Valentine Distilling Co. is one of the most renowned distilleries not only in Michigan or the United States, but in the world. How can they claim that lofty title? By showing off their award for the World’s Best Vodka from the 2016 World Vodka Awards.
The winners of this year’s awards were announced on March 17 and Valentine took home the top prize of the World’s Best Vodka along with Best Varietal Vodka. The World Vodka Awards are presented by TheDrinksReport.com and select the best Vodka Taste and Design from distilleries across the globe.
Founder Rifino Valentine is no stranger to winning awards for his products, but says this one is particularly special.
“It’s like winning the olympic gold medal for us,” Valentine explained. “Most awards you submit your products to, there will be something like 20 brands that will win the gold medal brands. This competition there is one winner and that is it. There’s no sharing the award, no second place winner, that’s what makes this special.”
The distillery is located in the heart of Ferndale and Valentine takes a huge amount of pride in manufacturing a high-quality, American made product. Valentine’s goal is to be a catalyst in the area for American manufacturing, much like what happened with automotive industry.
“For the last 9 years I have been saying, I am not going to quit until not another bottle of Grey Goose is sold in the state of Michigan,” Valentine said. “Cars were the originators of putting Detroit on the manufacturing epicenter of the world, and we are trying to do that with other products.”
The Valentine brand was already well-known, but Valentine said that winning the award has already made a huge impact in the first few months.
“I think what happened is that a lot of people who were on the fence thought ‘oh, I heard about this, but c’mon how good can it be if it’s manufactured right down the street from me?’ So a lot of people who were of that category started buying Valentine,” Valentine said.
Valentine looks to use the momentum gained from this award to expand distribution to a few more states and countries. He says that this award allows them to fulfill their original goals in that respect.
“That’s really the key of it, when I started it it was about bringing back manufacturing and jobs in the U.S. and showing the U.S. still makes things better than anywhere else in the world, the thing is to bring the economy back with it.”
Valentine says they plan to submit their vodka again for next year’s competition, along with their gin and their newly launched bourbon. You can try all of their new and old products, including the World’s Best Vodka, at the Valentine Distilling Co. located on Woodward in Ferndale.
More information on all of their products can be found at www.valentinedistilling.com.