Yesterday SARU and Klipdrift announced a 5 year partnership deal at the Klipdrift distillery in the scenic town of Robertson. I was lucky enough to attend.Media were instructed at meet at 9am at the V&A Waterfront to sign in with the bus departing for Robertson at 9:35 , we ended up leaving a bit later as we had to wait for the journos from Pretoria to rock up, this did provide some humour to the start of the trip as the chirps about ” not being in a rush to visit a Pretorians second spiritual home” were soon flying around more often than a Morne Steyn high ball.
We were then handed out “warmup kits” , a South African styled breakfast perfect for watching a Springbok game Biltong, Cashews, a muffin , a quiche a banana and of course a nippy of the sponsors product.
The drive to Robertson was stunning if uneventful with most of the hacks behaving themselves and generally wondering if we were going to get any surprising news out of the Bok camp and the others just taking in the RWC DVD that was being played on the screens. Nearer to our destination we were treated to the story behind Klipdrift and how it came to be, Kosie Marais was a bit of a character but a very interesting one. Aside from being a brandy maker he was also a keen architect and designer.
Upon arriving at Klipdrift we had the red carpet rolled out for us (literally) and we were treated to welcome drinks , snacks and 2 of the meanest looking doormen you will find in the form of Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield. There was also some skinny fit looking guy who clearly could never have played rugby…I think his name was Corne Krige or something like that.
Mathew Pearce then invited all the guests onto the stage before Distell ceo Wim Buhrmann and Jurie Roux announced the deal and what it entails, Buhrmann saying that he ” that rugby has the power to unite everyone on a level playing field especially here in South Africa” while Jurie Roux said that Klipdrift reminded him of SARU in that it is a company on the move and reinventing itself.
The guest then each had a bit to say with Schalk Burger saying that it would be a lot easier to socialise with the Bulls players now as they do love their brandy more than most, Victor Matfield mentioned that he was approached by Heyneke Meyer to return to the squad but that there would be a lot of red tape to get there. Victor does look like he has kept in shape it must be said, if anything he is a bit lean.
After the formalities 18 lucky guests were invited to participate in brandy tasting while the rest of us were left to … well… drink brandy . We had the option of drinking the (in)famous Klipdrift export, the Premium or the Gold in almost any form we could imagine and we treated to some amazing catering.
The famous clock on the Klipdrift export bottle is on display behind the bar and interestingly all the clocks at the distillery are set to 2 minutes past 8 as it is the time that the first drops of Klipdrift brandy were produced. Before we boarded the bus we were all handed a Springbok “goodie bag” which contained a SA Rugby annual, a flash drive and a bottle of Klipdrift Gold.Tweet