FOUNDED IN 1994 BY CRAFT SPIRIT PIONEER — ROGER JORGENSEN
THE FIRST PRIVATE DISTILLERY
IN SOUTH AFRICA
Jorgensen's Distillery — founded in 1994 by pioneer and master distiller, father of the Craft spirit industry in South Africa — Roger Jorgensen.
It became the first private distillery in South Africa, post 1960's prohibition.
Roger achieved this by gathering the private distilling forces of the time.
He pioneered in the name of artisan spirit production, and became the first to receive a distilling licence.
A monumental breakthrough. The start of a great craft spirit journey.
FOR ALMOST THREE DECADES
VERSIALLES HAS BEEN HOME TO JORGENSEN'S DISTILLERY
WELLINGTON, SOUTH AFRICA
Versialles with its 1812 Cape Dutch traditional homestead and surroundings which remained largely unchanged since early settler days, became the home of Jorgensen's Distillery.
Roger took inspiration from this landscape and its rich heritage to skillfully produce an extensive range of truly artisan spirits.
The distillery adopted a c.1860's copper pot still, later nicknamed ‘Ugly Betty’, through which masterfully formulated recipes and indigenous botanical flavours were harnessed.
The Jorgensen’s Signature range of Gins, Primitiv Vodkas and Absinthe reflects nearly three decades of distilling excellence.
THE FINEST ARTISAN SPIRITS FLOW FROM THE FIERY HEART OF OUR TRADITIONAL COPPER POT STILL
UGLY BETTY —
ONCE SHE WAS A BEAUT
Ugly Betty is our 200L Copper Pot Still from which all our Premium small batch artisan spirits flow.
Betty’s life began in 1860, originally made by Paarl Cape Coppersmiths and was used to exclusively distil, Brandy.
After a century in use, Betty entered a hibernation of sorts. Private distilling came to a halt in 1960 when South Africa entered prohibition, during this time the private distiller was outlawed and most of their stills and other distilling equipment were destroyed.
Fast forward forty-ish years to the early 2000’s and Betty is rediscovered in an antique store by Roger. He brought her home to Versailles and restored her to all her former distilling glory.
Everything went well until one afternoon when Betty caught fire and took the tumble responsible for her slightly battered appearance.
Henceforth known as ‘Ugly Betty’ — her unique character adds to the charm of life on Versailles farm.
FROM JORGENSEN TO ROOS FAMILY — DISTILLING TRADITION CONTINUES
UNDER THE AGE OLD TREES OF VERSAILLES
THE LEGACY & THE ROSE
Roger Jorgensen’s significant influence on the Craft Distilling Industry of South Africa always involved sharing knowledge, new recipes and skills with distillers throughout the industry.
With the Roos family taking ownership of Jorgensen’s Distillery in 2018, Roger could shift his focus to continue this passion, now overseeing various distilling operations from Cape Town to Kenya.
Tradition is set forth by master distiller, Quinn Roos.
The Jorgensen’s Signature Range continues to flow from the shadows of Versailles’ age old trees.
A TRIBUTE TO THE HISTORY
OF SOUTH AFRICAN CRAFT SPIRIT MAKING
THE WILD ROSE CRAFT RANGE
Quinn Roos adds his own recognisable unique style to the current Jorgensen’s Distillery lineup.
The Wild Rose Craft Range was born out of the desire to create a Premium Small batch distilled range that honours the rich history of Spirit making in South Africa and the kaleidoscope of precious African botanicals. In a sense — telling an African plant story.
From the fiery heart of our traditional c. 1860's copper pot still, originates only the finest spirits and refreshingly wild ideas.