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Scottish drinks brand unveils plans for vermouth 'centre of excellence'

The brothers behind Scottish brand Valentian Vermouth have unveiled plans to open a 'centre for vermouth excellence' in the Borders to mark World Vermouth Day (21 March).

Valentian hopes its new facility - which will include a tasting room, experimentation studio, aperitivo bar and retail space - will bring the brand to the forefront the UK vermouth market.

Dominic and David Tait, co-founders of drinks maker Tait Bros, launched Valentian Vermouth in late 2019 and count some of Scotland's premier hospitality venues among their stockists. The super-premium vermouth is made with Scottish new make malt spirit, Italian white wine and botanicals from both countries.

Plans for the centre of excellence, as well as a new brand home for Valentian Vermouth, were developed during the coronavirus lockdowns in the UK last year. The brothers are planning a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the project and have identified a preferred location: Melrose, at the foot of the Eildon Hills, which feature on the Valentian Vermouth bottle.

"Consumers are always looking for the next thing in drinks - they want new flavour experiences with a focus on quality ingredients and provenance, lower ABV, cocktail credentials," said Dominic Tait.

"The vermouth and aperitif market is growing in the UK and globally, but Scotland is being left behind; we believe that by creating a centre of excellence for vermouth in the Scottish Borders, we will place Valentian Vermouth at the forefront of the sector, building provenance and a reputation for craft with consumers and the UK drinks industry."

He added: "The past year was tough, but it enabled us to underpin the work we had done to market the brand through traditional models, where bars and bartenders serve as your advocates, by pivoting towards independent outlets who filled that role."

Dominic says he is aiming to position Valentian Vermouth as 'the drink' of the Scottish summer and fill the country's beer gardens with Negronis and 'V&Ts' after venues reopen in April.

Bartender and vermouth producer Giancarlo Mancino created the first World Vermouth Day this year to celebrate the fortified wine, timed to coincide with the vernal equinox and the beginning of spring.

23 March 2021 - Bethany Whymark