Brandy Tour in Stellenbosch and Paarl - 1 Day

South African brandy is made to the highest production requirements.  The process of making brandy excellence is a hand crafted and meticulous process that results in award winning pot still brandies with complex multi-layered aroma profiles.  Take your time with our brandies and experience excellence. Today, South African brandy is acknowledged to be the world’s finest. Comprehensive legislation and a proud tradition ensure that our brandy is of the highest quality. The title of Worldwide Best Brandy at the International Wine and Spirits competition has been awarded to a South African brandy 15 times in the past 20 years

The first brandy in South Africa was distilled aboard the Dutch ship de Pijl, anchored in Table Bay harbour in 1672. The assistant cook succeeded in transforming two leaguers (1164 litres) of Cape wine into “three ankers (126 litres) of delicious brandy. The word brandy (brandywine) is derived from the Dutch word “brandewijn”, meaning burnt or distilled wine. The Dutch used distillation as a method of preserving wine aboard their ships. Indeed, a tot of brandy was offered to the first man on board to sight land, leading to calls of “Land Ahoy” many days before the vessels docked.

The Brandy tour takes you through the premier brandy-producing region of Stellenbosch and Franschoek. Apart from brandy, you can expect scenery that will take your breath away, lush green valleys, rugged mountains and historical buildings. You will enjoy and educational experience to how brandy is made, brandy tastings at three top distillery’s that has been awarded internationally for its quality. Enjoy walks in the historic towns of Stellenbosch and Franschoek that will take you back to history with the aim to acquit yourself with the arrival of different European cultures that have since integrated with locals and historical buildings.

Places of Interest

First Distillery

Van Ryn’s Distillery is situated in Vlottenberg , a mere 30-minutes drive from Cape Town International airport and 45 minutes if you’re driving from the Southern Suburbs. The story of Van Ryn’s date back to 1845 pioneer Jan Van Ryn’s. He earned the distillery’s first international award in 1884. The Distillery in Van Ryn’s Road was erected in 1905 using rocks from Eerste River. You can still catch a glimse of the original rocks from the tasting room. You can also see the 200-year old Alambic Cognac Pot in the tasting room.

With old staves feeling the fire, the Alambic Cognac Pot can still produce 300 liters of brandy during Winter. Throughout the evolution of the distillery, the brandy making methods and techniques remains authentic to date. Van Ryn’s Distillery owns a cooperage which is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is a university town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. It’s surrounded by the vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the mountainous nature reserves of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg. The town’s oak-shaded streets are lined with cafes, boutiques and art galleries. Cape Dutch architecture gives a sense of South Africa’s Dutch colonial history, as do the Village Museum’s period houses and gardens.

Second Distillery 

Nestled on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, equidistant to the cosy Winelands towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, Backsberg Estate Cellars maintains 80 hectares under vine and produces a selection of tiered wine and brandy offerings from the region. As a winery of over 100 years, Backsberg’s philosophy remains to provide pleasure and enjoyment to a broad range of wine lovers by producing wines with not only structure and finesse, but also with a high level of drinkability.

Franschoek

Franschhoek is a town in South Africa’s Western Cape with centuries-old vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture. Trails wind through flowers and wildlife at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve to views over Franschhoek Valley. The Huguenot Memorial Museum and neighboring monument honor the area’s French settlers, who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries. Franschhoek Motor Museum displays vintage cars amid mountain farmland.

Third Distillery

KWV is a leading South African wine and spirits producer with a distinguished heritage. KWV is celebrated around the globe for its product innovation and exceptional brands, which include Roodeberg, The Mentors, KWV Brandy, Laborie, Cathedral Cellar and Classic Collection. Today South Africa is a global player in the world of wine, with KWV a respected company that leads through innovation and quality. With its many award-winning wines, spirits and liqueurs, KWV honours its original objective of showcasing the quality of South Africa’s wine products to the world.

Itinerary

Day 1

• Our visits leads us to one of the leading South African wine and spirits producer with a distinguished heritage. We start the day with a delicious brandy and chocolate pairing
• Cellar Tour
• Stellenbosch city orientation
• Walk through the town of Stellenbosch to view some of the beautiful European architectural styles of various buildings.
• We then make our way to the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch to a vineyard that remains to provide pleasure and enjoyment to a broad range of wine lovers by producing wines with not only structure and finesse but also with a high level of drinkability for over 200 years. Enjoy a lovely tasting of their fine brandies in the tasting room.
• Franschoek free time walk about
• Visit the Huguenot Monument
• Our final stop takes us to the one of the older distilleries dating back to 1845. You will be able to see how brandy is distilled from an old 19th century copper pot still and taste some of the best brandies in the region.

The Brandy Tour Includes

  • Pick up and drop off at your accommodation
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Qualified tourist guide
  • Brandy and chocolate pairing (Distillery within Stellenbosch)
  • Tasting of the finest brandies (Distillery within Stellenbosch)
  • Tasting of award winning brandies in the region (Distillery within Paarl)

The Brandy Tour Excludes

  • Meals
  • Any additional purchases to the itinerary

Questions About The Tour

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What Is Brandy?

Brandy is a distilled spirit produced from fermented fruit juice. Most often, the fruit is grapes—making brandy distilled wine—though apple, apricot, peach, and other fruits can be used to make brandy. It’s produced around the world as Cognac, Armagnac, pisco, eau-de-vie, and other styles. Brandy was also one of the most popular spirits used in the first bars, which is why it’s found in the best classic cocktails.

What's the Difference Between Cognac and Brandy?

• Brandy generally refers to a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juice. It can be produced using grapes or fruit. (Calvados, for instance, is an apple brandy from the Normandy region in France).
• Cognac, meanwhile, must be made from white grapes from one of six different terroirs; the Ugni Blanc grape variety is its primary ingredient, and grapes from “Grande Champagne” terroir are the most coveted. The liquid must be distilled twice.

Where do they come from?

• Cognac must come from the Cognac region in Southwest France, which is known for its superior terroir (the soil, climate, and topography that contribute to grape-growing conditions).
• Brandy can come from anywhere in the world.

Bourbon vs Brandy: What’s the Difference?

The main differences between bourbon vs brandy are:
• Bourbon is a whiskey, whereas brandy is a distilled wine.
• Bourbon is produced in the United States, whereas brandy can be produced anywhere.
• Bourbon is made from corn mash, whereas brandy is made from fermented fruits.
• A good Bourbon can be found fairly cheaply, whereas a good brandy tends to be pricier.

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Brandy Tour in Stellenbosch and Paarl