Brandy Fusion: Celebrating SA Brandy

From small micro producing farms in Oudtshoorn to the big guns of SA brandy, it was all on display in fine fashion at this years Brandy Fusion. Over 30 producers each with some stunning display stands, a cooperage display and the big reveal of a 30 year old brandy. What a night!

Brandy Fusion: The Support of local brandy

Fine Brandy Fusion - Celebrating SA brandy

As soon as you walked into the Sandton Convention centre, you got an instant sense of the amount of appreciation that there is out there for premium brandy. We were a bit later than scheduled thanks to flight delays on a local green airline, and by the time we arrived at 6:30, the exhibition hall was already bustling with brandy fans.

The crowds only swelled through the night, and well over 5000 people passed thought the hall over the course of brandy fusion this year.

Brandy Fusion: Some stunning stands

Oude Meester went to town this year with a huge stand, fully decked out with Benjamin Franklin, the original master, and the new and updated dude meister Jamie Foxx. Quite an impressive experience. Not to be outdone, there was the Klipdrift walk, capturing you in a never ending brandy tunnel with stands for each of export, premium, and gold, with food pairings and chocolate match ups being made left and right.

Fish eagle impressed too with Eagle air, and of course the house of Van Ryn’s stylishly presenting their familiar range, as well as their newly revealed big secret, AU.RA heavily protected by two very mean and serious looking security guards. KWV split things very well with a back to back bar, one serving 3-5 year old in a range of cocktails that got much support, and on the other side the 10-20 year old superior product to be enjoyed in a snifter neat or with ice. A very clever illustration of the mixability and versatility of brandy, and a great way of showing how brandy can be enjoyed by all palate types.

The smells and tastes of Brandy

Another highlight was the South African Brandy Foundation chill out zone. The zone opened up with very well presented walk of fame, displaying all the worlds best brandy winners from various spirit competitions over the last 12 years. Quite a collection of our world beaters!

Following this were over 20 huge snifter bowls with all the scents, smells and tastes that you can discern in brandy. Then onto a lounge with chill out tables and chairs for brandy drinkers to take a rest from the crowds!  A very educational experience.

Van Ryn’s AU.RA: the big reveal

The top security AU.RA Bottle!

Certainly the main feature of the night was the big reveal of Van Ryn’s Au.Ra. Following some big hype from Proverb, mc, a video was played on the main stage of the making of Au.Ra and the flying into JHB via helicopter of the bottle for display.

Then after some on stage hype from a famous isidingo actor, the oak case was finally opened to reveal the creation that is AU.RA. It is bigger in real life than the pictures do it justice. For all its good looks, and stylish design, I really wonder what it tastes like!

Exciting times for extra-old brandy in SA it seems. I had a little chat with the guys at KWV who may have let on about something big in the pipeline too. While I can’t go into too much detail yet, watch out for some news from KWV soon. I will keep you updated as it happens!

Brandy fans enjoying the vibe

All in all a really great night out at Brandy Fusion. Almost too much to take in in one night, next time I think I will be going for longer to really appreciate the effort that went into it.

Congratulations to Christelle and her team at the SA brandy foundation. This just shows the potential of premium brandy in SA, and I have no doubt that the category is moving in only one direction. Onward and upward!

 

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