Get to know your brandy - Pic Nathan Adams
Don’t be put off by the term Brandy Course, the Introduction to South African brandy at Van Rhyn’s was great edutainment.

I was not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised by how little I knew about the facts of SA brandy and how it is head and shoulders above its international competitors.

The chenin blanc and colobar grapes used to make our brandy grows best on the home soil in Worcester, Robertson, Rawsonville, the Little Karoo, Olifants River and Orange River regions.

I had no idea that the base wine for making brandy has to have a low sugar level and that only free running juice is used for this base wine when grapes are pressed.

It’s these kind of eye opening stats that Distell Brandy ambassador, Nick Holdcroft shared throughout the day.

The distillery at Van Rhyn's - Pic Nathan Adams

38 Million litres of brandy is produced in SA annually so why shouldn’t we all know a little bit more about the spirit.

Of course other countries make brandy, but it’s only here in SA that by law, a spirit labelled as brandy has to be matured for at least three years.

You get to see this during the course when you get a behind the scene’s look at the distillery at Van Rhyn’s. Another treat is that you get to see a Cooper in action and how a wine barrel is hand crafted.

The course is offered by the Cape Wine Academy and provides a great insight into the traditions of brandy making and distillation in South Africa.