Although Scotland is better known for its whisky, Fife’s Food Ambassador Christopher Trotter is determined that a combination of climate change and determination can and will result in Scotland becoming a wine producing country.
As Mr Trotter has pointed out, climate change is steadily forcing vintners from the traditional, more southerly wine regions to alter their wine growing techniques – and English wines are now increasingly respected by experts across the world.
At the same time, many continental vineyards that have been nurtured in the same tradition for centuries are now facing impending change forced upon them by increasing global temperatures. Vintners are having to make changes to protect their vines in the increasing summer heat, from irrigating the vines during hot periods, to changing the orientation of a whole vineyard.
Back in Scotland, however, Christopher Trotteris forging ahead with his plan to produce Scottish wine this autumn. A chef turned food writer turned vintner, Mr Trotter is committed to producing quaffable white and rosé wine from the three varieties of grape – Rondo, Solaris and Siegerrebe – that he has planted in his vineyard, situated in the village of Upper Largo on the south coast of Fife. These varieties are early ripening vines, and Mr Trotter has done all he can to insure that the vines have the best soil, south-facing position and as much sun as possible to ensure that he harvests the best quality fruit.
Summers in Scotland are now noticeably warmer than ever: last July temperatures in Fife averaged 21.4 degrees Celsius, the second highest on record. ‘Climate change is a reality’ says Mr Trotter, and he certainly seems to be ready to take advantage of all the warmer weather can provide. Mr Trotter hopes to harvest his first grapes this September, adding: ‘We don’t expect a Sancerre yet but we are hopeful that it will be drinkable!’
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