Oldest distillery in Africa with a new twist
Located in Wellington, The James Sedgwick Distillery is now officially open to the public on selected dates and times for distillery tours and food pairings.
Their story began in 1850 with a single pioneer. Captain James Sedgwick sailed to the Cape on the clipper, Undine where he founded J. Sedgwick & Co. In 1886, the company purchased a distillery that would go on to become the oldest on the African continent.
The distillery is set in the picturesque region of Wellington, best known for the spectacular Bainskloof Pass which connects it to the interior. In 2000, the distillery was named the inaugural winner of Wellington Tourist Board’s trophy for the most attractive industrial site.
Billed as the only commercial whisky distillery in Africa and home to the internationally award-winning range of Three Ships and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, the establishment invites all to explore the true passion and craftsmanship of South Africa’s whiskies, come to understand the art of whisky-making, learn about the history of the distillery spanning 130 years as well as to taste some of the world’s finest malts and grains. The pre-booked tours and tastings are limited to 10 people per a group to ensure a more personal and exclusive experience.
Guests will enjoy a refreshing whisky-cocktail on arrival followed by an informative video before heading on an on-foot tour of the distillery. Once completed and back at the tasting room, members will then be presented with an unconventional pairing of three whiskies and five generous food dishes. Visitors can join the tours and tastings on a Friday and Saturday at 10am and 2pm at The James Sedgwick Distillery.
The James Sedgwick Distillery is a pioneer in its own right as it is unusual for a whisky distillery to produce both malt and grain whiskies on the same site. With more than 150 000 casks of whisky in maturation any given time, the distillery handles the entire whisky making process – from milling the raw ingredients through to maturation and blending.
“We’ve undertaken an enormous upgrade and expansion at the distillery, but despite all the technology, we have managed to maintain the human touch. We have the best of both worlds”, says Master Distiller Andy Watts.