South Africa's finest brandies, a new brandy App, trend-forward brandy cocktails, MC Proverb turning up the vibe, internationally renowned mixologists shaking it up and an aerial artist taking to the sky.
Brandy lovers, celebrity guests and Jozi's social set will discover what fun can be had with brandy at Fine Brandy Fusion, South Africa’s top trend-creating drinks event to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre on 27, 28, and 29 June 2012.
Perfectly timed to take the edge off the winter chill, and marking its fifth anniversary with a major rebranding the vibrant Fine Brandy Fusion (previously the Fine Brandy Festival) hints at the array of delightful possibilities when our unique brandies merge with a fusion of cultures and styles. The event is presented by the South African Brandy Foundation.
"What first started as a small, dedicated industry event has evolved into the ultimate showcase of this luxury product and the lifestyle surrounding it," says Christelle Reade-Jahn, director of the South African Brandy Foundation.
"The young and trendy, sophisticates and connoisseurs are tuning in to the modern image of brandy, eager to explore South Africa’s internationally admired brandy industry at this über-glamorous annual event."
We're giving away five double tickets valued at R390 per set. Each ticket includes brandy glass and Nespresso vouchers. Make sure you enter the competition here!
Here the party crowd will also taste why brandy's star is shining so bright on the modern cocktail scene.
"Hitting the right vibe as part social happening, part learning experience, this keystone event reflects brandy’s refined and its fun side," she explains.
"For one, the FHM Brandy cocktail of the year, the Ama-lekkerlicious, created by Kurt Schlechter with its fusion of cranberries, peach and orange and funky sherbet kiss mark on the rim, will make its debut at the event – and will surely be a hit with celebrity guests and connoisseurs alike."
Part party; part learning
This exciting format will also see high-end lifestyle brands such as Aston Martin, Mont Blanc and Nespresso, fuse with Kaya FM's live music broadcast, brandy-loving food, famous brandy houses and artisanal estate brandies. For the first time aerial artist Samantha Kotze will bring her seamless, breath-taking performance, inspired by the best of SA Brandy, to the event.
Purists and enthusiastic novices can experience tutored tasting and master classes, under the auspices of Kobus Gelderblom, a master distiller and international wine-and-spirits judge. Gelderblom’s tasting talk entitled "Share the Spirit: Journey from Grape to Best Brandy in the World" will take guests from the creation of base wine, to blendingbrandy, then to maturation and finally a tasting of six award-winning brandies.
The Walk of Fame will shine the spotlight on South African brandy’s international status as the best brandy on earth. Dirk Conradie, vice-chairman of the Brandy Foundation, comments that the Walk of Fame at the SA Brandy Foundation stand will highlight the incredible run of accolades earned by local brandies at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) over the past three decades.
“This year the IWSC will be represented by international spirits judges. This will give guests an independent view on South Africa’s performance on the world stage in comparison to other contenders. Festival guests can get confirmation why no fewer than 14 local brandies have won the Worldwide Best Brandy trophy, including the past five years in succession.”
The passion of the country’s leading distillers and winemakers producing small batches of individualistic brandies can be savoured at the highly- imaginative, interactive brand spaces and boutique stands. Under popular demand legendary barrel-maker Oom Abie Valentyn will be back with his show-stopping live performance of the age-old art of barrel making.
Modern mixing: Visitors can find their mojo at The Fusion Bar where the modern mixing of taste-shaping cocktails recognises brandy’s extraordinary versatility.
"In this era of the craft cocktail and retro-classics, brandy is being rediscovered by mixologists for its unique flavours and easy mixability," says renowned chef Francois Ferreira, Brandy Guild member and head of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in South Africa.
"It's a spirit with body that will support strong flavours without getting lost. As it combines so well with fruits and juices, brandy is the backbone of many classic and contemporary cocktails."
Launch of new Brandy App: developed by the award winning Pitchblack (creators of the Platters wine app.) the new Brandy App to be revealed at the event will give consumers a mobile way to interact with their favourite brandy brand, get detailed information about brandy happenings, the brandy routes, or to track tasting notes for each brandy. The Brandy App indicates accolades that individual brandies have received and include a unique "Share the Spirit" rating system, for users to share their ratings of brandy with their friends. The app also brings the latest brandy cocktails to the palm of the hand.
The SA Brandy Foundation is a member of ARA. Fine Brandy Fusion supports moderate and responsible enjoyment of brandy. Corporate Cab services are available.
To keep up to date with the entertainment line-up, the brands on display and the tastings and master classes, like the Fine Brandy Fusion page, www.facebook.com/finebrandyfusion or visit www.brandyfusion.co.za or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Fine Brandy Fusion
27, 28, 29 June 2012, Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton.
Times: 17h00 – 21h00 (no entry after 20h30).
Cost: R195, includes a brandy glass and Nespresso vouchers
Tickets available from Computicket or at the door.
No visitors under 18 years.
Twitter: @BrandyFusion / #brandyfusion