The Western Cape Brandy Route
Within an hour’s drive of the Mother City some of the world’s best award winning brandies wait to be discovered
Find out what modern day brandy makers have to offer, following time honoured traditional techniques with a new twist. Many of these masters can trace their roots in wine and brandy making to the last century.
Not only is the Western Cape Brandy Route interesting for the brandy lover, many of the distilleries offer grappa and wine as well. Most of the distilleries are clustered around the beautiful towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, and Wellington, as well as Grabouw.
Savingnac de Versailles made at Jorgensen’s Distillery
Savingnac is handcrafted in small batches at Jorgensen’s Distillery in Wellington. Each brandy is matured for 12 or more years in small French casks to create the ultimate expression of all that the noble grape can become. Pour a little Savingnac into your cognac glass: wave after wave of richness and complexity assault the senses, marmalade and molasses, cinnamon and cloves, coffee and chocolate, hazelnut and nutmeg, old rose and raisin, all in a whiff. Only one cask at a time is bottled, unblended, making each bottle unique and each sip like contemplating a journey with something wonderful from nature.Savingnac is for the cognoscenti.
Also available from Jorgensen’s Distillery is Primitiv Vodka, not just another vodka; it’s authentic, sophisticated and lovingly handcrafted from organic Spelt grown in the high Cedarberg; Jorgensen’s Gin is a wacky blend of zesty Macedonian Juniper and peppery Grains of Paradise from Wild West Africa; Field of Dreams is South Africa’s handrafted organic Absinthe. Distilled in the traditional French way it is a Labour of Love and lastly, the Naked Lemon Limoncello made from hand picked hand zested natural macerated lemons, adding their gorgeous organic oils and fragrant lemon colour to this product.
Upland Estate is a certified organic farm near Wellington. Distilled from organic Chenin Blanc and Riesling grapes, the 100% potstill brandy is matured for 10 years in small French oak barrels. This Cognac-style brandy has an unmistakable character; wafts of dried peaches and apricots, citrus and pineapple are topped with generous vanilla - a depth and complexity of flavour that lingers on the palate, with a dry finish reminiscent of a great Cognac.
Guinevere 10 Year Old Pure Brandy is the proud flagship of Upland Estate. Guinevere Cask strength is South Africa’s first only barrel strength Brandy, “Upland’s Jewel” in her crown, the 10 Year release has been patiently waiting in wooden casks since the estate’s first distillation in 1998. This brandy emphasizes the difference between perfume and Eau De Toilette: this is the perfume. Nothing has been added to this world class product, no colour, flavourants, sugar, not even water. 65% Alcohol – Pure Brandy.
The brandy is made in very limited quantities, hand selected from the finest of each year’s produce. Upland brandy is best when savoured neat after a meal, accompanied perhaps by coffee and dark chocolate. Upland brandy came second in the Guldkorken International Competition in Stockholm.
Uplands also makes Italian style Grappa – from the humble origins of the left over skins and pips of full ripe grapes comes a spirit of great and distinctive character. It explodes with flavour in the glass. Its intensely perfumed nose is balanced by a rich, raisiny complexity on the palate, followed by a lingering after-taste of nutty grassiness. It is good to use as a palate cleaner between courses, but may be enjoyed as an aperitif or as a digestive with coffee. As a sundowner, it is especially enjoyed for its clean, fresh taste. However you choose to enjoy Upland’s Grappa, you may be assured of a deliciously smooth, aromatic taste experience. It won the World’s Best Grappa at the Guldkorken International Competition in Stockholm.
Take exit 44 to Wellington from the N1 and keep going left at the junction with the R303. Shortly there after, turn right at the fountain onto Perdeskoonpad and follow the signs to Fisantekuil.
Oude Wellington Estate
In a timeless process, our Chenin Blanc, Clairette Blanche and Chardonnay grapes magically turn into brandy. The double and triple distilled spirit of the grape concentrates its flavours in our traditional copper Cape potstill. Crafted with care and free from additives, it’s a true reflection of the fertile terroir, and all its purity.
This international award winning brandy proudly bears the name of the one who made it – Dr. Schumacher. Choose from a 3 year old with fruity character, a 5 yearhazelnut and coconut character to the flagship 10 year old with more fine oak character and strong hazelnut scent. Grappa is also made at the distillery.
The à la carte restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Visiting times: Monday-Saturday 9:30 to 17:30 or by appointment. Cellar tours by appointment only.
A limited edition of natural double distilled single cultivar Chenin Blanc Potstill Brandy meticulously refined in an 1849 antique copper alembic potstill. De Compagnie Premium Potstill Brandy, 5 Year Premium and De Compagnie Vintage Ten Year single vintage both boast Michelangelo International Awards. The end product is a deep, mature, old gold brandy with a fresh fig and cinnamon aroma, and an unmistakable citrus flavour. Soft and very, very seductive…
Visiting times: By appointment only. Tel: 021 864 1241: E-mail: Website. Situated on Bovleipad, Wellington. Continue with the R301 through Wellington and just past the Bovlei Cellars, turn left onto Bovleipad.
This famous estate, situated in the shadow of the majestic Paarl Rock, launched its first brandy – Laborie Estate Alambic Brandy – at the end of 1997. Laborie’s history of winemaking stretches back to 1691, when the farm was granted to the French Huguenot Jean Taillefert. Set among rolling vineyards, Laborie’s historic buildings have made it a popular tourist destination for local and international visitors alike.
Laborie are proud to announce that their Laborie Estate Alambic Brandy achieved Veritas Gold 2010 and Veritas Gold 2011. It received a Gold Medal at the 2011 Concours Mondial and was judged as the Best Brandy in the World at the 2010 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC).
The Laborie Lazy Days Market takes place every Saturday, from 09h00 until 14h00 and offers a variety of lifestyle goods.
Nederburg, one of South Africa’s most decorated names in wine, offers a specialty, gourmet brandy as part of the range. A pure potstilled brandy produced in the age-old Cognac custom using copper potstills, it revives a tradition begun by Nederburg’s founder Philippus Wolvaart in the early 1800′s. Nederburg Solera Potstilled Brandy, a blend of double-distilled, matured brandies, some as old as 12 years, is aged in traditional sherry casks to impart enticing vanilla spice flavours. A Spanish solera system is used in the ageing process to produce a smooth and polished texture.
Experience the cellar tour during which you’ll get to see the gleaming copper potstill. Pop in year-round at the Visitors’ Centre for wine tastings, the delicious Burgermaster offering, which involves a pairing of a variety of burgers with a selection of wines, the Which Wine, Which Cheese? offering, platters matched with their delicious wines, scrumptious filled ciabatta sandwiches (with soup in winter) or for a brandy, coffee and biscotti tasting. Imbibe a sense of history in the Old Cellar Museum or book a picnic basket in summer filled with home-made delicacies (November to March). Try the fine dining experience called Nederburg’s Exclusive Gourmet Pleasures or book the historical Manor House as a venue for private functions. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners served inside or in front of the Manor House are also available, but must be pre-booked.
Visiting times: April to October: Monday-Friday 08:00-17:00: Saturday 10:00-14:00: November to March: Monday-Friday 08:00-17:00: Saturday 10:00-16:00: Sunday 11:00-16:00.
Backsberg Estate Cellars
Backsberg is home to Sydney Back Estate Brandies. These brandies are made by using wine pressed exclusively from Chenin Blanc grapes, and distilled in a state-of-the-art still imported from the Cognac region in France.
The Sydney Back Range consists of a 5/6 year old blend and a limited amount of 10 year old as well as a 15 year old exclusive reserve brandy. The estate is open for sales and tastings, and offers an experience no brandy lover should miss. Guided cellar tours by appointment.
From the N1, take the R45 to Simondium and Franschhoek. Just before reaching Simondium, turn right onto a gravel road to the estate.
Marbonne Potstill Brandy, an alembic-distilled 16 year old blend of Limousin barrel-aged brandies. It was distilled in an antique kettle built in 1930 in Stuttgart. Louiesenhof Marbonne Brandy – truly a connoisseur’s delight. Louiesenhof also offers a 3 Year Old Blended Brandy.
Light lunches are available from November to February.
Visiting times: November to February: Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00: Saturday & Sunday 10:00-17:00 | March to October: Monday-Friday: 09:00-17:00: Saturday 10:00-15:00: Closed on Sundays. Tel: 021 865 2632: E-mail: Website.
Louiesenhof is situated on the Koelenhof Road (R304), 4km outside Stellenbosch towards the N1, or take exit 39 from the N1 towards Stellenbosch.
Van Ryn’s Brandy Distillery
The Van Ryn’s Distillery is housed in a beautifully preserved château-like complex on the banks of the Eerste River. Just 35 minutes drive from Cape Town, visitors can learn about the origins of Van Ryn’s dating back to 1845. See the burnished copper potstills and watch skilled craftsmen at work at the one distillery in the country with an on-site cooperage.
Find out how we potstill our brandies, mature and blend them. Sample our international award winners with hand-crafted chocolate and coffee.
Visiting times: Monday-Friday 08:00-17:00: Saturday 09:00-14:00: Sunday (October-April) 11:00-16:00.
Cellar tours: Monday-Friday 10:00, 11:30, 15:00: Saturday 10:00, 11:30 & 13:00: 15 Dec-15 Jan 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00
Directions: On the R310, just before the junction with the M12 (Adam Tas).
Uitkyk Brandy Distillery
Uitkyk Brandy Cellar, situated on the R44 towards Paarl from Stellenbosch, produces one of South Africa’s finest 10 year old estate potstill brandies. Situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, this estate certainly has one of the most beautiful settings in the Cape, and is well worth a visit.
This fine brandy has the distinction of being the oldest estate matured potstill brandy in South Africa. Made for the brandy connoisseur, the brandy displays a potpourri of flavours, including fruit, vanilla, cloves and other spices. Made from Cincaut, Cabernet Sauvignon and Clairette Blanche grapes, Uitkyk 10 year Grand Reserve Brandy was double distilled in special 2000 litre pot stills heated over an open flame.
Enjoy a picnic and the splendid scenery from our lawns. Cheese platters are available. (Picnic bookings are essential.)
Visiting times: Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00: Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 10:00-16:00.
Tokara 5 Year Old Potstill Brandy has been produced according to a traditional method in a Prulho alembic still, and matured in French oak vats. The annual production is very limited and each bottle is presented in an exquisite gift box.
The à la carte restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner, with only lunch served on Sundays (closed on a Monday). The Delicatessen at the Olive Shed is open daily for breakfast and lunch (closed on Mondays).
Visiting times: Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00: Saturday & Sunday 10:00-15:00: Closed on New Year’s Day, Good Friday & Christmas Day.
The modern Tokara winery is located at the top of the Helshoogte Pass (R310), 5km from Stellenbosch on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg.
Kaapzicht Estate is situated in the Stellenbosch region against the Bottelary Hills, in view of Cape Town and Table Mountain. The terroir, together with the cool breezes, combine to produce full-bodied, fruity wines, brandy and grappa with great structure and length. Kaapzicht wines have earned a multitude of local and international awards, which reflect this terroir as well as the passion of the Steytler family, who have farmed on this estate since 1946.
Kaapzicht Potstill Estate Brandy is deep golden, amber in colour with a complex nose of dried fig, prunes, toasted – almost smoky oak, fine spices cinnamon and cloves. Slight sherry note. The taste is mellow and mild, lingering oaky, sherry finish. Ideal cigar companion.
Directions from Cape Town. Take the N1 to Paarl. Take Old Oak Road exit N25. Turn Right at traffic lights and cross bridge over N1. Carry on straight and cross 3 robots (Old Oak Rd becomes La Belle Road, M31) at 4th robot (after N1 bridge) turn left into M23 (Bottelary Road) direction Stellenbosch for approx. 6 km: Cross all together 3 traffic lights on M23, while passing Kuilsriver Golfcourse (on right), Pass Hazendal Wine Estate main entrance (on left). Just afterwards turn right at Kaapzicht sign. Under an alley of Eukalyptus trees,1.6km on brick and sand road until entrance gate on the right.
Oude Molen Distillery
Situated in the heart of the fast emerging and prestigious Elgin Wine Region, René Santhagen’s Oude Molen Distillery is a fine tribute to the man, commonly known as the ‘Father of South African Brandy’ and home to the Oude Molen Brandy range.
The tour begins with an insightful audio-visual presentation in the audio centre followed by a guided tour that takes in the sights and sounds of a working distillery. The tour concludes with a tasting of the exceptional award winning brandies made here by master distiller, Dave Acker.
Oude Molen VOV 14-year old brandy, local delicacies such as fruits in brandy, brandy marmalade, brandy truffles and brandy fruit cakes are for sale in the distillery’s speciality shop where you will also find a selection of Oude Molen memorabilia.
The Oude Molen visitor’s centre is open daily from Monday to Friday between 08h30-1700. Distillery tours are conducted daily by appointment and light lunches and refreshments can be arranged.
Cellar tours on Saturdays and Sundays are also available by appointment for tour groups consisting of more than 10 people.
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