• How South African Brandy is Made – Part 1

    South African brandy is distilled from base wine, which is primarily made from Chenin and Colombard grapes.

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  • How South African Brandy is Made – Part 2

    Last year (2017) saw South African company KWV win the Worldwide Trophy for Brandy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC).

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  • A Layman’s Guide to Brandy

    The two most recognisable ones are probably Armagnac and Cognac, both from France.

"When you take your first steps on your journey into the world of brandy, it might just be the case that you have no knowledge of how it is made"

1

Base wine

South African brandy is distilled from base wine, which is primarily made from Chenin and Colombard grapes.

2

Distillation

Columnstil distillation and Potstill distillation are the two main methods of distilling brandy.

3

Oak maturation

Through the alcohol’s maturation in oak barrels for an unspecified period of time (years), it’s granted its own and final character.

4

Blending

When the brandy has matured, it’s time for the master distiller to choose various brandies from various barrels and figure out their personal characteristics.

How South African Brandy is Made – Part 1

The juice is extracted through a process known as ‘free run’, which means that the grapes aren’t pressed in order to extract the juice.

How South African Brandy is Made – Part 2

The brandy is finally diluted with distilled water to find the final desired alcohol strength.

A Layman’s Guide to Brandy

Brandy is a distilled alcohol extracted from a fruit-based mash. A large proportion of the world’s brandy comes from grapes.
More stories in our blog!
For the majority of premium brandies in South Africa, most of the end spirit is made by Potstill distillation, so we’ll make that our primary focus for now.
Brandy regulations in South Africa require that the spirit spends a minimum of three years in the oak barrels during the maturation process for it to be granted classification as ‘brandy’.
Fine cognacs can cost up to thousands of pounds for a single bottle, and that’s before we’re even looking at vintage brandies.