Brandy making in South Africa has a rich and colourful history, that dates back to 1672 when the first ever Cape Wine was distilled into Cape Brandy on board a Dutch ship. Production methods have evolved ever since with the ebb and flow of colonial visitors, the most famous of such being one Renier "René" Van Eibergen Santhagens.
When he first arrived in South Africa, nobody anticipated that René would start a process that would change the history of brandy production altogether. René was the first man in South Africa to have produced brandy according to the old French tradition. His passion for authentic brandy and his influence on the Wine and Spirits Act of 1924, ensures that South Africa continues to be one of the most successful brandy producing countries in the world. His influence and methods are still used today, and he is widely considered the Father of South African Brandy.
The Oude Molen Distillery moved from Stellenbosch to Elgin in 2003, and although now a much bigger and more modern premises, one thing has not changed: The techniques and dedication of the brandy master in making every golden drop of Oude Molen Cape Brandy. The distillery houses two of the largest copper potstills in the Southern Hemisphere, and has rolling maturation cellars full of aged oak casks, lovingly maturing the precious brandy inside. Open to the public by appointment, the Oude Molen Distillery is a charming and enchanting site to visit, its mysticism so inviting you can almost feel the spirit of Rene following you, as you admire the legacy he built