Teddy Roosevelt once said, “speak softly and carry a big stick…you will go far,” and no truer words could have been written of Lukas van Loggerenberg. 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 work in the Finger Lakes or even on 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 (the winemaker for Boschkloof) decided to take a holiday with their wives to the Loire Valley, where a visit to Domaine de la Chevalerie forever changed his life. It was in a dimly lit wine cellar, with an intensely perfumed glass of old Cabernet Franc in his glass, that he decided to quit his day job and go it alone with his own project.
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 beloved character.