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New book shines a light on Fleurieu wine, beer and spirits

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The publisher of a hard-cover book showcasing the ‘faces and food’ of the Fleurieu Peninsula is now set to release a second book sharing the stories behind 50 of the region’s winemakers, craft brewers and distillers.

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Passionate South Australian foodie Rojina McDonald, a former Le Cordon Bleu International scholarship winner, set up her small independent business Soul Publishing a couple of years ago.

Having grown up on an olive grove in McLaren Vale, her first goal was to create a book featuring Fleurieu farmers, fishers, producers and chefs alongside their signature recipes. Faces & Food of the Fleurieu was published last spring, and she says the response has been “amazing”.

“We’ve sold over 2000 copies … we’ve even shipped the book interstate and overseas; it’s currently in Dubai, America, Europe and New Zealand.”

Almost as soon as the first book was released, McDonald and her small team began working on their second hard-cover title, Wine, Beer & Spirits of the Fleurieu.

A Pozible crowdfunding campaign seeking to raise $15,000 towards production costs will be launched this Thursday, and the 200-plus-page book is planned for release before Christmas with an initial print run of 5000.

Coriole Winery at McLaren Vale. Photo: Meaghan Coles/ Wine, Beer & Spirits of the Fleurieu

Put together by a team including writer Heather Millar, photographer Meaghan Coles and designer Kim Jericho, it includes photographs and stories from 50 different places (all of which have paid to be featured) encompassing a wide range of wineries, craft breweries, distilleries and a small selection of accommodation venues.

There are also cocktail recipes and food and wine-pairing recommendations.

“A lot of wineries have been featured in print, online or on television, but not in the one hard-cover publication for the region so I thought it was a great opportunity to do a book that goes hand in hand with the first one,” McDonald says.

Brewer Dan Wright at McLaren Vale’s recently opened Swell Taphouse. Photo: Meaghan Coles / Wine, Beer & Spirits of the Fleurieu

“I stuck to the prominent ones – the people that have been in the region for a long time and have history here [including the likes of d’Arenberg, Wirra Wirra and Coriole] – but also tried to include the new, funky brands of wine, the small-batch wineries, and the organic, biodynamic ranges, so there’s a good mix.”

McDonald, who has been nominated as a finalist for South Australian Business Excellence in the 2019 Ausmumpreneur National Awards, says the crowdfunding campaign isn’t just about raising money, but also aims to create a sense of excitement around the book launch.

“We wouldn’t have been able to bring our first book to life without that platform so we wanted to use it again …

“I like crowdfunding because it brings a sense of urgency to it and it gets the community involved; it spreads the word about the book.”

Not content to confine her publishing vision to the Fleurieu, McDonald has already set her sights on Soul Publishing’s next venture: Faces & Food of the Margaret River.

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