It’s miraculous what splendours can be discovered in the process of saving. Back in the 16th century Dutch wine merchants began removing the water from wine, and in this way, they could ship more liquid in limited space. This also saved greatly on taxes for the wine by volume when transporting to various countries. While the intention was to add the water back into these wooden casks once the destination had been reached, they soon discovered that after the long period of transport, they no longer had wine.
Instead a new spirit transpired, one with an altered colour, aroma and taste – and so brandewijn – burnt wine – had a platform all of its own.
Brandy itself is consumed in vast amounts in South Africa and Namibia, and given that South African brandy is acknowledged as some of the world's finest, that possibly isn’t a bad thing! There is a vast amount of history and tradition when it comes to brandy, and in South Africa, this upholds distilleries adhering to high-quality products.
The majority of brandy produced in South Africa is made with the highest-quality wine. But how do we get that stunning amber colour full of unique aromas from wine? Well, the wine used to make brandy is called “base wine”.
From there, distillation happens, which is where the base wine goes into copper potstills and transforms into what is called “low wine”.
Low wine is then distilled a second time and this process gives the product a higher concentration. This distilling separates the product into three areas, and what is termed “the heart” is the section that is removed and kept.
The heart is then aged in oak casks for a minimum of three years. This maturing process develops a complex interaction and what emerges from this magical process is called potstill brandy. A distiller will then blend these potstill brandies from different casks into the master blend, which will then be bottled.
And a potstill brandy taking centre stage at present in both South Africa and Namibia is none other than Parow Brandy. Yes, the man himself has produced “a real brandy for real people”.
Parow Brandy, or Karate Water, is distilled for three years and pays homage to Jack Parow’s beloved spirit of choice. This premium hand-crafted brandy is quite simply a brandy for everyone.