My husband Graham (Vice President of Research and Development) loves wine. He jokes that the reason we moved to McMinnville was because he heard there was a winery nearby. Now that we’ve been here six years he easily admits how much he has enjoyed visiting and sampling the amazing depth and breadth of the wines offered locally. (I’m the designated driver!)
Graham is also quite devoted to Facebook and has friended many of the local wineries to stay aware of special events. We’ve recently attended free performances and concerts at several near McMinnville.
A few years ago he told me that the owner of EIEIO Winery (a man named McDonald, of course) had posted that his property had a lot of plum trees that had not been cared for and the trees were loaded loaded loaded with ripe fruit. He had purchased the property where his house is located several years before and perhaps for 10 years prior to that the plum trees surrounding the inside of a paddock had been neglected. The plums were very small but very sweet. Anyone who wanted them was invited to contact him and arrange a time to glean.
There were yellow plums. There were red ones. And purple ones. It was an amazing rainbow. We tasted and discovered two things. 1: Yes, they were deliciously sweet. 2: They were cling, not freestone. (We are masters of handling fruits that cling to stones now!)
We got them to the commercial kitchen and into the huge walk-in cooler for the processing the next day. I then went to the post office to send a package and met the owner of Third Street Oil and Vinegar. She presents olive oil and balsamic vinegar infused with flavors and has an amazing talent for taste combinations that work. She tasted the plums and suggested a balsamic vinegar infused with pomegranate.
The next day I made the most perfect jelly. It was my first year in business so I was very proud how it set up and looked so pretty with its deep reddish purple tone. And the taste was great! Sweet and tangy.
Well, we have not been back to EIEIO since then but a friend has been bringing me the wild plums off a tree on her property these past few weeks and I decided to see if we could present the same wonderful tangy sweetness as a fruit leather. And voila! It has been done!
Ingredients are wild plums, a tiny bit of cane sugar and a splash of pomegranate balsamic vinegar. Packaged 4 roll-ups to a bag, selling for $5. No artificial anything and I bet you will not find anything like this anywhere else.