Renowned for exceptional care, craftsmanship and unwavering focus on crafting premium Bordeaux styled blends, De Toren’s quest for perfection is never-ending. Driven by a pioneering spirit to reinterpret the concept of Bordeaux wine and named after the tower reaching skywards from the cellar roof, De Toren was South Africa’s first-ever 100% gravity-fed cellar, designed to facilitate the gentlest movement of their wines. It is this greatest level of detail and care that evolved over decades and became their philosophy of exceptional care in everything they do.
De Toren has 25ha on the Polkadraai Hills overlooking Stellenbosch at an elevation of 200-400m, benefiting from the cooling South-Eastern wind to form a microclimate perfectly suited to the elegant style they covet. 25 different clones of the five bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, are matched to different rootstocks and planted across fifteen different soil types. Each variety, clone and root stock is matched to the soil type to gain as much complexity from the vineyard as possible.
Cellar Master Charles Williams, together with winemaker Martin Fourie, is committed to creating wines that are elegant, nuanced, silky soft and true to site. Attention to detail is obsessive: grapes are handpicked in the first two hours of daylight, and immediately taken to a cool room to preserve their flavour and freshness. Only these two hours are used for picking, the rest of the 10 hour harvest work day is spent inspecting and selecting the best grapes for the cellar. Every berry passes through 23 different check points. Carefully controlled drip irrigation ensures that each vine is kept in that precarious state of struggle, allowing for concentrated, full flavoured, small berries to grow. Yields are very low. Before harvest even begins up to 40% of the bunches are removed, to ensure all the vine’s energy goes into producing small and concentrated berries. Using a combination of aerial imaging, detailed chemical analysis, and taste tests, the vineyard is divided up and harvested bit by bit, making sure only perfectly ripe grapes are picked.
Book XVII, The Black Lion and De Toren Patronus take the obsession further with even lower yields and their own dedicated winery within a winery.