The Short Story…

…is a tale of two people from different continents falling in love for the second time twenty four years after they first met. Vermont - a Walker Bay, Overberg town in the Western Cape province of South Africa sets the stage for a storyline that reads like a novel.

Themes of romance and fate, dotted with a good dose of spontaneous adventures, various international endeavours, some serious mid-life wake-up calls… a life-changing dream, erupting volcano, Hibiscus tonic, a yearning to build a new life together, some entrepreneurial spirit and voila!... you have Chapter 1.

Chapter 2 is pure synchronicity, an organic farm, inspiring botanist, master distiller with a PhD in Chemistry, countless hours in the lab, sleepless nights and loads of grace...

We read somewhere that if you want to safely confess to a crime or buying Justin Bieber albums, put it in the long-form of the press release;
no-one will ever read it… but just in case you really want to know...

The Long Story goes something like this…

24 years after their "first love" story, the founders of Vergin SA finally got their "second chance" but it was not without its fair share of challenges...for a start there was the 11 133 kms separating them... two different continents, sometimes three time zones, scattered days of bliss sipping Hibiki whisky in Yzerfontein or nights cooking at her home in Vermont dotted together by long-distance flights and midnight calls all added fuel to the entrepreneurial fire. It became apparent very early on that they wanted to go into business together...start something that would combine their individual strengths with their shared passions...something that would finally allow them to build a future that didn't involve living apart.  

After a year of this "commuting affair" he decided that the status quo just won't suffice, sometimes you just need to have a little faith, the universe responds to intention and action...so he popped the question and 8 weeks later they had the perfect sunset beach wedding.  The honeymoon included erupting volcanoes, cancelled flights and last-minute itinerary changes..(by know we wouldn't expect anything less)...but the adventure also dished up the serendipitous “a-ha” moment... while sipping refreshing Hibiscus iced tea upon check-in at The Burasari, which literally translated, means “a peaceful place filled with delightful fragrances” they knew that if they could find a way of taking that experience home, of making a non-alcoholic drink that gives you the same experience as sipping on a premium cocktail... one of being taken care of, being spoilt but without the negative health effects of added sugar, artificial additives and if you overindulge, then the alcohol hangover. Well then, they might just be onto something....

Poolside research on “what to drink when you don’t feel like drinking” led them to the following quote: “When you’re out with friends or you get home from work and you’ve had a long day and you want to start dinner, but you don’t want to have that glass of red wine there’s nothing that fits the occasion, that feels special. So, this is what to drink when you’re not drinking” Ben Branson – Seedlip founder.

UK brand Seedlip prides itself on being the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled botanical spirit, but it’s not Juniper based and being Gin lovers that was what triggered the whole VerGin idea…Vermont (her home town) + virgin "gin"...voila!

The company was registered, and the domain secured two days later…this was just before Christmas 2017. Insert the organically certified botanical farm, inspiring botanist, a master distiller with a PhD in Chemistry, some gut wrenching, OH MY… WHAT ARE WE DOING moments, countless trial batches and sleepless nights.

Labels, bottles, batches and a million other little things that goes into setting up a business like this followed...Bloom is a hit with those preferring a more contemporary floral flavour profile...Limon, appeals to those who enjoy a more "traditional gin" taste...the sceptics are starting to change their tunes, the critics starting to take notice.  South Africa is embracing the non-alcoholic trend that have already taken the rest of world by storm...four other local companies have since launched their own versions and more is sure to follow...

In October 2019 Vergin SA launched a new range of premium, non-alcoholic mocktails especially for mindful, adventurous drinkers looking for the convenience of a RTD without compromising on quality, taste or health benefits. The 1st batch of virgin Mojito's and Cosmo's sold out in 5 days. 

Limón was one of only 2, non-alcoholic category medal winners, at the 2019 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit awards and winner of the Best Spirits category at the Mindful Drinking Festival in the same year.

Changes were made to the ingredients and distillation processes and at the 2020 Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits awards Bloom and Limón walked away with 2 of the 3 awards given in the non-alcoholic category.  At the LUX Global Excellence awards in the UK, Vergin SA was also awarded the "Best Non-alcoholic Botanical Spirit Brand".

In 2022 Vergin SA received the coveted "Best Global Non-Alcoholic Beverage Brand" title at the Corporate Live Wire Innovation and Excellence Awards in London, UK.

Before Covid happened Vergin SA products were sold in over 200 retail outlets, served in some of the top restaurants and also exported to Australia, Hong Kong and the Seychelles with Canada, the Middle East, Belgium, Netherlands, France and the rest of Europe in the pipeline. Necessity dictated that we had to pursue other interests to keep our heads above water, but we are pleased to announce that this passion project got a new lease on life! 

Vergin 2.0 will be launched officially in June 2024.

New, improved flavour profiles loading… 

If you love this story as much as we do then stay connected, follow all the developments on Facebook and Instagram and Explore, Inspire and Indulge with us!

Your support means everything.

With love.

Stoff & T

Receive invitations, updates and bonuses for purchasing

© 2024 Vermont Gin. All Rights Reserved. All Rights Reserved. Another project by Blaze Innovative Brand Management.