Scotland may be best known for its production of ales, beers, and lagers… But did you know that the country also produces plenty of wine? During my time in Edinburgh, I sampled some Scottish wine- all in the name of market research, of course! Here’s what it was like…
Production of Wine in Scotland
Up in the rolling hills of the highlands, and down to the banks of the Water of Leith in Edinburgh, there are few places hospitable enough to grow grapes. But that doesn’t mean that other fruits can’t be cultivated, blended and transformed into wine.
One of the largest companies producing these fruit wines is Cairn o’Mohr, and so it was one of their fruit wines which I opted to try. The winery was founded by Ron and Judith Gillies over 30 years ago, making it the oldest wine producing company in Scotland. They were looking to create something a little different, and once you’ve tried the wine, you’ll see that they most definitely have!
There are now several other wine producing companies in Scotland, some of which are producing grape wines. Cairn o’Mohr produces various blends of fruit wines on a yearly basis, including several ‘limited’ edition wines for weddings and the like. Yearly wines produced by the company include Strawberry, Raspberry, Bramble, Elderberry, Spring Oak Leaf, Autumn Oak Leaf and Gooseberry & Elderflower wines.
Sampling Scottish Wine in Edinburgh: The Experience
When I first discovered that a few places in Scotland produced a wide variety of fruit wines, I just knew I had to try some! After all, a bottle can be purchased in many shops and supermarkets across the country, including at many major retail stores. I’d already sampled a number of local beers, but as I’m normally a wine drinker, I wanted to see if the wine would match up with the quality of the regional beer…
Fruits used to make Scottish wine are all grown locally across Scotland and the fruits on offer include elderflower, strawberries, raspberries among other fruits. If I’m honest, with so many choices on offer, I was unsure which blend of wine to choose! In the end, I opted to purchase the Gooseberry and Elderflower wine at a cost of around £7 from a Sainsbury’s store in the heart of Edinburgh.
I have plenty of fond memories of growing and tasting gooseberries growing up and so I was curious as to whether the gooseberry taste would translate well into a wine. Unfortunately, I have a massive sweet tooth (as you may have noticed if you’ve read any of my ‘Paris Sweets‘ posts) and so I found the drink a little bitter. That being said, it’s the kind of wine you’ll love if you’re looking for something a little quirky, different and if your drink of taste is neither too dry nor too sweet. Personally, next time, I’d opt to drink a raspberry of strawberry wine.
I would also have loved the chance to visit the winery and perhaps taste some local fruit wine in situ. The company offer regular tours and tasting at their home base in Errol, Perthshire from April through to October. The facilities include a shop, café and plenty of tasting tours. It’s even rated as one of the top attractions in the area. However, as I had a limited time in Scotland, I just had time to try a bottle from the supermarket in Edinburgh!