South African Brandy now also at Veritas

The distinctive Veritas symbol of excellence which guides wine connoisseurs towards true quality will now also adorn SA’s top brandies. Brandy, South Africa’s largest selling and favourite spirit, is since 2010 officially part of Veritas, the country’s most sovereign wine competition.

The ‘Oscars’ of wine competitions, the Veritas Awards has for 20 years been South Africa’s most highly esteemed indicator of quality in market ready wines, and for the first time ever brandy will also stand in line to be sipped, discussed and judged.  This new class to SA’s most authoritative wine competition provides the country’s flourishing brandy industry – which up to now had to compete mostly in international competitions – with a major local platform to show its mettle. This unanimous decision which is welcomed by the brandy fraternity was taken earlier this year by the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA), the presenter of Veritas. According to Duimpie Bayly, chairman of the SANWSA, the South African wine and brandy industries share a proud history built up over more than 350 years. That brandy, a noble product of the grape, now forms part of Veritas is a natural extension of this link.

South Africa is increasingly renowned for our exceptional standard and potstill brandy which can compete with the finest in the world and the inclusion of brandy is especially appropriate as 2010 has been earmarked as the year to celebrate South African brandy as the worlds finest, in the light of its continued stellar achievements at international wine and spirit competitions. Over the past years brandy has wowed numerous international panels of esteemed brandy palates called upon to judge brandies at various international wine & spirit competitions. Riaan Marais, Chairperson of the SA Brandy Foundation, said participation in Veritas will provide an important new avenue to advocate the consistent outstanding quality of South African brandy, distilled according to arguably the most stringent regulations in the world.

Furthermore it holds special significance to become part of a nationally-held competition as it speaks to the South African consumer. “And rightly so,” says Marais, “as brandy, marked by its distinctive South African character borne of our specific soils, sunny climate and purity production laws, is one of our country’s truly national products and most treasured drinks.” The various brandy categories (standard, vintage and pot still) will be entered in their respective classes. As with the wines entries, the brandies will be judged by specialist panels according to the impeccable Veritas judging system. Dave Hughes, one of South Africa’s veteran international wine and spirits judges and himself a qualified distiller, will chair the judging panel of local and international brandy experts.