the dawn of Damson Tree vodka
A childhood spent sampling orchard fruits in the Herefordshire hills was the inspiration behind founder Gemma Standeven’s delicious Damson Tree Vodka. Benefitting from an abundance of home-grown damsons at the historic family farm of Gattertop, Gemma experimented with various spirits until she found her award-winning recipe.
The home of Damson Tree Vodka is the ancient farm of Gattertop in Herefordshire, which dates back to 1085 and is referred to (as Gadredehope) in the Domesday book. It stands in its own valley, among undulating fields, woodland and orchards that have borne fruit for hundreds of years.
Gemma spent her childhood roaming the fields here on the farm, in this beautifully unspoilt county, renowned for its epicurean produce. The orchards were a particular favourite place to play, filled with many varieties of delicious cider apples, plums and damsons, all grazed by a flock of Hebridean sheep. A quintessentially British brand.
It was a glut of the delicious damsons from the orchards at Gattertop each summer that inspired the creation of the brand. After several experiments with different spirits, Gemma’s damson vodka formula proved exceptionally popular with friends and family and she was persuaded to create it in larger quantities. Production increased from litre bottles and demi johns to full size barrels and moved from the kitchen to a barn on the farm – and Damson Tree Vodka was born.
When Damson Tree Vodka was entered into the Great Taste Awards it was immediately awarded two stars in its first year. It has subsequently won stars in five consecutive years and is still made to the same recipe in the same careful way: steeping handpicked damsons from the orchards in quality vodka for a whole year to fully develop the delicate flavours, before being filtered, bottled and labelled by hand in the old barn at Gattertop.