Set in amongst the rich fields and the hedge fringed country roads of the Carse of Gowrie, Perthshire, there’s this strange Scottish winery. Since 1987 Cairn o' Mohr Winery has been brewing up juicy-fruity, berry loaded, blossom scented, leafy layered, award winning country wines, using the berries for which the area is famous, wild flowers, fruits and leaves. Fruit wines, sparkling wines, ciders and bourtree juices using near anything that grows. Owners Ron and Judith Gillies believe in sourcing locally, and living in an area flush with wild ingredients and some of the best fruit in the world it’s all there for the picking.
Founders Ron and Judith Gillies first met playing poker on a river boat in the steaming mosquito infested mangroves of the Panamanian jungle. Their eyes met and they knew then that they were going to end up making fruit wines somewhere in the middle of Scotland for a living. The rest is geography.
They started the winery with a bottle, a book and a stick in 1987. Then before they knew it they had a big winery and everything. By 2010 they had opened their first café and bought a new wheelbarrow.
The Cairn o’ Mohr Way
At the winery we use local ingredients, most of which are picked within a 25 mile radius, because they are available, fresh and of the highest quality. Perthshire raspberries are famous the world over and hundreds of acres of strawberries and other fruits are also grown in the area. As for the elderberries, we have our own plantation on the farm but still go out and pick a lot of wild stuff to help fill the tanks.
Our fruit wines are all made in the traditional and proper way of fermentation followed by at least a year of maturation. This gives our wines real vinosity and smooth well developed flavours
We started with our core range of five types; Strawberry, Raspberry, Bramble, Elderberry and Oak Leaf, then added the Sparkling Oak & Elder for our own wedding followed by the Sparkling Strawberry for someone else’s wedding.
Various local farmers phoning us up to find a home for spare fruit prompted the introduction of limited editions blends such as; Clever Currant, Cheery Currant, and Shrubbery.
Seasonal urges drove us to produce a Raspberry/Strawberry blend, the Berry Up, for the Summer, and in the winter the Mulled Elderberry and Berry Christmas.
We also make the odd traditional wine such as Rhubarb and every now and again we’ll create an ‘Experimental’ just to keep things interesting at our end ‘y’ken. We’re still home winemakers at heart.
The Carse of Gowrie was famous for its apples, pears and plums in Victorian times; they used to be shipped down to London on boats out of Port Allen on the Tay. Like ancient monuments, scraps of the old orchards still exist, dotted around the Carse. The heritage orchard forum meets regularly at the Cairn o Mohr winery where matters relating to restoration of these orchards and the planting of new ones are discussed. Try our lovely cider made with some of the old varieties and a mixture of modern ones from round about.
We also make a fruity punch cider, with secret ingredients, (they’re written on the back) hurrah!
If you have apples of your own in the area and want to sell them please give us a ring (01821642781)
Multi award winning Sparkling Elderflower and Elderberry drinks from wild flowers and our own Bourtree orchards. (Bourtree is the Scottish name for the Elder bush)
Also Carse of Gowrie apple juice, very popular at the world famous Gleneagles hotel, where world leaders sip it whilst making earth-moving decisions. Possibly in the morning.
Tours, Tastings and Cairn o’ Mohr Shindigs
You can come out and visit the Cairn o Mohr winery and cider house just about any time you like apart from the middle of the night probably. You can also arrange a tour of the Cairn o’ Mohr winery and cider house any time of the year.