Qualito Craft Distillery, Phalaborwa

4.8
#5 of 9 in Things to do in Phalaborwa
Qualito Craft Distillers. Small Batch.Big Heart.

Rallying behind their motto, “Crafted with pride. Poured with pleasure,” and bolstered by a range of outstanding handmade, hand-bottled products like Grey Hawk Classic Craft Gin, the small batch Qualito Distillery is elevating standards of craft distilling, not just in South Africa, but around the world.

The Distillery is located in the historic town of Phalaborwa in the Mopani District of South Africa’s Limpopo province. The name was given to the town by the South Sotho who came to the region while journeying towards the North. They so liked what they found that they gave it the name Ba-Phalaborwa meaning literally, “better than the South”. The beauty of the Lowveld, the bright sunshine, the clean air and the proximity to the very best of unspoiled Africa are beguiling. But now there is even more to savor and enjoy. One sip of Qualito world-class meticulously crafted local spirits will convince you that the region has much to offer which is indeed better than the South. Here not only do the Ga Selati and Olifants Rivers come together.

It has become a place for the confluence of much more.

Phalaborwa has become a Mecca for artists and craftspeople from all over the country.

This once upon a time mining town and site of antique ironworks has become a crucible producing exciting examples of a completely new kind of treasure.

A team as unique as the blends it crafts.

Twenty years ago, Pierre and Loumarie Raubenheimer began pouring their time and passion into crafting infused vodkas, whiskey, gin and boutique cocktails of uncompromising character and quality. Born in 1973, Master Distiller Pierre Raubenheimer graduated from “Tuks,” the University of Pretoria. In his role as a systems specialist at Vodacom he travelled widely and was able to indulge his growing passion by sampling the best examples of craft distilling wherever he found them. In 2005 he started his own business in Phalabowra and his dedication to the art of fine distilling was rewarded just one year later with the release to the public of the Distillery’s first fine crafted offerings.

Partner in life and craft, Master Blender Loumarie Raubenheimer, met her husband-to-be while completing her studies at “Tuks”. Since 2005 Loumarie and Pierre have formed the perfect duet with Loumarie enhancing Pierre’s fine spirits with innovative combinations of traditional and exceptional modern organics.

Every composition needs a conductor and Assistant Distiller Mary Noboza was tailor-made for the role. A hard working mother of four, Mary literally came up from the proverbial “shop floor” to her current key role. Hold up an empty glass because Mary is currently creating her own brand of beer.

The Qualito team has been on a steep learning curve. In 2005 they introduced Qualito Craft Vodka infused with Litchi, Watermelon and Coffee. These were enthusiastically received.

As were the innovative Ice-Q Craft Frozen Cocktails and, most recently, their outstanding Grey Hawk Classic Craft Gin which has even the most exacting connoisseurs raising their glasses in acknowledgement. A fine craft whiskey is rumored to be dripping from the Master Distiller’s “bird’s beak” as we speak and will be available later in 2017.

What does “craft” really mean?

Quite simply, craft distilling should be judged by the quality of the finished product.

The true artisan takes time to master skills that will eventually make them a master craftsman. Pierre puts it this way, “A true craftsperson puts a big part of themselves into what they do. Time. Learning. Creativity. Passion. If I put something special into every bottle, then people will get something special out.”

It’s that simple. Here’s to continuing to be better than the South…and the North and the East and the West. Cheers.

Qualito Craft Distillery. Crafted with Pride. Poured with pleasure
To visit Qualito Craft Distillery on your trip to Phalaborwa, use our Phalaborwa online vacation planner.
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Qualito Craft Distillery Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
11 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Our visit to Qualito was a very interesting experience. Our hostess is very passionate about the vodka and the process going into making the whiskey, gin and vodka. Defintely worth a visit when in...  more »
  • We did the tour of the distillery which was interesting and got to taste a good few of the whiskey's, vodka's and gins. The lady that took us round was very passionate about Qualito. There is a bar...  more »
Google
  • Amazing tasting tours to be done here! Whisky, Gin, and infusion vodkas. So worth the visit and the knowledgeable staff (Nonky) & owner (Loumarie) really made an impression!!
  • Some pictures from a long overdue visit to Qualito in Phalaborwa. With a steady stream of tourists coming through for tastings and tours, we couldn't stay too long, but we did have the honor of tasting some of Qualito's new products under development, including some special and limited edition products, and 3 different Whiskey's straight from the barrel. Producing everything from scratch, Qualito is following the dream, vision and belief in true Craft that has epitomized Loumarie and Pierre's journey. Producing Vodka, Liqueurs and Spirit Aperitifs, Gin and Whiskey, with new products on the way soon.

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