Man Creates The First Home-Grown Scottish Wine

Walet Neilson
Walet Neilson / Walet Neilson

Alcohol-wise, Scotland is obviously best known for its Scotch whisky. But after planting 200 vines in the Fife region, 53-year-old chef Christopher Trotter set out to do what’s never been done before—produce a Scottish wine. This feat has proven to be a challenge as Scotland’s chilly temperatures don’t make for an optimal winemaking environment. Trotter has made a single batch that is, according to most critics, simply “undrinkable.” One critic from Edinburgh kindly said that "it has potential," before adding that he enjoyed it in "a bizarre, masochistic way." But Trotter says he’s isolated the possible error (allowing too much oxidation) and hopes to avoid repeating it.

And now, after proving that grapes could be grown in the harsh climate, Trotter is setting out to improve his Chateau Largo, and says the land he intends to utilize is capable of hosting 6,000 vines and producing 70,000 bottles annually. A large portion of his optimism comes from the fact that times are rapidly changing. For starters, although Scotland doesn’t have a wine repertoire, Trotter believes they are capable of emulating Britain's success over the past 30 years in terms of entering and redefining the industry. And, most importantly, Trotter says that climate change studies “have suggested that areas like Scotland will become more like the Loire Valley in 20 to 30 years.” Overall, “the aim is to produce a good-quality table wine," Trotter says, "and I believe that can be achieved.”

[h/t: The Telegraph]