By Shaun Milne
SCOTLAND is world famous as the best whisky making nation on the planet.
Its pureness of water, abundance of barley crop and seemingly unquenchable thirst for Scotch makes it one of the country’s biggest export successes.
So it comes as no surprise to discover that the nation is toasting yet another gong from the international drinks industry.
Until, that is, you discover the latest accolade is for wine making.
An Ayrshire based wine company has walked off with top award at the International Wine Challenge Awards for its prize Riesling.
Even more extraordinary, Alliance Wine beat off more than 10,000 other wine producers with its Moonbridge label to be named Great Value Champion White.
With a staff numbering just 49, the company is headquartered in the small town of Beith, once a haven to 17th century smugglers owing to its location so close to Glasgow.
Set up in 1984 as a wine importer serving classic French wine to individual clients, it has grown in size to become a merchant and distributor in its own right now boasting an impressive portfolio of more than 1200 wines
Opening offices in London and Adelaide in Australia, they now import wine from 15 different countries to service bars, hotels, restaurants, traders and supermarkets.
Giles Cooke, Buying & Marketing Director at Alliance, said: “We launched our Australian subsidiary company in 2006 and it has shipped 80,000 cases of our own produced wines to the UK this year.
“It is an unusual set-up.
“But by combining our expertise from across Scotland and Australia we’ve been able to produce a fantastic wine that has won glowing reviews.
“This recognition puts us firmly in the spotlight and lets the world know we are doing a great job when it comes to producing great wines.”
She added: “I suppose it is bit unusual for a Scottish company based in small village in Ayrshire to win a global wine award with an Australian Riesling.
“Considering there we were up against more than 10,000 individual wines, it shows just how good our Moonbridge Riesling is.
“These awards are the pinnacle of the international wine industry.”
It is the second consecutive accolade for the Ayrshire company this year after it was also named UK Agent of the Year by the International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards at a prize ceremony in London’s Park Lane Hilton during the summer.