Van Loggerenberg Breton Cabernet Franc

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Winemaker: Lukas Van Loggerenberg

Appelltion: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Grape Varieties: Cabernet Franc

The name ‘Breton’ is from the old French name in the Loire Valley for Cabernet Franc. Lukas and Roxanne chose this name as it was while on a trip to the Loire that they decided to create Van Loggerenberg Wines. The silhouette of the woman symbolizes the elegance of Cabernet Franc and is emphasized again by the Percheron horse. This breed is always perceived as this rough brute of a horse but Lukas finds elegance in its sturdiness, which is quite similar to Cabernet Franc. The bluegum tree represents the original block of the Carinus’ ‘Bluegum Grove Vineyard’, which was the first vineyard Lukas sourced and continues as a core of the wine today. In order to grow the production, Lukas poked around for additional Cabernet Franc in the Polkadraai and got the ‘in’ for the Klein Welmoed vineyard on the southern reaches of the Polkadraai. The resulting wine is unequivocally one of the great examples of this historically maligned, but very much in fashion now, varietal Cabernet Franc anywhere in the new world (or world for that matter).

The Klein Welmoed vineyard was 100% de-stemmed, while the Bluegum Grove portion was fermented 100% whole cluster in stainless steel tanks. One afternoon punchdown was the only method of extraction and this was done over the course of two weeks for the whole cluster portion and an additional two weeks beyond that for the de-stemmed lot, adding resulting depth to the mid-palate. The lots were then pressed directly to older French oak demi-muids where malolactic fermentation occurred naturally. After ten months of aging the barrels were blended and immediately bottled without fining or filtration.

Lukas arrived in the South African wine scene in a very unassuming manner.  He didn’t grow up surrounded by wine and his overseas work post-graduation from Elsenburg College (not the more famous Stellenbosch University) was working two harvests on the East Coast of the United States.  He didn’t even work in the Finger Lakes or even Long Island, but at a small winery in the Western Connecticut Highlands AVA.  Lukas then returned to South Africa and worked at the obscure Druk My Niet Estate in Paarl.

In late 2015 he and his former college roommate Reenen Borman (Boschkloof) decided to take a holiday with their wives to the Loire Valley, where a visit to Domaine de la Chevaliere forever changed his life. After that trip he told his wife Roxanne that he wanted to make the switch from a being salary-earner to going out on his own.

He has gone from a small makeshift cellar to a medium-sized, organized cellar that he shares with his good friend Franco Lourens of Lourens Family Wines.  For Lukas, the camaraderie of life is what makes wine all worth it.  He is devoted to patches of soils scattered throughout the Western Cape, and he likes to think of himself as a farmer rather than a winemaker.  He reveres the land, and as a result he chooses to make his wines in the most natural manner, eschewing the use of any additions other than sulfur dioxide.  His rise to the summit of South African winemaking in a very short time speaks to Lukas’ pursuit of knowledge and his love of friends and family.