How the farmers made the brandy themselves

Saad and Bo engaged with a group of farmers who were still making the brandy, at home, from their own grapes. It is made of a specific, black variety of grape. Cultivation is very simple. It is a bush type plant, pruned in winter, getting some farm animal manure and ploughed in spring using animal traction, with some manual weeding done afterwards. Mainly the grapes of the last harvest are used for making the brandy. The grapes are squeezed; most of the branches are removed, the fermentation is in open barrels. No yeast is added, it ferments by itself. It is actually fairly hot at the time of the year (30C+) for yeasts to be active. After about two weeks the fermentation is ready. The farmers use very simple equipment for distilling (see pictures 2 + 7). It is a backyard activity or in the field, there should be running cold water to cool the spirit. The distillate is stored in jerry cans.



Some handfuls of certain ingredients are added and the brandy is stored in large glass jars for a period of three months, to be ready for Christmas. The brandy is filtered and stored in used bottles. The alcohol % can be high, towards 50%, giving it a ‘whiskey’ taste.


There is not much glamour involved in the process. The brandy is used at home and shared with friends.