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Scotland’s ‘undrinkable’ first wine has promise – producer

The first wine in memory to emerge from a vineyard in Scotland has been described as undrinkable, but producer Christopher Trotter says there are plenty of positives to draw on.

Grapes at what is believed to be Scotland’s first vineyard were left to hang on the vine too long and then were not chilled quickly enough, causing oxidisation to occur, said Trotter, who is also a chef and food and wine writer.

‘The first bottling was disappointing,’ he told Decanter.com from his estate in Fife. ‘It didn’t smell very good.’

English and Welsh vineyards further south have gained increasing prominence in recent years and Trotter remains determined to prove that winemaking also has a future in Scotland.

‘I set out to prove that it was possible to ripen grapes in Scotland and I’ve done that. Now I want to make a drinkable wine,’ he said.

Trotter and a business partner planted 100 vines in 2010 and a further 100 in 2011. The first vintage, from the 2014 crop, was produced from the original 100 vines and only 10 bottles of wine were made.

Grape varieties planted are Rondo, Solaris and Siegerrebe. ‘Because we harvested too late, we lost a lot of the Rondo in 2014,’ Trotter said, adding that he also planned to experiment with small doses of sulphur dioxide in the 2015 vintage.

‘It’s extremely encouraging that a critic like Richard Meadows of Edinburgh wine merchant the Great Grog Company – who has a great palate – said that once you get beyond the horrible nose there’s a good balance, with good acidity and structure,’ Trotter said.

He said he was seeking a new investor after his previous business partner left, because of time commitments elsewhere. ‘There’s space for 5,000 vines here,’ he added.

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