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STELLENBOSCH - SOUTH AFRICA

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DE TOREN PRIVATE CELLAR

HISTORY
& HERITAGE

The truth is in the vine. The guiding philosophy that elevated this boutique estate into one of South Africa’s most respected premium wine producers. De Toren began with a view. Enchanted by the estate’s panoramic vistas stretching from the Helderberg, over False Bay and across to Table Mountain and recognising the untapped potential of this unique site, the foundation for De Toren’s innovative approach to crafting world-class Bordeaux-style wines, was laid. Working closely with academics from the Stellenbosch University, an extensive soil analysis of the property embarked. A dozen sampling holes were dug on each hectare of the farm, treble the wine industry’s standard practice. Across the estate’s 25 hectares, 15 separate soil types were identified and ultimately 25 clones across the five classic Bordeaux varieties were planted. Here this philosophy of craftsmanship and exceptional care was born and was applied to everything we have done ever since.

The truth is in the vine. The guiding philosophy that elevated this boutique estate into one of South Africa’s most respected premium wine producers. De Toren began with a view. Enchanted by the estate’s panoramic vistas stretching from the Helderberg, over False Bay and across to Table Mountain and recognising the untapped potential of this unique site, the foundation for De Toren’s innovative approach to crafting world-class Bordeaux-style wines, was laid. Working closely with academics Stellenbosch University academics, an extensive soil analysis of the property embarked. A dozen sampling holes were dug on each hectare of the farm, treble the wine industry’s standard practice. Across the estate’s 25 hectares, 15 separate soil types were identified and ultimately 25 clones across the five classic Bordeaux varieties were planted. Here this philosophy of craftsmanship and exceptional care was born and was applied to everything we have done ever since.

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IN PURSUIT OF THE EXCEPTIONAL

EXCEPTIONAL BY DESIGN

De Toren believes that complexity can be found through design. The estate’s vineyards were designed from the ground up to produce world-class wines and enormous attention was given to where and how each vineyard was planted. The design of our iconic Left- and Right-Bordeaux styled blends were planned and decided upon after which the vines were planted to match the make-up of these wines. Crafting a blended wine is like painting, with each texture, aroma and flavour being a different colour. The De Toren palette is made up of a selection of soils, rootstocks, vines, cultivars and barrels. We utilised 25 different clones across the five noble Bordeaux varieties which includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot which were matched to 10 different rootstocks, before being planted across fifteen different soil types. Each variety, clone and rootstock were matched to the optimal soil type to gain as much complexity from the vineyard as possible.

The quest for fruit of perfection is a daily journey here at De Toren. With an eye on sustainability, the viticultural team embraced organic winegrowing practices, creating an environment where the vines produce flawless fruit which then guards the grapes as they are gently steered from vineyard to cellar, to bottle. Carefully controlled drip irrigation ensures that each vine is kept in that precarious state of struggle, allowing for small, concentrated and full flavoured berries to grow. The yields are small due to the meticulous quality checks and specific nurturing methods of the vines – a De Toren vine produces just over one kilogram of grapes. Before harvest even begins up to 40% of the bunches are removed to ensure all the vine’s energy goes into producing small and highly concentrated berries. Using a combination of aerial imaging, detailed analysis and taste tests, the vineyard is harvested bit by bit, making sure grapes are picked only at optimal ripeness for the greatest complexity.

De Toren believes that complexity can be found through design. The estate’s vineyards were designed from the ground up to produce world-class wines and enormous attention was given to where and how each vineyard was planted. The design of our iconic Left- and Right-Bordeaux styled blends were planned and decided upon after which the vines were planted to match the make-up of these wines. Crafting a blended wine is like painting, with each texture, aroma and flavour being a different colour. The De Toren palette is made up of a selection of soils, rootstocks, vines, cultivars and barrels. We utilised 25 different clones across the five noble Bordeaux varieties which includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot which were matched to 10 different rootstocks, before being planted across fifteen different soil types. Each variety, clone and rootstock were matched to the optimal soil type to gain as much complexity from the vineyard as possible.

The quest for fruit of perfection is a daily journey here at De Toren. With an eye on sustainability, the viticultural team embraced organic winegrowing practices, creating an environment where the vines produce flawless fruit which then guards the grapes as they are gently steered from vineyard to cellar, to bottle. Carefully controlled drip irrigation ensures that each vine is kept in that precarious state of struggle, allowing for small, concentrated and full flavoured berries to grow. The yields are small due to the meticulous quality checks and specific nurturing methods of the vines – a De Toren vine produces just over one kilogram of grapes. Before harvest even begins up to 40% of the bunches are removed to ensure all the vine’s energy goes into producing small and highly concentrated berries. Using a combination of aerial imaging, detailed analysis and taste tests, the vineyard is harvested bit by bit, making sure grapes are picked only at optimal ripeness for the greatest complexity.

HANDCRAFTED
WITH EXCEPTIONAL
CARE

Our vineyards and winemaking methods are designed to ensure excellence. Every sip of De Toren wine is, and should always be, a memory of the fruit’s perfection. Therefore enormous attention is given to not only where, but also how each vineyard was planted. Imported coated wire trellising was used to minimise damage from the buffeting of summer winds, while the judicious use of drip irrigation is dictated by cutting-edge leaf-pressure testing to ensure each vine is given the optimal, but a limited amount, of water to flourish. Aerial near-infra-red photography is used to map the vineyards; ensuring individual rows are grown, harvested and vinified to the height of their potential. Grapes are hand-harvested exclusively by a team of women in the cool of the early morning, for a mere 2 – 3 hours maximum every day before successive rounds of hand-sorting ensures only the finest unblemished berries make it into the cellar and ultimately into the bottle.

Our vineyards and winemaking methods are designed to ensure excellence. Every sip of De Toren wine is, and should always be, a memory of the fruit’s perfection. Therefore enormous attention is given to not only where, but also how each vineyard was planted. Imported coated wire trellising was used to minimise damage from the buffeting of summer winds, while the judicious use of drip irrigation is dictated by cutting-edge leaf-pressure testing to ensure each vine is given the optimal, but a limited amount, of water to flourish. Aerial near-infra-red photography is used to map the vineyards; ensuring individual rows are grown, harvested and vinified to the height of their potential. Grapes are hand-harvested exclusively by a team of women in the cool of the early morning, for a mere 2 – 3 hours maximum every day before successive rounds of hand-sorting ensures only the finest unblemished berries make it into the cellar and ultimately into the bottle.

DOING THINGS
A LITTLE
DIFFERENTLY

In the vineyard, the planting density is deliberately varied within the blocks to ensure optimal stress for each vine, while conventional farming wisdom surrounding row direction was also turned on its head. Traditionally, vineyards in this region are planted facing north-south or east-west. At De Toren, we planted our vineyards facing south into the prevailing summer wind off False Bay, which lowers the temperature, giving our fruit a longer ripening period and greater depth whilst keeping our vines disease-free.

These vineyards are also exclusively nurtured and harvested by a specially select team of women and harvest only takes place in the cool, early hours of the morning for a maximum of 2 – 3 hours.

Another first is our fermentation tanks. In the cellar, the juice is vinified in smaller, wider tanks, specially custom designed for De Toren, to allow for a greater ratio of skin contact and limiting the number of manual punch downs. This optimal skin contact brings out and enhances phenols, flavours and colour in the wine. De Toren is a befitting name, given that we were the first 100% gravity-fed cellar in South Africa, designed around our philosophy of exceptional care.

De Toren refers to the majestic tower reaching skywards from our cellar roof, home to the gravity-operated hoist that facilitates the gentlest movement of our wines.

In the vineyard, the planting density is deliberately varied within the blocks to ensure optimal stress for each vine, while conventional farming wisdom surrounding row direction was also turned on its head. Traditionally, vineyards in this region are planted facing north-south or east-west. At De Toren, we planted our vineyards facing south into the prevailing summer wind off False Bay, which lowers the temperature, giving our fruit a longer ripening period and greater depth whilst keeping our vines disease-free.

These vineyards are also exclusively nurtured and harvested by a specially select team of women and harvest only takes place in the cool, early hours of the morning for a maximum of 2 – 3 hours.

Another first is our fermentation tanks. In the cellar, the juice is vinified in smaller, wider tanks, specially custom designed for De Toren, to allow for a greater ratio of skin contact and limiting the number of manual punch downs. This optimal skin contact brings out and enhances phenols, flavours and colour in the wine. De Toren is a befitting name, given that we were the first 100% gravity-fed cellar in South Africa, designed around our philosophy of exceptional care.

De Toren refers to the majestic tower reaching skywards from our cellar roof, home to the gravity-operated hoist that facilitates the gentlest movement of our wines.

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WHO WE ARE

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OUR ACCOLADES

DE TOREN FUSION V 2018

BOOK XVII 2017

DE TOREN FUSION V 2017

DE TOREN Z 2017

DE TOREN FUSION V 2016

DE TOREN Z 2016

DE TOREN FUSION V 2015

DE TOREN Z 2015

BOOK XVII 2015

THE BLACK LION 2015

DE TOREN FUSION V 2014

DE TOREN Z 2014

BOOK XVII Z 2014

DE TOREN FUSION V 2013

DE TOREN Z 2013

DE TOREN FUSION V 2012

DE TOREN Z 2012

DE TOREN FUSION V 2011

DE TOREN Z 2011

DE TOREN FUSION V 2010

DE TOREN Z 2010

DE TOREN FUSION V 2009

DE TOREN Z 2009

DE TOREN FUSION V 2008

DE TOREN Z 2008

DE TOREN FUSION V 2007

DE TOREN Z 2007

DE TOREN FUSION V 2006

DE TOREN Z 2006

DE TOREN FUSION V 2005

DE TOREN Z 2005

DE TOREN FUSION V 2004

DE TOREN Z 2004

DE TOREN FUSION V 2003

DE TOREN FUSION V 2002

DE TOREN FUSION V 2001

DE TOREN FUSION V 2000

DE TOREN FUSION V 1999