Boplaas takes us on a Portuguese journey

Brandy was first distilled and exported to London from Boplaas by Daniel Nel in 1880, and now, 140 years later, his namesake, Daniel is distilling brandy at the farm again, and expanded the portfolio to include whisky, brandy and gin.
Interestingly enough, because Calitzdorp is such a hot area, the Angel's share percentage(the evaporation from the barrel), is relatively high, which results in a more concentrated whisky or gin, really intensifying the flavours.

A fortunate group of media and trade were taken through a journey through the Boplaas family's vast product line at Jonkershuis, at Groot Constantia, which patriarch Carel jokingly says he will be claiming soon, as he is a descendant of previous owners, the Cloete family!

The Portuguese connection comes from an accidental mis-identification of a Shiraz by Carel's dad Danie, which turned out to be Tinta Barocca. These well-known Portuguese varieties, including Touriga Nacional happen to grow really well in the dry Calitzdorp region, and Boplaas have produced series of wines and ports, really making their mark in the world of Port, winning countless awards. Of course South Africa may no longer call a Port a Port, but more recently taken on the title of Cape Tawny.
The entire Nel family are all very involved in the business, with dad Carel being the ultimate entrepreneur, starting off selling antique furniture!  His wife Jeanne looks after the business, Margaux is the winemaker(and just had her first child), and Rozanne does the marketing, alongside her brother Daniel the distiller! 

The family has a clear affinity with Portugal, having done plenty of trips to understand the wines and varieties better and have introduced a few others over the years.
The gins are really beautifully packaged - one is an 8-citrus gin and the other one is pink, with the pink hue coming from ageing in a red wine barrel. I am not really a whisky person, but in fact have a strange association with their whisky, as we bought some a few years ago from the farm and headed off into the hinterland on holiday, only to roll our Subaru and find ourselves stuck out in the middle of nowhere, but fortunately no bottles were broken in the process.  After being collected by a flat bed truck and driven off to PE where we checked into a little backpackers, we opened up the whisky, heaved a sigh of relief that we were relatively unscathed, and drowned our sorrows with the whisky, white rolls and chips!!
Rather a waste of good whisky but it made us feel much better and so really improved the memory of that day!