10 April 2013
South African luxury brandy producer Oude Meester, which forms part of the Distell family brand, gained traction in a US market untapped by local producers when it won three medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in March.
The most senior of the Oude Meester range, the 18-year-old Oude Meester Souverein, won a gold medal, while the Demant and Demant 12 Year Old Reserve both won silver medals.
The Oude Meester 12 Year Old Reserve also won the best brandy title at the New York International Spirits Competition at the end of last year.
“South African brandy has established a powerful reputation in the UK and Europe, but our connoisseur offerings are still something of a novelty in the US,” Oude Meester’s global marketing representative, Lee-Anne Lotz, said in a statement.
“Since Oude Meester’s exposure to American trade and consumers last year in New York, market response has been extremely encouraging.
“Connoisseurs are thrilled by the sense of discovery and the levels of excellence they are encountering in a specialty segment of the deluxe brandy market hitherto unknown to them,” Lotz said.
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition saw 1 407 spirits from 63 countries around the world being evaluated by 34 judges. The winners were announced on 27 March.
“Judges were drawn from among well-respected spirits buyers and consultants representing high-end restaurants and hotels, mainstream outlets, as well as spirits journalists,” Lotz said.
“Their vote of confidence in Oude Meester suggests very exciting market potential for the brand in the US, coast to coast.”