History - Scotland is famous for its alcoholic beverages. From beer to Scotch and more recently the gin boom but wine? Surely not? You need sunshine, right? The right terroir? Well, for more than 30 years now this has not stopped Ron and Judith Gillies who, in 1987, equipped themselves with some tools and a “teach yourself” wine-making manual and decided to make their own fruit wine. They have built Cairn O’Mhor into an award-winning business and also built a shop, cafe and bottling line providing 15 jobs. This is a quirky and fun place to visit set amongst the rich fields and the hedge-fringed country roads of the Carse of Gowrie and well worth a visit if you are in the area.

The wine - The husband and wife team have always prided themselves on using fruit sourced from within a 25-mile radius.They developed a successful business producing an award-winning range of wines. Their fruit wines are all made in the traditional and proper way of fermentation followed by at least a year of maturation. They have a core range of five, Strawberry, Raspberry, Bramble, Elderberry and Oak Leaf. They also have seasonal variants and even ciders which you can pick up at the winery. Having tasted most of their range, I can happily say they are all delicious. Of course, you wont find a chardonnay or pinot here but what they have achieved with their local fruits is amazing and if you want to try something different to wow your guests this Christmas then buy some of their bottles.

Why visit? - There is always loads going on here and as soon as you arrive you can feel that this is a family-run, much-loved business. A tour will set you back a mere £7 and for that you will get to see the production process from fruit to bottle with their passionate and informative tour guides. Tours last roughly 90 minutes and I would recommend phoning ahead for availability.

Interesting fact - Every year they host the International Bottle Smashing Tournament. This all started as an entertaining solution to dispose of empty wine bottles that accumulated over the winter. Competitors are given seven empty bottles to throw at a two foot diameter rock (the Rock) suspended from a specially netted frame (the Thing). The winners are those who break most bottles. So far no-one has succeeded in breaking more than four bottles in one round. This sounds a bit mad and loads of fun, I’ll be competing next year for sure.