Ernest Hemingway, American author and Nobel prize winner for Literature, is quoted as saying, “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing. Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.”

In The Triumph of Bacchus, a masterpiece by Spanish artist Diego Velázquez, a painting which hangs in the Museo del Prado in Madrid today, we see the God of wine, Bacchus, rewarding men with gifts of wine. 

In Vermeer’s Girl with a Wine Glass, we see depicted a woman in a stain-glass-window-lit room, resplendent in a gleaming coral dress, wine glass in one hand, and smiling to the camera, had there been one.

In Van Gogh’s Red Vineyards Near Arles, the only painting Vincent van Gogh is certainly known to have sold during his lifetime, depicts a host of workers in a vineyard, toiling under a large yellow sun. In the distance a horse and cart pass by.

W.B. Yeats, in his poem, ‘A Drinking Song’, wrote that

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

Wine can be found in the motion arts too. Who can forget the elderly butler pouring wine in the classic two-hander comedy sketch film, Dinner for One? Or the bottle of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, in season 6 of the Sopranos.

Truth is that wine has featured in art since the beginning of time. Wine has long formed the backdrop of the art experience, warmed the hearts of every artist. 

Wine As Art

Wine has reached the level of art with bottles being sold at auction alongside paintings, ceramics, and jewellery today. It comes as no surprise that words like ‘vintage’ are now on equal footing with words like ‘provenance’. As with Objets d’art, prices fluctuate in the same way as antiques and art. The most expensive bottle of wine to have been sold on auction at Christies in Geneva, a Cheval Blanc 1947, for over $300,000. According to the Classification of Saint-Emilion wine, the Cheval Blanc has a class A status, and of all the Merlot wines there are only two which were awarded this classification. The grapes were said to be legendary between April and October of 1947, and the surviving bottle that outlived many a person is the only known bottle in the imperial format from this particular Saint-Emilion vintage.

The Art of De Toren Private Cellar

So too the wines of De Toren are borne out of a canvas that is our terroir, an impasto-like backdrop to all that is pure, under the sunlit studio with nature playing its part in each brush stroke. South Africa’s first 100-percent gravity-fed cellar serves as our easel to the artist, a visionary collective; the Managing Partner, the Cellar Master, the Winemaker, and each and every hand that lovingly play a part in the process. All contributing to an artistic expression like no other. The boutique size of the estate (think of it as an artist’s studio) allows for greater hands-on care through every single step of the viticulture and viniculture process than probably any estate in the world. The result of this is wines of exceptional quality from a collision of science and art, a true expression of this unique location where nature has conspired to bring together ancient terroir, cool coastal winds, and a magnificent hilltop location into a singular art form: the world-class Bordeaux styled wines of De Toren.

Discover our art & craft through De Toren’s bespoke wine range
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