Van Ryn's Distillery and Brandy Cellar

Van Ryn's Distillery and Brandy Cellar

Van Ryn's Distillery and Brandy Cellar
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Experience the atmosphere and stature of the Van Ryn's Brandy Distillery where the tour of the distillery includes a demonstration of the art of coopering, a whiff of the Angle's share in the maturation cellar, followed by the guest's choice of brandy tastings. The choice of tastings includes a Brandy and Chocolate tasting, a Brandy and Decadent Delight tasting and a Vintage Brandy tasting. The distillery is also a popular venue for private functions and conferences of up to 30 guests. Conference packages are tailor-made based on our guest's unique requirements.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles151 reviews
Excellent
103
Very good
33
Average
8
Poor
3
Terrible
4

keithamara
St Ives, UK490 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
As someone who really likes brandy I was hoping that this would be a really good tasting. The tasting lounge is certainly impressive with lots of comfy seating, old furniture and interesting stories displayed on the wall. Unfortunately the brandy did not match up to the ambiance and the chocolate provided for the pairing had seen better days. All the chocolate squares had blooming, which means they were old and out if date or hadn't been stored properly. But if you're paying for a pairing, both parts of the pairing should be of high quality. Disappointing.
Written March 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nico
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Couples
Van Ryn have some of the greatest brandy and a visit to them was alwayse a good experience. What is very dissapointing is that a well known supposed to be professional company like Van Ryn cannot update their web site to reflect correct business hours. We all plan our days to make the most of it but then you arrive at Van Ryns to find out they are now closed on Mondays and not open as advertised on their website. This to me is unprofessional and poor business management.
Written December 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MLM
Charleston, SC57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
I recently visited Van Ryn’s as a change from all the winery centric activities in Stellenbosch. The tasting area was plush and inviting. The tasting with chocolates was fun and informative. The chocolates were fresh (not bloomed as reported on another review) and paired well with the different brandies. The brandy itself was a pleasant surprise, as I was not expecting it to be as good as it is.
Well done, Van Ryn’s.
Written November 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MRGMARCUSGIBBONS
Cape Point, South Africa218 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Couples
Van Ryn's Distillery & Brandy Cellar
Pure Perfection and Elegance

The history and a fact or two.
Van Ryn's Distillery (1845) is the only Brandy distillery in Stellenbosch. Situated close to Vlottenberg station (On the R 310 - 35min from Cape Town) and along the banks of the Eerste River.

The accolades - Judged world’s best brandy by the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) - London. Awarded the annual title of IWSC Worldwide Best Brandy on five occasions. Best brandy trophy on three occasions - International Spirits Competition (ISC) Quite a neat resume.

On arrival at the Distillery you are greeted with a refreshing welcome drink by the staff. A brandy and peach cocktail. This just sets the mood already

The interior seating and tasting areas are absolutely stunning. Burnished copper potstills and barrels line the walls and upper decks. A large oak table and leather couches fill the room. The interior exudes such class and quality. Understated luxury and pure elegance.

After savouring and enjoying our welcome drinks we got into the serious part of the visit. Three award-winning brandies paired with hand-made Belgian chocolate and Brazilian coffee. Perfection personified. Our host was outstanding - we were given a brief history / overview of the Distillery, a Brandy etiquette lesson and a pairings summary. The staff are professional, enthusiastic and passionate about what they do.

In Summary - This is a must visit when on route to Stellenbosch.
The venue is magnificent (both interior and exterior)
A host of additionals that you can experience include-
Additional pairings that one can enjoy (Even non-alcoholic)
Cheese and artisanal charcuterie platters with brandy cocktails
A Cellar tour (1hr - 1 1/2 hrs) which one can go on (check times and dates)

A truly remarkable place to visit
I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to Visit you beautiful home.
Much Appreciated

Mr.G - Marcus Gibbons
Written October 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SoozSolo
Brisbane, Australia874 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Solo
From the environs, to the smell, to the brandy; Van Ryn’s is a sensory delight. Everyone else on our wine tour decided to skip this destination and, boy, did they miss out! Indulge in the brandy, coffee & chocolate combo – it’s bliss; especially when taken in the deep armchairs and woody surrounds (Downton Abbey anyone?). Beware though(!), it packs a punch. The tour is engaging and informative and my highlight: the barrel making demonstration; done the old-fashioned way. Exactly how this visit made me feel – very old-worldly and sophisticated.
Written April 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Genna Cummings
Johannesburg, South Africa102 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
They are currently busy with construction/ installation of bottling facility. Instead of closing it temporarily, they are welcoming guests with dust. Dust all over the place with furniture uncovered (except with dust), floor covered with dust. The host took us to the supposedly least dusty room which was still full of dust and looked for the least dusty table without even bothering to wipe it down before seating us for the tasting. She was as unenthusiastic as the place was dusty. I would also be in that environment. She quickly told my husband the different ages of the brandy and its color and gave him the chocolates to pair then ran off. I assume to get some fresh air. I would have just ran away from shame.
Written July 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear gennacummings My sincere apologies for the experience you and your husband had while visiting us. Due to both the dusty environment you were in and the quality of hospitality you experienced. Unfortunately, the construction process has had some consequences we wish could have been avoided. I can assure you that our clean-up operation has started in earnest and that the negative impact on the guest experience has been minimised as far as possible. I regret that your experience was not on par with your expectations of Van Ryn's and I do hope that this does not stop you from visiting us again. Best Regards Fre-Nay
Written July 25, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AntSomersetWest
Somerset West, South Africa184 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Friends
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Van Rijn's distillery. We opted for the tour of the distillery followed by the brandy and chocolate tasting. For the driver, coffee and chocolate was the consolation. The guide, Simon, was superb. His knowledge of the brandy making process as well as the South African wine and brandy scene were excellent. He was attentive without being too intrusive. The tour takes in the still rooms, a visit to an old cooper who showed us how the old-style hand-made barrels were made, ending with a visit to the maturation room filled with barrels of brandy. Miss this attraction at your peril!
South African pot-stilled brandy is really good!
Written May 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sean M
Kloof, South Africa15 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
Apparently they have been having renovations done for the last 3 months...no excuse. Dust everywhere, bad service, noisy, over priced...can't say more without swearing. You know if you walk out of a place and you feel guilty not warning guests wanting to enter it...thats how this felt. I felt embarrassed as an South African that we allow places like these to receive our international visitors. Management must be held responsible.
Written August 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear 164seanm I sincerely apologise for the experience you had while visiting us. I can assure you that it is not the standard we attempt to uphold. Warm Regards
Written August 12, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ben_kickert
Asheville, NC36 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Family
It's hard to review a place when your visit was cancelled, but our situation was disturbing enough I felt it should be shared.

On Friday, 02 March 2018, my family had scheduled a tasting at Van Ryn distillery. As a former whiskey distiller myself, this was set to be the highlight of our visit to Stellenbosch. We booked online for 16:00 and received confirmation via email. At 14:00 that day we called to confirm our booking since we had scheduled the entire day around this activity and were told every thing was in order.

At 15:55 we arrived at the distillery and met a couple families exiting -- they were friendly and in good spirits and told us to enjoy our visit. However, the security guard stopped us at the door and told us they were closed. I told him we had a reservation, but he pointed me to a sign saying the distillery would be closed on Saturday and Sunday 03-04 March). I pointed out it was the 2nd, but he told us we had to go. He did call the people inside who also confirmed our visit was to be cancelled. Since we schedule our whole trip to the area around this visit, I insisted I speak with the people in charge.

My wife and I entered the facility (which is beautiful by the way) while my parents stayed in the parking lot with our children. This is when things got weird.

We were told that distillery had to be shut down and we had to leave immediately. I explained my situation and asked for an explanation since we had a reservation that had been confirmed 2 hours prior. They refused to give us an answer and eventually said it was a safety issue and we had to go. Safety is a big deal for me, and if the staff were implying that I was unsafe, I think it is appropriate to get information on the situation. I asked what sort of safety issue (since my wife and I were in the building while the rest of my family was outside). They refused to give us any more information. They offered me a brandy bottle (which I did not take) and told us to leave without giving us any more information. As I was walking out, I was able to get one person to tell me that the situation may have involved a robbery. The whole thing felt very odd.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the very real concern about crime in Southern Africa and I take safety very seriously. That being said, there are several things that simply didn't sit well with me.

1.) What sort of safety situation would require a 2.5 day shut down? I would be hesitant to visit unless I knew what happened and what was being done in the future to prevent such incidents.
2.) If there was a robbery that forced the shut down of the distillery, then why weren't the police there? Why were the families ahead of us coming out in such good spirits?
3.) If there were a safety situation, why not give enough information to ensure that I could protect my family. If there were a robber on the loose, I would surely not want my parents and children wandering around outside. Again, why no police or increased security?
4.) If there was a situation that required the distillery to be shut down, why was our visit confirmed hours before the actual visit? Plus, how did the Van Ryn staff have time to print and laminate sheets announcing their upcoming closure but not notify us of the change. The timing seems very odd.

Looking through the other reviews of Van Ryn Distillery, it seems that a common negative thread is that people who show up towards the end of the day are often turned away or treated poorly. I sincerely hope that the staff at Van Ryn did not fabricate a "safety" situation in order to close early prior to a scheduled shut down.

If there truly was a safety situation, I do not feel that the staff adequately communicated what was going on. The setting (happy families departing, lack of police/security, etc.) certainly did not match the message that was being delivered. Crime (and other safety issues) do occur and I understand that; but in a sensitive situation, communication is key and the staff certainly dropped the ball.

It seems that many people have had great experiences at the distillery, but the situation we encountered was disturbing enough that I would not consider revisiting or encouraging others to visit during their time in the area.
Written March 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HolVibez
Birmingham, UK91 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Couples
Stopped in here after passing it many times previously. We were out spending the day wine tasting but thought we would give Van Ryn's a go even though none of us were Brandy drinkers. What a pleasant surprise and we are so glad we did.

Greeted at arrival with a welcome drink which was refreshing and delicious. We then settled into some old leather club chairs and enjoyed the Brandy & Chocolate tasting. Thoroughly enjoyable, learnt a lot about Brandy and enjoyed sampling. Bought a bottle to take home which made a great gift to a family member.
Written April 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear BRowan Traveller Thank you so much for your lovely feedback. I am so glad that you were pleasantly surprised when you visited us. I hope your family member enjoyed their gift! Best Regards Fre-Nay Brown Brand Home Manager: Van Ryn’s Brandy Distillery
Written May 2, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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