SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA (KOLO) -- Your next Made in Nevada report is about a vodka brand created by a man who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He says sales have doubled every year for the last four years.
Founder and CEO of Tahoe Spirits and Tahoe Blue Vodka, Matt Levitt
The story behind this local brand starts in 2011 in a bedroom.
"I dreamt this brand up. I woke up one morning. I know it sounds cliche, but I woke up one morning picturing this vodka that looks and feels Tahoe," says Founder and CEO of Tahoe Spirits and Tahoe Blue Vodka, Matt Levitt.
The idea is to, "transport the consumer to Tahoe when you grab this bottle of vodka," Matt said.
It took a little over a year to go from idea to a solid product. The bottle design captures the blue waters of Lake Tahoe.
Matt says he also carefully planned the taste of his drink. "Sat down with the master distiller there. Showed him the bottle and said, 'I'm looking to create a vodka that captures the essence of Lake Tahoe and I want the liquid to be unusually smooth. Clean finish and easy to drink to help further embody that vibe,'" Matt said.
Most vodkas are made from grain, which gives them a hard taste.
Tahoe Blue Vodka is said to get its smooth taste because it's made from grapes to take away the vodka bite, corn gives the drink a classic vodka structure, and sugar cane gives the drink a balanced flavor. The water used to make this drink comes from the Truckee River, which is fed by Lake Tahoe.
Then in 2014, Matt says sales increased to the point that he felt comfortable leaving his job to devote all of his time and energy to this product.
Matt says he sold 2,000 cases in 2015 and with sales doubling every year, he says he sold 17,000 cases in 2018.
"Expect that doubling trend to continue as we are on track to do 30 to 35 thousand cases this year (in 2019)," Matt said. "It was ranked best unflavored vodka in the world in the Big Spirits competition in New York."
He says Tahoe Blue Vodka has won another dozen awards as well.
Tahoe Blue Vodka is the official vodka of the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.
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