Diana Adongo, a resident of Busamaga in Mbale district never went to school to learn how to make wine. But her passion for taking wine drove her to start earning money by making wine.
When Adongo had her son, she realised that the cost of raising a child especially as a single mother, was high. So she started thinking of how to earn some extra money. She settled for making passion fruit and pineapple wine under the name - Ado wines.
Finding out what exactly to deal in was important.
“I did my research and zeroed in on making organic wine mainly from passion fruits and pineapple with no extra additives added,” Ms Adongo narrates.
But where did her inspiration come from?
“My son always inspired me to start up this wine business to take good care of him. As a single mum, I’m always driven by the fact that I don’t want to beg. If I can work and get it, I do so,” Ms Adongo says.
Much as the beginning was not smooth, Adongo did not give up.
“I found someone who could supply me with bottles, I purchased the required materials and began making small batches at a time. The initial batch didn’t turn out as I hoped so I kept on trying it until I got the taste I could enjoy and other people too,” Ms Adongo who officially started this business in 2012, says.
The 27-year-old says she invested Shs100,000 to start her enterprise. The money was used to buy passion fruits, pineapples, bottles, additives such as yeast and citric acid.
Citric acid, a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits, is a natural preservative and is used to add an acidic (sour) taste to foods and soft drinks.
Adongo Diana says she sells her wine under the trademark name of “Ado wine”.
Business can be challenging since she has seasonal clients.
“I used to sell the wine in supermarkets and restaurants within town but it would take long to be sold,” Adongo shares.
The business woman did not run out of options as she turned to social media to market her product.
Since it took long on supermarket shelves, I decided to sell it through social media and home,” Ms Adongo who sells a 750 ml bottle of wine at Shs12,000, says.
The ambitious lady believes that market is not saturated.
“I think the market is still big to accommodate me. I’m still looking for more outlets to sell this wine.”
In a good season, she earns about Shs300,000 from the enterprise whose peak season is in December.
“I have daily cash flow that facilitates my livelihood. I employ causal labour to help out when I have more orders and I have been able to start up a gym for my clients too,” Ms Adongo says.
Adongo’s biggest challenge is the low market response given that most people have not embraced drinking passion fruit and pineapple wine.
The high cost of pineapples is another challenge which has impacted on her profit margin.
Adongo intends to spread her wings while helping out other ladies to make money.
“I am planning to come up with more businesses and train young ladies on how to create a small business to get a living.”
She also advises stay-at-home women and young girls with no source of income to acquire skills to earn money.
“Pull up your socks ladies! Don’t wait for men to provide for you. Do something!” Ms Adongo advises.
To those interested in joining the wine business, Ms Adongo advises them to focus on achieving their goals.
How to make pineapple wine
Step1: After harvesting ripe pineapples, take them to the work place from where they are washed thoroughly.
Step2: Peel off the outer layer, and then cut the flesh into small pieces that can easily be squeezed to extract the juice.
Step3: Squeeze the juice from the flesh. This can be manually or with the aid of a machine.
Step4: Boil the juice in saucepans until it reaches a boiling point. Also cut oranges into pieces and add them to the boiling juice. The oranges give the wine a good aroma.
Step5: When it has boiled, remove it from the fire and leave it to cool up to about 10 degrees centigrade.
Step6: Then pour it in jerry cans and after a little time (about 30 minutes) add yeast and citric acid and then cover, leaving a small breathing space.
Step7: Then keep them in a dark place for one month and after the one month, sieve it and add hibiscus juice to give it a natural purple colour. Then put it into another jerrycan. Again store it in a dark place for three months. After the three months it is ready for sale/ consumption. However, Adongo says from her experience, she has discovered that pineapple wine is best for consumption when it is more than one year old.