In the heart of the Vlottenburg Valley, where the Eerste River winds its way through the tranquil landscape, lies the legendary Van Ryn’s Brandy Distillery.
The rich history of this cellar dates back to 1845, when the Dutch immigrant Jan van Ryn arrived at the Cape. He established the Van Ryn’s Wine and Brandy Company, and with it a proud tradition of brandy excellence.
True to its founder’s belief that the secret of a great brandy lies in the maturation, the cornerstone of the Van Ryn’s Brandy Cellar philosophy is “Excellence in Maturation”.
The name “brandy” means “burnt wine,” and brandy is distilled from wine or fruit to produce an after-dinner elixir that is 35-to-60 percent alcohol by volume. This drink can be enjoyed with some knowledge of its history, the types of brandy and the proper way to drink brandy.
Brandies are categorized by age, according to the following system:
- AC has been aged a minimum of 2 years.
- VS (Very Special) has been aged 3 years or longer.
- VSOP (Very Special Old Pale)has been aged for at least 5 years.
- XO (Extra Old) has aged for 6 or more years.
- Hors D’age brandy has been aged in the barrel for at least 10 years.
- Vintage brandy has been stamped with the date it was first stored.
Well in the same spirit of learning about Brandy, the annual Fine Brandy festival took place recently at KWS Ivory burning site. The event, designed to reflect both the sophisticated and fun sides of Distell brandies, also marked Viceroy 5 new communication, a fine 5year old brandy from the Van Ryn cellar.
The event was graced by representatives from Distell South Africa: the Cooper, Stafferd Ebrahim and Distillery Manager Sean Nieuwoudt who interacted with both connoisseurs and budding brandy enthusiasts broadening their knowledge for Brandy.
“Each brandy from our collection bears a story, a rewarding journey that begins with a simple, beautiful fruit and ends with a drink of distinctive character and exceptional quality. The Brandy festival will focus on innovative new ways to appreciate brandy,” said James Wahome, General Manager- Distell Winemasters.
My favorite was definitely the Oude Meester or ‘a toast to the masters’, better associated with Jamie Foxx who is the brand ambassador for the brandy. It is one hell of a great tasting drink and i can’t wait to get my own bottle.
Distell Group Ltd, South Africa’s leading producer and marketer of spirits, fine wines and ciders have been hosting this event every year since 2011 and this was the third edition of the annual event.