Discovering De Toren’s Ancient Soils & Exceptional Terroir
Soil. Life-giving, ancient, site-specific and highly variable are just some descriptors one can use when describing our valuable soil here at De Toren. Enchanted by the farm’s panoramic vistas stretching from the Helderberg, over False Bay and across to Table Mountain, the coastal regions of South Africa possess some of the oldest, most ancient soils in the world. With that said, our unique soils are arguably our most precious resource in producing the highest quality grapes for the production of our site-specific Bordeaux styled blends. Our philosophy of “Extreme Care” extends to the soil at De Toren – together with our supreme terroir, this gives a unique expression to the five noble Bordeaux varietals, not to be found anywhere else in the Cape area.
Initially, when the prospect of producing some of South Africa’s most premium wines became a reality, the De Toren team embarked on an extensive soil analysis of the property first. Working closely with top academics from the University of Stellenbosch, a dozen sampling holes were dug across all 25 hectares of the farm – but done to a greater degree than the standard industry practice.
Once analysed, the research proved that De Toren’s location was ideal for producing some of South Africa’s most luxurious Bordeaux styled blends. It further resulted in 15 separate soil types that were identified across all 25 hectares. This ultimately enabled our team to meticulously match 11 complimentary rootstocks to each of these individual soil types, as well as plant 25 clones across each of the five Bordeaux grape varieties. All to reflect the extreme care and complexity of the vineyard in the wine itself.
Each of these 15 different soil types plays an imperative role in the ultimate crafting of our location-specific and superlative red blends. Each contains particular characteristics and life-giving qualities. These characteristics and qualities translate into their individual suitability for hosting our five noble Bordeaux varietals.
To give a bit more context – soils are made up of layers and each layer consists of differing ratios of soil, organic matter, inorganic matter, water and air. Clay, sand and other minerals make up some of the most important components of the inorganic fraction in soil, originating from weathered rock and parent material.
The predominantly decomposed granite layer on top of a solid clay base is the ideal component for growing extraordinary red wine grapes, especially when the vineyard has a view of the ocean, like our Merlot-dominated, De Toren Z vineyard. A balance of good growing conditions and stress is required for the vine to grow comfortably, until ripening commences.
Hence, De Toren’s philosophy of “Extreme Care” including detailed soil matching to root stocks and varietals, coupled with unique climatic conditions, in the end allows us to produce superior quality grapes. This attention and taking extreme care of our soils is ultimately how we work towards achieving greatness when crafting each one of our De Toren wines as we strive to gain even greater recognition as producers of truly world-class red wines.