Agulhas, the oldest lighthouse outside of Cape Town, and the two wines named for the Land’s End …

Agulhas, the oldest lighthouse outside of Cape Town

On a recent visit to Cape Agulhas, also known as the Cap des Aiguilles, the Cape of Needles, I was surprised again at how beautifully the southernmost tip of our massive continent drops down quietly into the sea over some pretty rocks. Land’s End, a lovely peaceful scene. No High cliffs or crashing waves. Just a gentle sinking away into the south Atlantic and Indian Oceans at the point where these two great oceans meet.  One of the real sights at Cape Agulhas is the impressive Lighthouse, the first light in which was lit in 1849, using the fat from sheep’s tails as fuel. The building is a restored National Monument and is based on the design of the Lighthouse in Alexandria, on the northern coast of the continent. It is still in use, the second oldest lighthouse in South Africa, the oldest being the one at Mouille Point in Cape Town.

The Old Du Toitskloof Tunnel, stone work done by Italian Prisoners of War

Du Toitskloof Winery is in Rawsonville, close to the entry of the famous Huguenot Tunnel which leads to Paarl and the south. Shawn Thomson is the Cellarmaster and responsible for the production of wines at the Cellar.

There are two labels in the Land’s End range, a 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and a 2015 Shiraz.

Land’s End Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Much lauded and awarded, the Land’s End Sauvignon Blanc 2018 took a Gold Medal at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards 2018. At the International Wine & Spirits Challenge 2018 in London, the wine took a Silver Medal. This cold-climate Sauvignon Blanc bursts with flavour, subtle minerality. By picking at different times in the ideal ripeness window, the wine is endowed with a mélange of tropical fruits and soft fynbos herbs in the aromas, and a big mid palate where flavours of crunchy kiwi fruit, the generosity of ripe winter melon, and the lovely round acidity of poached cape gooseberries. The ending is long and wanes slowly intermingling the fruits, acidity and river stone minerals.

Du Toitskloof Cellar

Bottled in a Burgundy shaped bottle under screw cap, the label shows the famous Cape Agulhas Lighthouse. In the glass, it is a pale golden straw with lime green flashes.

Anina Meyer’s Spicy Sweet Potato and Couscous Veggie Bowl

The wine is perfect as a mid-morning refresher, or at sundown. As a lead in to a meal it is the best aperitif. Perfect with Anina Meyer’s Spicy Sweet Potato and Couscous Veggie Bowl, perfect as a supper dish, or perfect as a midweek lunch dish with friends. Click here for her recipe.

Land’s End Syrah 2015

Like its sister wine, the Land’s End Syrah 2015 also took a Silver Award at the International Wine and Spirits Challenge 2018 in London. The grapes for the Land’s End Syrah 2015 come from some of the most southerly vineyards on the African continent. Close to the meeting place of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, the climate is windy and the soil poor which is perfect for a vine, it does not need rich fertile soils. Made in the Du Toitskloof Cellar by Shawn Thomson and his team, the wine is carefully elevated, matured in French oak before being prepared for bottling.

Shawn Thomson, Cellarmaster at Du Toitskloof Winery

Bottled in a Burgundy shaped bottle, like the Sauvignon Blanc the label is identical as is the bright red screw cap. In the glass, it is a deep plum red at the heat which pales out to ruby garnet at the edges. The nose is filled with black berries and ripe bloodplums and sweet brown spices. A grind of black pepper. From entry the wine is full and just a generosity of fruit in the mid palate with a touch of charcuterie, sappy cherries and soft tannins all interwoven in the lovely long and gently waning aftertaste. 2015 is recognised as a great vintage in the 21st Century, and while this wine is eminently drinkable now, it will offer future rewards if properly cellared for a couple of years.

Anina Meyer’s Harissa Steak Roll with Caramelized Onions

If you chill this wine, it will make it even more pleasant to drink. Good as a glass on its own. Excellent partner, again from Anina Meyer, her Harissa Steak Roll with Caramelized Onions. Lovely mid-week supper dish, you want to have a glass of really good wine. Click here for her recipe.

Anina Meyer, my food partner for the Land’s End Wines

Read more about Du Toitskloof Winery – CLICK HERE