Van Loggerenberg Break a Leg Blanc de Noir Cinsault

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Winemaker: Lukas Van Loggerenberg

Appelltion: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Grape Varieties: Cinsault

The name of this wine pays tribute to Lukas’ first vintage in 2016. Lukas had to undergo two big knee surgeries in his first harvest and is stylized by the leg in a brace on the label and the silhouette of the man plotting his next move. With the help of great friends and family it all came together in the end and this wine is a celebration of hard times that you have to overcome and to never give up. In the same way one wishes a performer to “break a leg”, the name celebrates all the hard work to achieve said goals. The protea on the stamp emphasizes his South African heritage while the tortoise symbolizes the speed at which Lukas was able to work during that first harvest. The donkey shown is a tongue in cheek reminder of how stubborn Lukas was in not compromising on doing any of the work himself despite not being as mobile as he would have liked to be. The fruit for this wine is farmed and harvested purely for this bottling and not for ‘Geronimo’, nor anyone else’s Cinsault and Lukas feels this is paramount in order to retain the fresh quality of the wine.

The grapes come from vines planted in 1992 on decomposed granite soils in the Helderberg area of Stellenbosch, in close proximity to the ocean and with a constant sea breeze. These bush vines are farmed solely for making this wine. Grapes were picked on three different dates. The first pick ensures that the final blend always end up with great acidity and a low pH. Cinsault isn’t normally known for low pH’s or high acidities. The last, ripest pick was fermented in stainless steel tanks. All grapes were destemmed and lightly pressed to extract juice and a light color without extracting too much tannin.  Juice was left overnight to settle in a stainless steel tank without any settling enzymes.  It was then transferred to old French oak barrels and the last pick was sent to a stainless steel tank to ferment naturally, including natural malolactic fermentation. The wines spent 6 months in their fermentation vessels before blending and bottling.  No enzymes or commercial yeast were used.

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.