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Top honours for Barrydale brandies at Michelangelo Awards

Joseph Barry Brandy
Written by Mickey Mentz

Joseph Barry Cape Brandy simply a cut above the rest

Joseph Barry Cape Brandy starred at the recent Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit Awards with both their XO and VS securing a place in the top Trophy section of these prestigious awards.

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This truly is a remarkable feat when considering that the Top 21 is selected out of no less than 1650 entries.

Michelangelo Trophy winners represent both the top 1.1% of all entries received and testifies to sublime, world class quality and excellence.

The Spirit Grand Prix Trophy was awarded to the XO which is produced from the very finest batches of Cape Brandy before being individually approved by their Brandy Master to ensure the final product reflects the true spirit of the Klein Karoo.

It is distilled from chenin blanc and colombard grapes and matured for at least a decade in underground cellars.

The VS which won the Best Brandy Trophy is packed with aromas of apple, pear and orange peel before being matured in French oak barrels for at least three years – a year longer than a typical VS.


This yields a particularly smooth and complex young brandy – perfect for mixing and the ideal base for a brandy cocktail.

Feather in the cap of small distillery

“Winning the Brandy and Top-Scoring Spirits Trophies at the Michelangelo awards is a feather in the cap of our small distillery team at Barrydale,” said André Simonis, MD of Joseph Barry Distillers.

“It underscores the pivotal role of high-quality rebate wines in the development of the unique fruit-forward character of Cape Brandy from the Klein Karoo.”

Joseph Barry Cape Brandy has been distilled in Barrydale for decades and is distilled in the Cognac method: double-distillation in copper stills, followed by maturation in French oak barrels.

Expert lauds Barrydale Brandy

This attention to detail and uncompromising attitude towards the values that form the core of the Cape Brandy experience is what internationally renowned spirits judge Bernard Schäfer from Nuremberg, Germany lauded in his assessment of the XO and VS.

He had come across Cape brandies before his appearance at Michelangelo, where he was once again reminded of the irrefutable quality of this local category.

“Thing is, every wine-producing country makes a distillation with ‘brandy’ on the label,” Schäfer said.

“And most of it is not made for the discerning consumer and not distilled and aged with the attention one finds in Cognac and some South African pot-still brandies.”

Joseph Barry Cape Brandy falls into that ageless detail to attention category. Their landmark distillery is located at the entrance of Barrydale and, forgetting about the world class product for a second, this beautifully revamped structure creates that ‘welcome home Barrydale’ feeling for locals and tourists alike.

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About the author

Mickey Mentz

From my Barrydale base, my goal is to tell the stories of people and places on the picturesque R62. Ek het oor die jare 'n cappuccino verslawing ontwikkel en my honde se name is Bella en Obi.

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