Veterans and newcomers highlight brandy vitality at Veritas 2012

Wednesday, 17 October, 2012
South African Brandy Foundation
South African brandies put on a sterling display again at this year’s Veritas wine and brandy awards held on October 6 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, including two distillers who entered for the first time.
While South African brandy has been receiving international accolades since the 1950s, the local Veritas Awards recognised excellence in this field for the past three years. This year once again saw the best of South Africa’s brandies showcased. Newcomers to the industry competed alongside well-established brands, proving the vitality and innovation of the local brandy industry. 

A total of 33 brandies competed for the illustrious accolades, which have become a hallmark of quality producers. The competition yielded five bronze, 10 silver, nine gold and an impressive seven double gold medals. 

According to Marlene Bester, distillery manager at Van Ryn Brandy Cellar, the Veritas awards are associated with quality and excellence. “It is an incredible honour and achievement for any producer to be awarded a Veritas medal, especially a gold or double gold,” she said. 

“There is no greater compliment than being acknowledged by Veritas here at home for our outstanding brandies,” Bester said.

Two newcomers to the industry and the Veritas competition are Kingna, whose Potstill Brandy 5 Year received bronze, and Blaauwklippen, whose 8 Year Old Brandy was awarded bronze for its 8 Year Old potstill brandy. 

Kingna, hailing from the Montagu district, is a small and relatively new distillery. Owner Norbert Engle expressed his delight at receiving formal recognition. He also acknowledged their brandy maker, Ruan Hunlun, for being instrumental in building and developing the distillery. According to Engel, they always knew their brandy is special since their clients always come back for more. “It’s been a wonderful learning experience building the distillery,” he said, adding that they hope to continue improving.

Blaauwklippen, the well-known wine estate in the Stellenbosch region, has also joined the ranks of brandy producers. “As a new brandy producer, we are grateful for the recognition and motivated to establish ourselves as a quality brandy estate on the South African wine scene,” said Blaauwklippen cellarmaster Rolf Zeitvogel.

Double gold winners in the potstill category were Van Ryn’s 10 Year Old and 15 Year Old, Flight of the Fish Eagle, Klipdrift Gold, KWV 15 and 20 Year and Oude Meester 12 Year Reserve. KWV also received a gold medal for its 10 Year, along with the Oude Meester 18 Year Souverein, Collison’s White Gold, Laborie Alambic, Nederburg Solera and the Van Ryn’s 12 and 20 Year Olds.

Oude Meester also made its mark in the standard category with its VSOB, receiving one of the two gold medals in this category. The other gold went to Richelieu. Reflecting on their performance, KWV manager of spirits Pieter de Bod expressed his hope that the accolades would increase public awareness of the diversity of local brandies and encourage people to try them. “They will undoubtedly find that, as these most recent awards demonstrate, our brandies are on par and even exceed the standards of the best premium spirits in the world.

Marlene Bester, distillery manager at Van Ryn Brandy Cellar explains the value of the Veritas brandy awards quite succinctly: “While South African brandies are awarded various international accolades each year, the Veritas awards provide the industry the opportunity to showcase our brandies locally and share these accolades with South African consumers. These national and international awards serve as proof of the consistently excellent quality of South African brandies and show that our products can compete on the international market.”

The full list of winners is:

STANDARD BRANDY
  • G Oude Meester VSOB
  • G RichelieuS Commando
  • S Klipdrift ExportS KWV 5 Year
  • S Viceroy 5 Year Old
  • S William Robertson 5 YearB KWV 3 Year
  • B Mellow Wood 5 Year Old
  • B Mellow Wood Standard 

POTSTILL BRANDY
  • GG Flight of the Fish Eagle
  • GG Klipdrift Gold
  • GG KWV 15 Year
  • GG KWV 20 Year
  • GG Oude Meester 12 Year Reserve
  • GG Van Ryn's 10 Year Old
  • GG Van Ryn's 15 Year Old
  • G Collison's White Gold
  • G KWV 10 Year 
  • G Laborie Alambic 
  • G Nederburg Solera
  • G Oude Meester 18 Year Souverein
  • G Van Ryn's 12 Year Old
  • G Van Ryn's 20 Year Old
  • S Imoya 
  • S Joseph Barry Pot Still 10 Year
  • S Oude Meester Demant
  • S Sydney Back 10 Year
  • S Uitkyk 10 year old
  • B Blaauwklippen 8 Year Old
  • B Kingna Potstill Brandy 5 Year
Picture Caption: Proud medal-winners Pieter de Bod (KWV), Brink Liebenberg (Oude Meester), Christelle Reade-Jahn (Director of the SA Brandy Foundation), Marlene Bester (van Ryn’s), Johan Venter (Klipdrift) and Riaan Bredell (Flight of the Fish Eagle).

The medal winners. (See text for caption to the image).
The medal winners. (See text for caption to the image).

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