What is the foundation of handcrafted wine?

Every vintage has significant unknowns, different rainfall and climatic changes are some of the elements that are out of our control. Even when asking Ken Forrester, Mr. Chenin, how to make the perfect Chenin Blanc he answers, “I wish I knew”. With all these unknowns, how does Ken Forrester approach producing a range of wines that have garnered admiration and can elevate any occasion?

The start is a philosophy to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably complement a wide variety of food styles and provide excellent value. This philosophy is combined with the vision to partner with committed staff that are cared for. Building from this sound foundation the focus in the vineyard is sustainability, using no herbicides or pesticides, and hands on. Tilling, pruning, thinning branches and leaves are all done by hand which is significantly labour intensive. This creates a high degree of induvial care for each vine and the results are very satisfying.

The World's Best Value Cabernets

It's the world's favorite wine grape, but the wines are so expensive. Or are they?

The wine world is in a constant state of change, but one great truism remains – Cabernet is king.

Or is it? Looking at our database, search numbers are softening – Pinot Noir is closing the gap and even Merlot is on the comeback trail – but Cabs and Cabernet blends still dominate our most searched-for wines. They also dominate the hierarchy of the wines with the most click-throughs – where a user finds the right wine at the right price and clicks through to the retailer.

There are good reasons why Cabernet still dominates these databases. It is, after all, the most popular grape variety in the world among consumers. It produces wines with great structure, vibrant flavor profiles and immense longevity; just what people want in a wine.

The return of Cinsault: it’s all about South Africa

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Writing about drinks has taken me all over the world – but few adventures are seared in my memory as vividly as the week I spent in Swartland, South Africa’s red-dust wine wilderness in the Western Cape.

By European standards, the wineries here are isolated: many lie at the end of long, axle-breaking tracks, on plots dwarfed by hazy-blue mountains. But the sense of community is strong. Whatever time I turned up, it seemed, there was always room for one more at the long refectory table at the heart of every household – and it was rarely long before someone was reaching for a corkscrew.

Proud Moments & Recent Accolades

Hollywood isn’t the only industry with an award season … Every year, as spring arrives in the Cape, the wine industry’s most notable competitions and Masters of Wine announce their annual picks for must-drink wines, and outstanding winery experiences.

While our wines have enjoyed continual success, we believe the real reward is in the enjoyment of the drinker. This year however, our wines have achieved some personal bests and Haute Cabrière was named amongst the Top 100 World’s Best Vineyards – so we’re taking a moment to show our team just how proud of them we are!

“Our spirited cellar team works hard to ensure that quality craftsmanship from vine to glass is always at the forefront,” comments Cellar Master, Takuan von Arnim. “I am enormously proud of all we have achieved as a team, and look forward to what the future for our wine estate holds!”

18 things to do in Tulbagh in the Cape Winelands

Jagged mountains and gnarled old oaks, the curve of a Cape Dutch gable, long rows of vineyards or fruit trees, a farm dam – these are the memories you’ll bring home from Tulbagh. In the Cape Winelands just a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, it’s a place to discover history and magnificent scenery, to explore things to do in Tulbagh.

Tulbagh lies in a bowl surrounded by the Witzenberg mountains to the east, Winterhoek mountains to the north – often snow-capped in winter – and the Obiqua mountains to the west. The town dates back to the early 1700s and is the fourth oldest in South Africa after Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Swellendam. Small wonder, then, that there are so many old buildings to admire. In fact, Church Street today has more Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian provincial heritage sites than any other street in the country.

Champagne and Cap Classique: What’s in a name ?

The word Champagne conjures up images of celebration and glasses filled with thousands of sparkling bubbles. Did you know that Champagne and Cap Classique (previously known as Method Cap Classique or MCC) are the names of a specific wine and not a style? Today, the 22nd of October we celebrate Champagne Day, let’s have a closer look at the similarities and differences of these beautiful wines.

As with any well-made wine, Champagne and Cap Classique are an expression of the terroir. Grapes are specifically grown where ripening is slow to retain acidity while allowing fruit character to develop. The acidity is the backbone that will keep the wine balanced.

Champagne is a region in France, northeast of Paris, where the terroir is a magical combination of chalky soils and cooler temperatures that sometimes keeps growing grapes on a knife edge. The French wine industry is steeped in tradition and guarded with strict regulations on what varietals can be grown where and how the wines are made.

New rising star joins Tokara’s winemaking team

An up and coming new winemaking talent and academic achiever, Candice Nassen, joins Tokara on 1 November 2021 as Assistant Winemaker to Stuart Botha.

A double graduate with degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Cape Town, and Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, Candice notched up extensive winemaking experience at acclaimed local and international cellars.

On the local front, she completed three vintages at Cederberg, Boekenhoutskloof and most recently Boschkloof. During this time she managed to make space for a vintage in France at the highly regarded Domaine Yves Cuilleron in the Northern Rhône wine region.

A proficient all-rounder, Candice just aced The Business of Wine Course at UCTs Graduate School of Business with the highest marks of her intake.

Winners' Announcement! 2022 Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards

The prestigious Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards celebrate innovation and excellence in wine tourism throughout the eleven greatest wine regions of the world.

These awards provide an opportunity for these wineries and other visitor-serving businesses in each region to gain exposure and recognition for their commitment to presenting leading wine tourism options, while giving visitors a one-stop list of the best places to experience.

Now in their 23rd year, the 2022 Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards saw a number of entries from wineries in each of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network’s member cities, in seven different categories, namely: Accommodation, Wine Tourism Restaurant, Sustainable Wine Tourism Practice, Architecture & Landscape, Art & Culture, Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences as well as Wine Tourism Services.

Ultra Value Wine Challenge Results 2021

Year seven brings a brilliant set of results for Cape vineyards!

A stellar set of winning results now offers budget conscious wine lovers the finest wine choices. Brought to you by SA’s unique, long standing ‘best value’ competition.

This is the seventh set of Ultra Value Wine Challenge results; a proud and very special moment. The UVC competition identifies the very best wine buys that sell for under R130 per bottle. This is the largest price point sector in SA wine. It puts consumers in first place by giving them a trusted list of high quality, well-priced wines. They are currently available to buy right now, making the results both practical and useful. The Ultra Value Wine Challenge attract huge support from quality producers and vineyards, who themselves have built enviable reputations, based on tip top quality and affordable pricing.