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“Forget what you ever knew about growing wine”

De Toren Private Cellar
Ranked #64 of 155 things to do in Stellenbosch
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: "Without aim and direction you are nowhere. Our wine crafting roadmap is clear and precise; our objective is to redefine the Bordeaux concept and adapt it to be uniquely South African......achieving very complex, balanced and expressive wines." De Toren Private Cellar is named after the tower in the cellar which forms the centre of our philosophy of respect for the fruit we grow. In return the fruit will respectfully deliver extremely luxurious wines. We only make two wines: De Toren "Z" and De Toren Fusion V, both returning great accolades from all over the world!
Reviewed 17 February 2017

A friend of mine recommended to visit De Toren. It was an excellent recommendatiion.

First you have to make an appointment. (!)

After arrival you have to register at the reception, and then you get a very informative guided tour through the vinyards and the "cellar". You will learn which factors have to come together to produce an outstanding wine (e.g. a fungus keeping the 8-fold of his volume in the soil and the wind direction), you will understand how academic an approach towards "growing" wine can be, and finally...

...finally you are guided to a very exclusive tastiubg room, to experience what you have heard before.

1  Thank Roman H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
De-Toren, Owner at De Toren Private Cellar, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2017

Thank you so much and so glad your friend recommended us.
Kind Regards, The De Toren Team

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Reviews (22)
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"black lion"
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"private tour"
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"wine tour"
in 2 reviews
"fusion"
in 4 reviews
"soil"
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"emil"
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"harvesting"
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"production"
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"grapes"
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"exclusive"
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"winemaker"
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"cellar"
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"farm"
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"wines"
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8 - 12 of 22 reviews

Reviewed 13 December 2016

De Toren is just amazing, we were warmly greeted by Adele with a bright smile and then Charles Williams, the winemaker, arrived to lead our tour. Charles explained how they map out each portion of their land holding and use infrared aircraft photographs to analyze each area given the soil conditions. With these soil conditions in hand they then decide what type of grapes to plant on each section of the land holdings. This gives them a complete traceability from the land to the wine. We then walk part of the vineyard and were able to understand what he had explained on how the optimize the use of the land. He also explained how when they pick the grapes they focus on only picking the perfect grapes discarding those who are not at their desired ripeness and perfection. These selected grapes are then hand processed to remove any undesirable ones as they go into the winemaking process. Then we walked through the wine making process and he explained how at the press he personally handles the process to make sure that the grapes are only pressed to the desired level and not allowing it to go so far to bring in the non-desirable portion. How different from most industrial wineries where this process is relegated to interns who use the press to squeeze out the last drop of wine. The Winery was also amazing in that all the wine flows are gravity fed and no pumps are used; they also have an innovative use of an elevator with a large tank for the wine to allow the movement of wine to the different tanks via gravity without having to do any extensive digging at the facility. We also observed their flagship wines that are completely processed in the barrels.
Then we came to the tasting and were served the De Toren Delicate, the Z and the Fusion V, all great wines and very well explained. We purchased some bottles.
A great experience of a very professional small winery that felt more like a visit to a pharmaceutical processor given the fantastic traceability. I have never observed such a level to granular control of a wine product such as what is done at De Toren. Through Charles kept says that they wanted to make the wine making process simple by letting the land and the grapes do all the work and do theirs by listening to the wine.

1  Thank tsolano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
De-Toren, Owner at De Toren Private Cellar, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2017

Thank you for an amazing review.
Seems like you could do the next tasting, very well said.
Kindest Regards,
The De Toren Team

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Reviewed 11 September 2016 via mobile

This has to be the best wine tasting experience that I've ever had, and I've been to hundreds of wine estates. We were greeted by Albie, the MD, who took us around the vineyards and estate and gave us the most educational and interesting vineyard tour that I've ever experienced. He is so knowledgeable and answered every question that we had. The tour started in the vineyard where we learnt so much about how the grapes grow and what makes a good wine. From there we were lucky enough to observe how the bottles are labelled. We were then taken to what I like to call their gold mine, i.e. barrels filled with The book 17 and The Black Lion wines. This is their super ultra amazing top end range. We didn't get to taste these two wines, however we did get to taste their entry level Malbec, the De Toren Z and Fusion V. All three wines were really lovely but the Fusion V was mind blowing. Their wines are served in a gorgeous tasting room out of the most beautiful and classy wine glasses. This was a truly magical experience and I would definitely encourage you to visit this phenomenal wine estate. Make sure you make an appointment before visiting. The experience lasts between 1.5-2 hours but totally worth it.

1  Thank hassan_1800
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
De-Toren, Owner at De Toren Private Cellar, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2017

What a privilege to have been one of your best experiences. The De Toren team thanks you for your kind words.

Kindest Regards,
The De Toren Team

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Reviewed 29 August 2016 via mobile

One of the most educational tours and tastings I've been on to date. During the tour you visit the vineyard, wine making facility, cellar and tasting room. Appointments are required, but worth the advance planning.

Thank 2Rwatching
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albie K, Manager at De Toren Private Cellar, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2016

Thank you for visiting our estate and allowing us to plan in advance. This ensures a great experience for you and your guests.

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Reviewed 21 July 2016 via mobile

This is a special winery that unambiguously want to produce excellent largely Bordeaux blend red wines (from all five varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec).

They seem to have used and still be using extensive research to deliver excellent wines from as natural processes as feasible with less focus on financial optimization than in most wineries. From natural gravity fed rather than pumped movement of wines, the wine makers are focused on excellence and natural production rather than overworking the grapes.

Exclusive craftsmanship is the motto and the delivery.

Thank Ascott150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albie K, Marketing Manager at De Toren Private Cellar, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2016

We are really pleased that you enjoyed your experience and our wines at De Toren Private Cellar. We always strive for excellence in our wine crafting.

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