Louisville, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2010) – Forty years ago, from a land of unsurpassed purity, Finlandia Vodka® was born and brought to the United States as the first imported premium vodka.
“Although, we can trace our roots back to 1888 with the founding of the original distillery by Dr. Juslin Wilhelm in the small Finnish village of Rajamaki, Finlandia Vodka was officially first imported into the United States in 1970,” said Maureen Brekka, managing director for Finlandia Vodka. “The tradition of Finlandia Vodka and its production tradition is such an important part of Finnish history and culture that today, some of the original distillery buildings in Rajamaki are protected as part of the national heritage.”
Dr. Wilhelm could not fathom how large his creation would become. Today, Finlandia Vodka has grown into the 2nd largest premium vodka brand in Europe and 5th largest premium vodka brand globally, selling more than three million cases annually and available in more than 130 countries worldwide.
The secret to Finlandia’s success is its pure ingredients and the highest possible production standards. Finlandia Vodka is crafted from entirely natural ingredients including pure glacial spring water and the finest six-row barley, grown under the long days and white nights of the Finnish Midnight Sun. Then, we use a highly energy efficient distillation process to reduce our environmental impact while delivering unsurpassed quality.
“As a Finnish brand, we combined our respect for nature with our knowledge of spirits to create a process that not only produces the world’s finest vodka but considers its environmental footprint,” Brekka said.
Another part of Finlandia’s heritage and its 40 years of history is its iconic bottle. The bottle has always embodied the clarity and freshness of the vodka inside, as well as embraced the spirit of the arctic country from which it came. Sculptor Tapio Wirkkala created the first bottle. The design of the Finlandia bottle was among his most famous designs inspired by his fascination with ice. The design had similar elements of Wirkkala’s famous collection of Iittala glassware Ultima Thule, course icy edged glassware inspired by the elements of his native Finland. Through the bottle’s evolution, Finlandia remains grounded in the same the principles of natural purity as it did 40 years ago.
“The current bottle, introduced in 2003, was created in cooperation with world renowned Finnish designer, Harri Koskinen,” said Tomas Manasek, director of global marketing for Finlandia. “Our current bottle, with its clean simple lines and dimples that appear as though nature itself sculpted the bottle from melting ice, pays homage to the people of Finland and their sensibilities.” Finlandia remains committed to maintaining our strong connection to Finnish design.
To celebrate its 40th Anniversary, Finlandia Vodka is offering special gift packages throughout the year and holding anniversary celebrations to commemorate its introduction into the United States.
“The past 40 years have been tremendous for Finlandia Vodka, and we look forward to celebrating our next 40 years in 2050,” Brekka said.