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'First' Scottish wine bottled in Fife

Scots chef and food writer Christopher Trotter bottles the "world's first" Scottish wine - a white wine produced in Fife. 

Published: July 14, 2015
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Trotter first planted his vineyard, situated near his home in Upper Largo on the southern coast of Fife, three years ago and through subsequent plantings has seen it grow to nearly 200 vines.

Though he has struggled with most grape varieties - Scotland's climate is too cold for Sauvignon Blanc to ripen - he has managed some success with early budding German variety Solaris, along with a second white in Siegerrebe and red grape in Rondo.

“Scotland has been more of a beer-drinking nation than anything else. Wine hasn’t been part of the culture until now,” Trotter recently told Bloomberg.

And it seems now he's managed to buck the trend with his first bottling of Chateau Largo, which hasn't yet received much in the way of glowing praise from some of the wine industry's leading reviewers, due in part to some of the wine oxidising - which the wine maker readily admits was down to not chilling the grapes quickly enough after they were picked.

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However, one reviewer told the Daily Mail that he saw potential in the wine, Richard Meadows, owner of Great Gog wine merchants in Edinburgh, said that although it didn't smell fresh, it was "crisp and light" and was "structurally fine."

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Mr Trotter was delighted by Mr Meadows response and believes that next year's harvest will be better, as he learns from this year's mistakes, he said: "So we proved that we can ripen grapes in Scotland and we can make wine, given the right circumstances. I'm confident next year's will be much better."

Mr Trotter is optimistic for the future and cites neighbouring England and its wines as the perfect example of what can happen with a little perseverance, he added: "If you look back at the English wine making industry 30 years ago, it was the laughing stock of the wine drinking world. But the persevered and now they are making some of the finest wines in the world."

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Mt Trotter hopes to continue with the expansion of his vineyard and hopes that he will eventually be able to plant 5,000 vines.

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