Episode 17 is with Lukas van Loggerneberg of Van Loggerenberg Wines based in Paarl, South Africa.
Lukas is a gentle giant. He’s a quiet, modest man who makes some of the country’s best wines. That’s by no means a stretch of the imagination, as he is a Tim Atkin first growth producer, a title reserved for the best 25 winemakers in all of South Africa. We’re lucky enough to import his entire collection of wines, which includes a more premium range – wines like the Graft Syrah, Breton Cabernet Franc, and Kameraderie Chenin Blanc – and then your more every day wines in the ‘Break a Leg’ Series – a Chardonnay, Cinsaut rosé, and Merlot.
Lukas’ wines reflect his character; they are quiet wines that don’t brag or boast, and yet they are showstopping. His Breton Cabernet Franc should be the next wine you seek out if you haven’t yet tried it. Anyway, wine wasn’t really a part of Lukas’ family history growing up in the Breedekloof Valley. He did grow up around vineyards, but those grapes were mostly being used for brandy production.
He got his start at Elsenberg Agricultural School in Stellenbosch, and worked for other folks in South Africa and the US before going it alone. The decision to do so came during a trip to the Loire Valley with his college roommate, Reenen Borman of Boschkloof, and their wives. They were at Domaine de la Chevalerie, and the cork had just been pulled on a 1989 Cab Franc. Right then, smelling that beautiful Italian herb aroma from 15 feet away, Lukas knew he was going to resign from his job as soon as he got home.
But, surely, in order to have the guts to do that, one needs to have some good experience under their belt. After graduating from Elsenberg, Lukas cut his teeth at a winery on the east coast of the US. As luck would have it, right before he was supposed to get on his flight, he broke two bones in his foot. Remember his “Break a Leg” wine series? There’s a theme here – but we’ll get to all that. If you are assuming, like I did, that Lukas went to work in the Finger Lakes, you’d be wrong. He went to the bustling village of Litchfield, Connecticut…
Hosted by Charlotte Alsaadi.
Special thanks to SNACKTIME for the music!