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Bringing traceable, premium spirits to SA's discerning drinkers

If people care about what they eat, they should care about what they drink and how their favourite spirits are made and handled. That's the belief of Douglas Oberwortmann and Ludgero Da Cruz, the founders of Covert Distributions, an import boutique liquor business specialising in unique, premium spirits.

Douglas Oberwortmann and Ludgero Da Cruz, Covert Distributions
Douglas Oberwortmann and Ludgero Da Cruz, Covert Distributions

A newcomer to the South African liquor industry, Covert Distributions is most interested in products that use high-quality ingredients with traceable routes.

The company only distributes spirits which have no hidden sugars, colourants or flavourants, and their portfolio includes Brazilian Cachaça da Tulha, Scottish Arbikie Highland Estate gin and vodka and the United State’s Richland Rum, all family-owned and run estates. This month, Mexico’s agave spirit Balam Mezcal will also form part of its portfolio.

Commenting on their focus on transparency, Oberwortmann says, “Our ethos is that while people should drink what they enjoy, they should also know what they are drinking. We believe in premium spirits that do not compromise on quality, ingredients, distillation methods or traditional ageing techniques."

“We believe consumers should be given the opportunity to drink better quality products. They are available and it’s our mission to find them and bring them to market. The spirits in our portfolio are 100% traceable from origin and are 100% field-to-bottle,” he adds.

Bringing traceable, premium spirits to SA's discerning drinkers

In their quest for quality, Oberwortmann and Da Cruz have not overlooked local products. In the Western Cape, they are responsible for distributing a locally-produced craft beer, Sharpeville Lager, brewed by female brewer Aphiwe Mawela – who is also the first black South African to be certified as a beer judge in South Africa through the Beer Judging Certification Programme (BJCP) – and owned by a family from Sharpeville.

Da Cruz says: “We plan to grow our current markets as well as expand into other markets, especially in Southern Africa, while holding on to our core values through a select portfolio of non-competing brands that receive the personalised attention they deserve.”

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