Boplaas country at its best

Daniel, Jeanne, Carel, Margaux and Rozanne Nel at home









The Boplaas family of Nels continues to gain deserved fame at this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Competition (MIWSC) by claiming three Gold medals and achieving the highest score for a South African whisky

Since its release, Boplaas whisky has snapped up two Gold awards and one Platinum at the MIWSC, as well as an Outstanding Silver at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC).

The achievement at the 2020 MIWSC was particularly encouraging considering the Boplaas 8 Year Old Single Cask Whisky (Tawny Port Cask) has not only just been released, but also achieved the highest score among South African whiskies judged at this year’s event.

Furthermore, Boplaas won Gold for its 8 Citrus Gin, which is made from as many different citrus varieties. “We only use fresh, export-quality citrus that is sourced from one of South Africa’s leading farmers and it shows in the quality of the gin,” says sixth generation distiller Daniel Nel.

Boplaas potstill brandy continues to shine too, demonstrating that the lustre is ever bright. The MIWSC 2020 panel awarded the Boplaas 8 Year Old Potstill Brandy with Gold. It was aged in old port wine barrels and shows a perfect balance of soft stone fruit, sweet wood and a long nutty flavour.

“The Klein Karoo’s warmer and drier climate accelerates the interaction with the cask wood, extracting more flavours and accelerating the ageing process,” says Daniel. “Annual evaporation is in excess of 5% per year compared to 1-2% in the Scottish Highlands and therefore makes for a super smooth and concentrated aged spirit.

“These are the ideal maturation conditions as you can achieve the aged characteristics of a 10-year-old Scotch in just six years under these warmer and drier conditions.”

The essential component of fine spirits is water and Boplaas is fortunate here too. The Swartberg Mountains tower over the village of Calitzdorp and its waters give life to the farming community. As mountain snow melts, it produces pure, clean water that trickles through rock and fynbos, forming crystal clear streams in the valley. Here, it becomes part of the unique taste of Boplaas spirits.

These award-winning whiskies, gins and brandies are available from the Boplaas cellar door in Calitzdorp and at the Boplaas Klipheuwel tasting room in Klein Brak River on the Garden Route; the Boplaas online shop at, as well as from discerning fine wine retailers nationally. Boplaas ships across South Africa, free of charge if a purchase totals more than R1 500 or 12 bottles.