Scottish fruit wine? Really? Scotland is known for whisky and gin of course. However, when I found out that fruit wines are also made there, I just had to make a trip there to see for myself.
Recently I have had the privilege of visiting Scotland. There is a lot perking in the fruit wine world in this beautiful part of the world. Scotland has certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities in fruit wine and I was amazed by the dynamic and innovative people who grow fruit and turn this fruit into wonderfully tasting fruit wines.
One of the stops I did was at Cairn o Mohr winery, located in Perthshire, not far from the town of Dundee. The area is known as the fruit growing region of Scotland, famous from its strawberries and raspberries and now honeyberries.
The founders and owners, Ron and Judith Gillies are an eccentric bunch and certainly think “outside the box”. I would consider them as Scottish fruit wine pioneers as they have been producing and selling fruit wines since 1987. I know it has not always been an easy road, but it never is for pioneers. They are passionate fruit wine lovers and innovators and I was very impressed with what they have done.
Their Scottish fruit wine is made in the traditional way from whole fruit all sourced or grown locally. They also chose to age at least a year prior to bottling in order to fully develop the wine’s flavour characteristics. This is something that is not often done in the fruit wine world.
Their core range of wines consists of Strawberry, Raspberry, Bramble, Elderberry and Oak Leaf wine. Sparkling wines are also produced such as Oak & Elder and sparkling Strawberry.
As mentioned, they are innovators, so many other flavours are available. Something for everyone and every taste.
I had the opportunity to drink the elder-flower wine recently. A wine with huge aromatic and balanced mouthfeel and refined finish. Just lovely.
The area was famous for its apples, pears and plums in Victorian times. A lot of the original orchards have been torn down, but a few of them remain with very interesting heirloom varieties, perfect for quality cider. An excellent expression of these ancient apple varieties is being made and bottled by them. Really worth a try.
Their draft cider which they call “Pictish” is absolutely lovely. The cider has a fleshy mouthfeel with a dry finish. It’s on tap in many parts of Scotland and hopefully soon beyond.
All in all, my visit to Cairn o Mohr was an eye opener to the great wines made in this region and the spirit of those that make them. Anyone traveling to the region, make sure you stop by and load up on these wonderful beauties!