Fine Brandy Fusion’s new dates are 27-29 June, being held at the Sandton Convention Centre. Presented by the SA Brandy Foundation, this is the event’s fifth anniversary, rebranded from the previously known Fine Brandy Festival). ‘The young and trendy, sophisticates and connoisseurs are tuning in to the modern image of brandy and are eager to explore South Africa’s internationally admired brandy industry,’ says Christelle Reade-Jahn, director of the Foundation.
Lifestyle brands such as Aston Martin, Mont Blanc and Nespresso will exhibit alongside famous brandy houses and artisanal estate brandies. Kobus Gelderblom, master distiller and international judge, will host tasting and master classes, as well as a presentation entitled Share the Spirit: Journey from Grape to Best Brandy in the World, looking at the creation of base wine, to blending brandy, then to maturation and finally a tasting of six award-winning brandies.
The Walk of Fame at the SA Brandy Foundation stand will highlight the accolades earned by local brandies at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) over the past three decades. ‘No fewer than 14 local brandies have won the Worldwide Best Brandy trophy, including the past five years in succession,’ comments Direk Conradie, vice-chair of the Brandy Foundation.
The new Brandy App – developed by Pitchblack, the creators of the Platters wine app – will be launched, and the FHM Brandy cocktail of the year, the Ama-lekkerlicious – a fusion of cranberries, peach and orange and funky sherbet kiss mark – will make its debut. ‘In this era of the craft cocktail and retro-classics, brandy is being rediscovered by mixologists,’ says chef Francois Ferreira, Brandy Guild member and head of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in SA. ‘As it combines so well with fruits and juices, brandy is the backbone of many classic and contemporary cocktails.’