slow-cooked lamb shank dish and every wild-shot venison pot roast.

For us, passata takes place at our friends the Jenkins house.  Everyone is involved from kids through to grandparents.  There is an array of great food and wine.  But there is also serious work to be done.  Seriously messy work too!

The result is around 50 jars of tomato passata for each family to enjoy.  And, like wine, the best bit is when you open it throughout the year, it reminds you of the seasons, the fun times and your mates who helped you get it done.

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