SA Brandy finds its Mojo – and it’s meat

Neil Pendock January 23, 2014 0

As Douglas Adams knew, 42 is the “answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything”. It is also the age of the oldest brandy in the cavernous cellars of Distell, as master distiller Brink Liebenberg confirmed at Societi Bistro earlier today at a charcuterie and brandy lunch.


The scoop was the news that a Chinese tourist recently stopped by the Van Ryn distillery in Vlottenburg and shelled out R16K cash for a bottle of Van Ryn Aura 30 year old brandy. Untasted, as only 107 bottles were made. It must have passed the Tianjin Test as the following day, a dozen tourists popped up and dropped R200K cash on a case. FNB Vlottenburg branch must be making a fortune out of the bank’s outrageous cash deposit charges.

It sounds like a fairy tale straight out of the Arabian Nights but indicates the way forward for SA brandy. There are only 7 bottles of Aura left… Piet Viljoen, chairman of RECM and a major shareholder in KWV should factor this into his valuation of the distiller.



Aura’s kid brother, the Van Ryn 12 we tasted above with spicy Chorizo, was my favourite brandy although the best pairing was Lardo (lard) with Klipdrift Gold. What a privilege to sit at the feet of the master of meat, Richard Bosman (below) who compared pigs to grapes as “they both taste of the place they were raised.” Terroir of the trotter.


A classic lunch with Brink and Bosman, two of the greatest SA writers of the last century. Coincidence? I think not.

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