Initial investigations into a fire late last week which destroyed 3,000 barrels and about 900,000 litres of young brandy in a Distell maturation cellar point to a possible electrical short circuit.

Two military helicopters assisted local firemen contain the blaze, which also destroyed a home on the property that houses the De Wet Cellar complex near Worcester in the country. One person was slightly injured.

Distell has three brandy maturation cellars on the site with a total of eight maturation facilities around the Cape winelands. The product in the other cellars on the site was not affected.

The brandy in the cellar was due to mature until 2010 and had not been assigned to any specific brand in the company's ten-strong brandy portfolio.

Distell maintains contingency stocks of all products and thus said it does not expect to be significantly affected by the loss.