Is Sedgwick's Old Brown A Sherry?
Sedgwick's Old Brown Sherry, affectionately known as OBS, holds a distinguished place in South Africa's vinous history as the nation's first and original brown sherry. Since its inception in 1916, it has carved out a unique niche in the South African drinks market, becoming a household name and a beloved beverage for many.
The origins of Sedgwick's Old Brown Sherry trace back to the early 20th century when it was first crafted by Captain J.C. Sedgwick, a mariner who settled in Cape Town after a life at sea. Inspired by the sherries he encountered during his voyages, particularly those from Spain, Sedgwick aimed to create a similar fortified wine tailored to South African palates. This resulted in the birth of a product that combined local winemaking traditions with international influences, a fusion that proved to be both innovative and successful.
Sedgwick's OBS is crafted primarily from a blend of white grape varietals, predominantly Chenin Blanc and Colombard, which are native to the Western Cape region. The grapes are harvested, fermented, and then fortified with grape spirits, a process that halts fermentation and preserves the natural sugars of the wine. This fortification contributes to the sherry's characteristic richness and warmth. The wine is then aged in oak barrels, a process that imparts depth, complexity, and the distinctive brown hue that gives the drink its name.
The flavour profile of Sedgwick's OBS is distinct and inviting. It exhibits a harmonious blend of nutty and fruity notes, underpinned by hints of caramel and spice. Its sweetness is well-balanced, making it a versatile drink that can be enjoyed in various ways—neat, over ice, or as a component in cocktails and culinary recipes. This flexibility has contributed to its enduring popularity and has allowed it to transcend generations of drinkers.
Sedgwick's OBS is not just a beverage; it's an integral part of South Africa's cultural fabric. It has been a comforting presence in homes during winter months, a staple at social gatherings, and an accompaniment to meals. The sherry's ability to resonate with a broad demographic has cemented its status as more than just a drink—it's a symbol of conviviality and warmth.
In recent years, Sedgwick's OBS has experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly among younger consumers who are drawn to its rich history and unique flavour. It has also gained recognition on the international stage, a testament to its quality and appeal.
Sedgwick's Old Brown Sherry is not only South Africa's first and original brown sherry, but it is also a testament to the country's rich winemaking heritage. Its unique taste, versatility, and cultural significance have ensured its place in the hearts of South Africans for over a century. Visit our shop to see our collections of alcohol.