James Sedgwick Distillery logo, established 1886.

James Sedgwick Distillery

  • New Zealand
  • Sustainability Leadership Award (2020), Green Company of the Year (2019), Global Icons of Whisky Sustainable Distillery of the Year
  • https://www.jamessedgwickdistillery.co.za/
Phone Number
  • +27218731460
  • 79 Stokery Rd, Wellington, 7654, South Africa

Historic distillery buildings reflected in water after rain.

History of James Sedgwick Distillery

The James Sedgwick Distillery, situated in Wellington, South Africa, has a significant history dating back to 1850. Founded by Captain James Sedgwick, it began as a firm selling quality liquor, tobacco, and cigars.

After his death, his sons expanded the business and, in 1886, bought buildings on the Berg River. These buildings now house Africa’s only commercial whisky distillery.

The distillery is known for its award-winning whiskies, such as Three Ships and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, and is a pioneer in the South African whisky industry, producing the first South African whisky blend and single malt and grain.

The distillery is open to the public for tours and whisky pairings​.

Awards Won by James Sedgwick Distillery

  • Sustainability Leadership Award (2020): Awarded by the Business Intelligence Group (BIG) 2020 Sustainability Awards, recognizing the distillery’s integration of green practices into whisky-making​​.
  • Green Company of the Year (2019): The distillery was named Green Company of the Year for its commitment to sustainable operations​​.
  • Global Icons of Whisky Sustainable Distillery of the Year: Awarded by the Icons of Whisky Awards, this honour emphasizes the distillery’s sustainable practices​​.
  • Global Icon World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year: Andy Watts, the master distiller at James Sedgwick Distillery, received this accolade, recognizing his role in promoting South African whisky worldwide​​.
  • Recognition at the World Whiskies Awards: The distillery and Andy Watts were recognized at these awards, which are judged by an international panel of whisky experts

James Sedgwick DistilleryTour Information and Experience

The distillery tour provides an in-depth look into the art of whisky-making, showcasing the craftsmanship and heritage of South Africa’s whiskies.

  • Whisky Tasting and Pairings: Visitors can taste award-winning whiskies such as Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Three Ships Whisky. The tastings often include food pairings, allowing guests to experience how different dishes complement the aromas of each whisky.
  • Insight into Sustainability Practices: The distillery is renowned for its sustainable practices. During the tour, you’ll learn about these eco-friendly methods, such as recycling spent grains for animal feed and using a reverse osmosis plant to treat and reuse wastewater.
  • Interactive Experience: The tour is designed to be interactive, with a welcome whisky cocktail and an informative video. Visitors are then guided through the various stages of whisky production, from raw material to distillation and maturation.
  • Limited Group Size for Personal Experience: Tours are typically limited to small groups to ensure a more personal and exclusive experience.
  • Tour Scheduling: Tours are offered on selected dates and times, usually on Fridays and Saturdays, at set times like 10 am and 2 pm. It’s advised to book in advance to secure a spot.
  • Location and Accessibility: The distillery is in the picturesque Cape Winelands region of Wellington, approximately 55 minutes from Cape Town.
  • Purchase of Limited Edition Whiskies: At the end of the tour, visitors can purchase limited edition whiskies, which are sometimes available exclusively at the distillery.
  • Global Recognition: The tour is not just about tasting whisky; it’s an opportunity to understand the global acclaim South African whiskies have received, as the distillery is a winner of several international awards.

Flask & Barrel Review of James Sedgwick Distillery

As a whiskey collector who’s been to many distillery tours, I was genuinely impressed with my visit to the James Sedgwick Distillery.

I’d rate it a solid 4.7 out of 5. The tour was an eye-opener, blending rich history with modern sustainability practices.

What stood out was their commitment to eco-friendly production – it’s not every day you see a distillery that’s so invested in green initiatives.

The tasting session was the highlight, with the Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Three Ships Whisky offering some unique flavors. The distillery puts a lot of heart into their craft.

The small group setting made the experience more intimate, and the guide’s knowledge was impressive.

The location in Wellington adds to the charm, making the journey there part of the experience.

The only reason I’m holding back on a full 5 is that I’ve seen a slightly wider variety of whiskies in other tours, but that’s just nitpicking. The James Sedgwick Distillery is a must-visit for any whisky enthusiast looking for a blend of tradition, innovation, and sustainability.

What To Do Nearby James Sedgwick Distillery

  • Welbedacht Wine Estate/Schalk Burger & Sons: Known for its excellent wines and expert knowledge.
  • Bosman Family Vineyards: Offers wine tasting and a journey through a working vineyard.
  • Bains MTB Trails: For outdoor enthusiasts, these trails offer an exciting biking experience.
  • Upland Organic Wine: A unique spot for wine and brandy lovers.
  • Bovlei: Another winery offering great wine tasting experiences.
  • Old Tannery: A historic site with good food and beer.
  • Garagista Beer Co: A brewery known for its craft beer tasting and friendly atmosphere.
  • Welvanpas: A farm offering wine tasting in a cosy setting.
  • Wellington Museum: A place to explore the history of Wellington.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near James Sedgwick Distillery?

  • Pappas Grill & Pizzeria: This family-friendly restaurant is rated 4.5 stars at Kerkstraat 60, Wellington, 7655, South Africa. Call +27665157820 for reservations.
  • Die Bôrdienghuis: With a high rating of 4.8 stars, this restaurant is in Wellington, 7654, South Africa. Call +27611565386 for reservation.
  • Jaart: This pizza place, rated 4.5 stars, is next to Tops – Spar parking area, 41 Church St. Call +27813887625 for reservation.

What hotels are near James Sedgwick Distillery?

  • Lady Loch Country House & SPA: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google. For reservations, you can contact them at +27728416208. Their address is 1 Lady Loch Rd, Wellington, 7654, South Africa.
  • The Garden Shed: This 4-star hotel is rated 4.2 stars on Google. You can call their contact number for reservation at +27823005290. The address is Champagne St, Wellington, 7654, South Africa.