The first two distilleries you simply must look at are Van Ryn’s and KWV.
There are two big international competitions for wine and spirits: the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) and the International Spirits Challenge (ISC).
In 2015 the Van Ryn’s 12-year-old won the award for the world’s best brandy at the IWSC and the year before that their 15-year-old brandy won the same award. KWV won Distiller of the Year at the ISC in 2015 – the first time it had ever been awarded to anything other than a cognac. Their 10-year-old brandy is also wonderful.
Van Ryn’s also make the Oude Meester Demant, a five-year-old brandy that is absolutely lovely. It’s a lighter, fruitier brandy that goes well with fish and citrus dishes, while their 12-, 15- and 20-year-old brandies lean more towards dried fruit and toasted nuts and caramel. They’re best for enjoying with chocolate, dessert, or an end-of-evening cigar.