South Africa, Cape Town: Five superb brandies, all potstills, achieved the highest honour in this year’s Veritas Awards by being awarded the coveted double gold medal. KWV triumphed with two double gold medals, while Oude Meester and Van Ryn’s earned a double gold medal each. Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute also walked away with a double gold with thier first ever entry.

KWV clinched its share of double golds with the KWV 12 Year Old Barrel Select and KWV Alambic 15 Year Old Limited Release. “With these latest accolades our entire potstill range of premium brandies has now won gold”,” says Pieter de Bod, master distiller at KWV. “We can now take consumers on a journey of excellence starting with our KWV 3, right through to our award winning potstill brandies 10, 12, 15 and 20.”

The other most deserving brandies were the Elsenburg 13 Year Old; Oude Meester Demant and Van Ryn’s Fine Cask Reserve 15 Year Old.

Elsenburg’s entry and double gold accolade deserve special mention as they not only entered for the first time, but it is also the very first commercial brandy made by the institution. The training college is alma mater to a great many winemakers and distillers. “The wines and brandy we produce is unique in the sense that it is not made by experts, but by passionate students,” said Lorraine Geldenhuys, winemaker, lecturer and cellar manager in the faculty of Viticulture and Oenology at Elsenburg. “My role is to make sure good winemaking practices are followed, but the credit ultimately goes to the students who have studied here.

Brink Liebenberg, master distiller of Oude Meester and Marlene Bester, who runs the Van Ryn’s Distillery are both hugely proud to be acknowledged in South Africa. Both brands are consistent trophy winners and gold medallists abroad at events such as the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), the International Spirits Challenge (ISC), Concours Mondial and the San Francisco Spirits Competition.

“Earning international affirmation is very gratifying and important in benchmarking ourselves against world competitors but there is also something very satisfying in being rewarded on South African soil,” says Liebenberg.

Referring specifically to Van Ryn’s 15 Year Old, which won double gold as it did last year and was judged ISC Best Brandy earlier this year, Bester said: “The result speaks to a remarkable consistency of performance.”

Brandies are judged at Veritas in categories for standard, vintage and potstill and this year 31 products were entered to be sipped and evaluated by esteemed local and international brandy experts. “Since the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) in 2010 voted unanimously to include brandy as an official class at Veritas, our brandy masters have used this major local platform to benchmark their products against those of their peers,” says Christelle Reade-Jahn, director of the SA Brandy Foundation. “While many brandies compete and regularly garner stellar recognition internationally, it is invaluable to simultaneously know what our fellow countrymen prefer.”

Veritas gold medals are no less in demand, and a dozen outstanding South African brandies can now proudly bear this Veritas mark of excellence. KWV led the tally with three gold medals, while Oude Meester, Richelieu and Van Ryn’s earned a duo of gold medals each.

Veritas gold medal winners:

  • Imoya VSOP
  • KWV 10 Year Old
  • KWV 20 Year Old
  • Oude Meester VSOB
  • Oude Meester Souverein 18 Year Old
  • Richelieu 10 Year Old Vintage
  • Richelieu International
  • Van Ryn’s 10 Year Old Vintage
  • Van Ryn’s Distillers Reserve 12 Year Old
  • Flight of the Fish Eagle
  • Klipdrift Gold
  • Laborie Alambic
  • Silver medals:
  • Klipdrift Premium
  • Klipdrift Export
  • KWV 5 Year Old
  • KWV 10 Year Old
  • Collison’s White Gold
  • Oude Meester Reserve 12 Year Old
  • Van Ryn’s Collectors Reserve 20 Old

Bronze medals went to Boplaas Carel Nel 10 Year Old Reserve, Die Mas Ver in die Ou Kalahari, Kingna Potstill 5 Year Old and Sydney Back 10 Year Old.

This year 1767 wines and brandies vied for the attention of the judges. The category for brandy was judged by the likes of Dave Hughes, one of South Africa’s leading wine and spirits experts with extensive international experience, and Denis Lahouratate, cellar master at the French House of Bisquit Cognac.













From top to bottom and from left to right: Lorraine Geldenhuys (Elsensburg), Marlene Bester (Van Ryn’s), Dr Winnie Bowman (Brandy Ambassador), Brink Liebenberg (Oude Meester), Christelle Reade-Jahn (Director SA Brandy Foundation). Kurt Moore (CEO SALBA); Rico Basson (Executive Director Vinpro); Christelle Reade-Jahn (Director SA Brandy Foundation); Carl Opperman (CEO Agri Wes-Cape); Charles Hopkins (Chairman Veritas)
For more information contact Danie Pretorius, General Manager: SA Brandy Foundation via e-mail or visit

Leave a Comment

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply