It’s a long way to come to London just to taste and share wines with your friends. But that is very much the spirit amongst South African winemakers, many of whom are close friends who love nothing more than just sitting back and enjoying each other’s wines. They also like showing them to buyers and sommeliers in the UK trade which is what Lukas Van Loggerenberg will be doing this week with a host of other winemakers at the third New Wave South Africa wine tasting.
So it’s finally arrived. The third New Wave South Africa wine tasting is happening today in London – one of the most anticipated trading events of the year.
The Buyer concludes our series of interviews with the importers and some of the winemakers taking part at today’s tasting with this chat with Lukas Van Loggerenberg.He will be showing his wines as part of Dreyfus Ashby’s South African selection alongside all the other winemakers taking part with the events’ hosts: Swig; New Generation Wines; Fields Morris & Verdin: and Indigo Wine.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into wine?
I grew up in small town called Rawsonville in the Breederivier valley, which is known for its bulk wine production. So vineyards and wine was always around. After school I did two harvests at Daschbosch cellars. Then I went to study at Elsenburg which is just outside Stellenbosch.
About myself, I am an easy going guy. I love spending time with my friends, sharing great wine, having good food and listening to some great music.
Tell us about the kinds of wines you are making?
We make our wine in a very basic shed, situated in the Devon valley area of Stellenbosch. We don’t use any enzymes or yeast in the winemaking process. Our main focus is working with the best fruit farmed by some of the most talented farmers around the Western Cape. We focus mainly on Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cinsaut and Syrah.
What big changes have you made and seen in South African winemaking in the last five years?
I don’t think I’ve introduced anything different to our wine industry. I like to keep things simple and uncomplicated, that’s when wine is at its best.
What have I seen across the country? Just great camaraderie, hence the name of our single vineyard of old vine Chenin. Everyone is working together to promote brand South Africa.
What are the biggest opportunities for you as a winemaker now?
We’re really blessed to have a great support structure, great friends in the industry and farmers that believe in the same vision for our brand as well as our country’s possibilities.
Where are your biggest export markets and why?
The UK. W have a great importer in Dreyfus Ashby that does great work for our country as well as having trust in our wines. The UK is probably the most exciting place to experience wines from all over the world in all different types of winemaking philosophies. Our wines are also really well priced for the quality you get.
What advice would you give UK buyers and sommeliers about how best to taste and understand what is going on in South Africa?
Just take the time to taste and listen to our stories and taste our wines. We have a rich diverse history, and greater things are still to come, rather get in on the action now or regret not doing so in 10 years or so.
Why are you taking part in the New Wave tasting and what will you be showing?
We are privileged to be invited to one of the greatest wines shows of the year, where you can taste and listen to some of the great wines being produced, not only in South Africa but also the world. We will be releasing our 2018 vintage which we can’t wait to share with everyone.
What do you hope to achieve? H
Have a great time and spreading the gospel of South African wines and our great stories.
Do you have any other plans for when you are over in the UK?
I’m only there for three days, so we normally give 110%, and am looking forward to drinking some great wines with mates.
Anything else you want to say?
Support South Africa wines and come to the New Wave tasting. YOU WON’T REGRET IT!
- You can keep up to date with the latest news about the New Wave event on Twitter at @NewWaveSA2019 and Instagram on newwavesouthafrica and at #newwaveSA.
- The Buyer has been featuring the other importers and some of their South African winemakers taking part in the tasting in the weeks leading up to the event.
- You can also find out what is happening across the country as part of Wines of South Africa’s South African Wine Festival 2019 that is happening in the first week of September.
- That will include a special restaurant “safari” on September 2 that The Buyer is holding in partnership with Wines of South Africa where we will be taking a group of wine buyers, sommeliers and wine merchants on a tour of different restaurants where we will be meeting South African producers along the way, and tasting their wines paired with food from that restaurant’s menu.