SA’s first Cognac launches

South Africa’s first Cognac has been launched by KWV in a significant brand positioning for the brandy distiller. Last week, KWV unveiled KWV Heritage XO Cognac, the first to be produced under a South African brand name, as well as 30-year-old KWV Nexus, the world’s first commercially available brand containing potstill up to 42 years old. The name Nexus was chosen to represent the pinnacle of the KWV brand journey.

For KWV’s XO Cognac, KWV formed a collaborative partnership with the French House of Maison Charpentier and developed KWV Héritage XO, created by KWV’s award-winning master distiller, Pieter de Bod, who developed the blend in his brandy cellar in Paarl.

KWV’s marketing director, Peadar Hegarty, explains that KWV is challenging the conventions of the industry with these two additions to its luxury product range.

“Cognac can only be produced in Western France and verification of its authenticity is taken very seriously, protected by an ‘origin appellation’, meaning that in order for the blend to qualify as a cognac, grapes must be sourced and the product must be bottled and matured in the Cognac region in France.”

De Bod describes the KWV XO as rich amber in colour, conjuring up fruity flavours of litchi, cinnamon and fruitcake on the nose, with notes of citrus, mocha and roasted coffee.

And how’s this for a price tag? The KWV Nexus potstill brandy retails at R23 000 for those who want to round off special occasions…

The KWV Nexus 30-year old is described as an exceptional potstill brandy, handcrafted in small batches at the world-renowned KWV cellars in Paarl, using a blend ranging in age from 30 to 42 years old.

This special product has special packaging to match: the hand-blown bottle orb was crafted by glass artist, David Reade. And each individually crafted bottle is sealed with a handmade Baltic Amber stone — a gem with origins that can be traced to tree resins going back some 50 million years — set in copper by award-winning jewellery designer, Maike Valcarcel.

Then there is the handcrafted wooden outer casing, which Hegarty says illustrates KWV’s culmination of a journey of “unsurpassed craft, patience and attention to detail”: “We chose unconventional packaging, as we wanted to showcase the beautiful bottle and the use of all natural products, put together by these artisans, fits beautifully with our ’Finish Great’ philosophy. From vine to glass, this precious blend is the proud fulfilment of an incredible brandy-making odyssey that represents our master craftsmen at their very best.”

Source: – Louise Marsland