by Dkc Communications

AU.RA's glow deepens

Van Ryn's unveils a gem

AU.RA crystal decanter and oak case
AU.RA crystal decanter and oak case (HR).jpg

Demand for South Africa’s oldest bottled pot-still brand, AU.RA, has far exceeded expectations, despite the R14 000 price tag, says the Van Ryn’s brand office.

The luxury connoisseur 30-year-old brandy, decanted into 107 hand-blown bottles and featuring a hand-crafted silver pendant, has been made at the Van Ryn’s Distillery near Stellenbosch, from an extremely rare blend of superior pot-stills.  Mostly 30 years’ old, the AU.RA blend does include components aged for as long as 40 years. However, according to South African brandy legislation, the age claim on the bottle must reflect the youngest elements in the blend. 

Each bottle, housed in a hand-turned solid oak case created by architect and specialist furniture designer James Mudge, is delivered to individual buyers in person and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

So strong is the interest in this exclusive pot-still that even ahead of the release, a bottle was purchased by an unidentified Kenyan buyer for the equivalent of R30 000, more than double the domestic price.

Local buyers, undeterred by the R14 000 per bottle cost, are placing their orders and there are even those who have asked to be placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations, according to Van Ryn’s spokesperson Shelley Ellse.

She says the momentum generated by the rare release is consistent with the spectacular growth of the Van Ryn’s Collection Reserve range that has seen sales double over the past year. “It’s important to stress that Van Ryn’s brandies are limited-edition offerings and not made in large volumes. Nevertheless, the profile of the brand, as arguably South Africa’s most awarded name in brandy, has certainly helped to catapult it into the spotlight.”

While AU.RA is sold exclusively from Van Ryn’s, where a private phone line has been installed for those interested in acquiring a bottle, the brandies in the Van Ryn’s Collection Reserve, comprising a 10, 12, 15 and 20 year old, are available from specialty stockists nationally. They range in price from R260 to R1 250 a bottle.

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