SA brandy celebrates hat trick at top global spirits competition

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South Africa's brandy producers have returned victorious after pulling off a rare hat trick in the medal-rankings at this year's prestigious Concours Mondial de Bruxelles wine and spirits competition. For the third year in a row, local brandies collected eight medals, including one Grand Médaille d’Or.
The performance again highlights the excellent and consistent quality of local brandies when lined up on an international platform, a fact that South Africans can be proud of.

Leading the charge at this year’s event was Klipdrift Gold, which collected Grand Médaille d’Or – the highest accolade in the competition. Klipdrift’s achievement is especially remarkable considering that it was one of only five of 129 entrants in the spirits category to win a Grand Medaille d’Or and among less than 1% of the total 8 397 wines and spirits.

Also in the Distell fold, the Van Ryn’s 10 Year Old Vintage claimed a gold medal. The silver medallists were KWV’s 15 and 20 Year old Potstill brandies along with Distell’s Oude Meester 18 Souverein and Demant, and Van Ryn’s 12 Year Old Distillers Reserve and 15 Year Old Fine Cask Reserve.

“The accolades bestowed upon our products re-affirm the success of South African brandy as the ultimate good news story. Since the first brandy was distilled on 19 May 1672 by a cook’s assistant on a boat in the Table Bay Harbour our brandies have come a long way, says Christelle Reade-Jahn, director of the SA Brandy Foundation. “SA Brandy has once again shown the world that it is the best – and can compete with the best - by continuing its annual world-class performance at the Concours Mondial.” These award winning brandies will be on show at the Fine Brandy Fusion event to be held 27 to 29 June 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is recognised as one of the world’s authoritative wine and spirits quality evaluations. Introduced in 1994, it was first held in Brugge, Belgium. As participation by the world’s leading wine and spirits producing regions grew, it was decided in 2006 to host each year’s tasting in a different European wine centre.

A total of 52 producer countries competed at the event held from May 4 to 6 in Portugal this year.

The world’s leading wine and distilled spirits brands from some 52 countries were submitted. They are tasted blind according to a standard set of evaluation criteria in line with the strict style and quality assessment guidelines sanctioned by the Paris-based Office International de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV).