William Grant closes Glenfiddich and Balvenie to publicBy Nicola Carruthers
Glenfiddich owner William Grant & Sons has closed all of its visitor centres indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Scottish spirits firm William Grant & Sons, the owner of Glenfiddich Scotch whisky and Hendrick’s gin, said in a statement: “We have taken the precautionary measure to close our visitor centres globally until further notice. However, our distilleries remain operational.
“We are not aware of any confirmed cases of coronavirus at any William Grant & Sons locations. As this is a fast moving situation, we will not be offering further comment at this time.”
The Glenfiddich visitor centre in Dufftown, Scotland, opened its doors in the summer of 1969. The site is described as “the first-of-its-kind” for the Scotch whisky sector.
Family-owned firm William Grant & Sons also operates visitor centres for its Balvenie single malt Scotch brand in Dufftown and its Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey brand in County Offaly, Ireland.
In October 2018, the company unveiled a £13 million (US$17m) distillery expansion to create The Hendrick’s Gin Palace in Girvan, Scotland, however this site is not open to the public.
According to figures from the Scotch Whisky Association, more than two million people visited Scotch distilleries in 2018.
In addition, Whyte & Mackay’s Jura distillery, on the Scottish island of Jura, has closed for tours until 1 May.
A number of Irish whiskey distilleries, including Jameson and Teeling, have shut to the public due to concerns over coronavirus.
Jim Beam owner Beam Suntory has also temporarily suspended public tours at all of its distilleries, while a large number of Kentucky Bourbon producers have made similar moves.