Family values and a determined vision to produce timeless, world-class wines is the foundation of Tokara, the influential Stellenbosch wine estate celebrating its 20th vintage this year.
At Tokara, nothing is left to chance. “Our mantra has always been one of no shortcuts and no compromise. From the very beginning, Tokara strives for an international style with a distinctive South African identity. From the outset, the goal was to create something that would be recognised as timeless,” said Karl Lambour, Tokara’s managing director.
It all started in 1994 when G.T. and Anne-Marie Ferreira bought a farm on the slopes of the Simonsberg to set up a home for their young family among the beautiful old oak trees. The appeal of the environment and the insight of reputed neighbours have taken root in the dream that would eventually become Tokara.
Today, 25 years later, Tokara is a tourist destination that offers visitors elegant, award-winning wines. Further attractions include two beautiful restaurants, an art gallery, a sculpture garden, and some of South Africa’s finest extra virgin olive oil. Tokara also remains home to a family with a vision, commitment and most importantly – determination.
“After 25 years, I still enjoy the fortune of staying on such a beautiful property and having so much fun while producing wine, one of the most enjoyable products in the world,” shares owner G.T. Ferreira for the joy that their investment and long-term vision for Tokara mean for the whole family.
This incredible venture, with the family at its centre, requires many hands. Today, there are still nine dedicated staff members at Tokara who have been part of the estate’s story from the beginning. The depth of knowledge about the unique terroir and vineyards collected by seasoned viticulturist Aidan Morton is another plus.
“From the very beginning, world class is the minimum standard for everything we do and it will continue to be so in the future,” said Morton, who has been a part of Tokara since day one.
Building on this solid base gives new team members the opportunity to bring exuberance and fearlessness that will continue to carve Tokara’s path into the future.
“The future in the winery is exciting. With our vineyards getting better, a style that is already well established and the use, after many trials, of the most innovative winemaking techniques in the wine world, we strive for wine perfection with every wine we make, ”according to winemaker Stuart Botha .
The first wines released under the Tokara label, the flagship Director’s Reserve Red and the Director’s Reserve White, receive international acclaim as a true reflection of everything the farm stands for – refinement, elegance and balance.
Since its first 2003 vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon-driven Director’s Reserve Red has grown into a world-class Bordeaux-style blend with a host of awards.
“After many years of focus, Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon has been identified as our primary specialty grape variety. Our land is perfectly situated to express the best of Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon and to strengthen this expression we complement it nicely with the complexity of additional Bordeaux varieties. The Director’s Reserve Red is a brilliant result, ”says Lambour.
The latest 2016 vintage is an exceptional blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (11%), Petit Verdot (7%) and Cabernet Franc (4%) – all sourced from Tokara’s best vineyards on the slope of the Simonsberg. The wine is aged for 22 months in a combination of new and older French oak barrels. The result is a wine of tremendous purity that boasts dark cherries, blackberries, ripe plums and a touch of spice. A fine, yet firm tannin structure predicts good aging potential synonymous with this Tokara flag carrier.
Sauvignon Blanc is another notable cornerstone of Tokara. As a blend with Semillon, the formidable Director’s Reserve White, the flagship dating back to the 2004 vintage, is also proud of the world stage.
The newly released Director’s Reserve White 2017 is a classic Bordeaux-style Sauvignon Blanc (69%) and Semillon (31%) blend made from grapes grown on the highest slopes of Tokara’s Stellenbosch. Both varieties are fermented separately and aged in mainly French oak barrels. Contact with the yeast nut for nine months gives beautiful integration and texture to the wonderfully complex wine. Rich layers of grenadella and pink grapefruit mix with a dash of lemongrass and freshly baked brioche. The wine shows incredible purity and depth.
Visit www.tokara.com for more information.