Scots vermouth makers search for a Borders home

The makers of one of the UK’s most talked-about new vermouths have begun surveying locations for a new Scottish Borders headquarters.

It comes after a successful £120,000 crowdfunding campaign which hit its target in just two days.

More than 170 investors ‘put their money where vermouth is’ during Valentian Vermouth’s campaign on Crowdcube, launched to finance a new brand home, new hires and the development of new products expected next year.

Since the deal concluded in August, brothers Dominic and David Tait, the duo behind Tait Bros, have wasted no time putting their plans into action, earmarking several locations around the Borders and launching a feasibility study into a preferred site near Melrose.

The plans include facilities for small batch production, as well as a licensed bar, taproom, and experimentation studio.

Valentian Vermouth has also made its first hire, with a new sales executive and brand representative for the west of Scotland due to begin in January.

The developments have not slowed Valentian Vermouth’s growth, with two new national Scottish wholesalers signing deals, as well as a host of new stockists including partnerships with renowned venues including Fhior, in Edinburgh, and The Gate and Bar Vini in Glasgow – the latter of which hosted a crowdfunding celebration event on Tuesday, November 16.

Valentian Vermouth also recently earned the highest award of ‘Master’ at the prestigious Speciality Spirits Masters 2021, run by respected industry publication The Spirits Business.

The brand has made its mark at trade shows including Speciality and Fine Food Fair 2021 at Olympia in London – where it was named amongst top 30 exhibitors – and the Tait Bros plan to take the brand to further trade and consumer events in the next 12 months.

Tait Bros is preparing new Valentian Vermouth products, with two Christmas gift packs due for release in late November, and two new vermouths ­– Valentian Vermouth Bianco and Secco – due for release in spring/summer 2022.

Dominic, 33, who runs Valentian Vermouth on a day-to-day basis, said: ‘The response to our crowdfunder was beyond anything we could have hoped for, and it’s an incredible feeling to see so many people put their faith – and money – in Valentian Vermouth.

‘Consumers are getting behind us too, with sales strong, and the response from buyers has been fantastic. We are continuing to grow our portfolio of stockists across Scotland, and have new opportunities on the horizon throughout the UK.

David Tait (left) and brother Dominic at the foot of the Eildon Hills

‘All things considered, we managed well throughout the pandemic – particularly with direct-to-consumer sales – but the reopening of hospitality has sprinkled some magic on the market, and the brand is really taking off as a consequence.’

He added: ‘Our post-crowdfunding plans are well under way, and it’s incredibly exciting to be looking at locations for our HQ. We are looking forward to bringing our first full-time employee on board in January with a focus on the west of Scotland, where we see huge opportunities in Glasgow in particular. This will augment the significant strides we have already made in Edinburgh and the east.

‘We are beyond pleased with the plans for our new brand home, and very optimistic about the sites we have identified. Once the feasibility study is complete, we will then look to move onto the next stage with planning. It’s too early to say exactly when it will open, but we will have an update soon.’

Valentian Vermouth is an innovative new super-premium vermouth. It is an audacious addition to the market, marrying Scottish new make malt spirit, Italian white wine and botanicals cultivated in both countries.

Tait Bros is currently based in St Boswells in the Scottish Borders, an area once known as Valentia, the most northerly part of the Roman empire, which was the inspiration for the brand’s name.

Find out more HERE.