50 years ago
A working Scottish distillery opening its doors to the public? Obvious now, but it was a brave and visionary move in the 1960s; one our founding family knew would have whisky lovers flocking.
“The Valley of The Deer” in Speyside, Scotland, is where William Grant, Glenfiddich’s visionary founder, turned his dreams into reality in 1887 by hand-building the distillery with the help of his seven sons and two daughters in a single year.
In the summer of 1969, under the stewardship of Charles and Sandy Gordon, William’s great grandsons, Glenfiddich opened the doors of its Visitor Centre, the first of its kind.
David Grant, the grandson of William and cousin of Charles and Sandy, said: “Today, people can’t conceive how difficult it was in the 1960s to launch not just a malt whisky to the world, but the whole concept of single malt whisky. Our visitor centre was at the forefront of our effort and our most successful weapon. The decision to create it and invest our resources in people and money, was a stroke of brilliance. This visitor centre and the team running it were our most important and effective marketing weapon in the creation of the global brand which Glenfiddich has become.”
Since Janet Roberts, granddaughter of our founder, cut the ribbon on 5th July 1969, over 5 million people from over 120 countries have travelled to see where the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky is made.