You can always expect a masterpiece from Tiaan Loubser, a winemaker at Du Toitskloof Wines. He’s been in the industry for 13 years and his love for the job is unparalleled.
Iconic moments happen around tables, after all. And over the past few decades, Du Toitskloof has earned and enjoyed a profound place on South African tables. Firmly established as a household wine brand, it offers a wine for every occasion – whether that be red, white, or fortified and sparkling wines.
Today we have the pleasure of introducing our Food for Mzansi fans to Loubser who is one of our “21 faces of summer”. That’s right, he’s one of the 21 legends whose wines South Africans are enjoying this festive season.
Tiaan, how did you get started in the wine business?
Growing up in Rawsonville (better known as Awesomeville!) in the Western Cape, it was a very easy decision for me. The Breedekloof valley is full of beautiful vineyards, wine routes and wine farms. I don’t think I chose the wine industry. It chose me! After school I did my first harvest and that is where my love for wine started.
What have you learned from being in the wine industry?
That you have to be prepared for everything, and that time is sometimes your best friend. Great wines take a lot of time, especially red wines. But when you know the potential of a wine, it is sometimes difficult to stay patient! *Laughs*
How do you know when a wine has potential?
When you go back for more… To me, mouth-feel and length is everything, especially on red wines. Balance is key.
What are some of your most memorable wine moments?
The joy wine brings to some people is the ultimate goal, and to do a wine tasting and look back at all the smiles you have created is really special. It makes all the hard work and long hours worthwhile.
From a winemaking perspective, Du Toitskloof has won a few medals and we have made many great wines, but to have been a part a team that won a top 10 Sauvignon Blanc award last year was something memorable. Lastly, but most importantly, building a successful brand that so many people can be proud of is really something special.
And what goals in winemaking are you still working to achieve?
I’m always looking for ways to better myself, and to become a better winemaker at the end of the day. The goal is to make fantastic wines of exceptional quality, year in and year out.
In the world of wine, who do you look up to?
Our chief winemaker and production manager, Shawn Tomson. He’s very dedicated to his work, but thinks of it as more of a passion than work. He believed in me and helped me to become the winemaker I am today.
What is your favourite wine to pair with your favourite meal or snack?
Wow, where do I even start? A big, full-bodied red wine like Du Toitskloof’s Dimension with a beautiful steak and mash with roasted veggies is the perfect way to enjoy life. On the lighter side, our Sauvignon Blanc is a must for the summer.
What is the most challenging thing about winemaking?
That you never know what to expect and that you have to work with what God is giving you to work with. Also, to maintain the excellent quality of your wine each year is quite challenging. With that being said, it keeps you on your toes and that’s what makes this industry interesting.
Do you have any “guilty pleasures” when it comes to wine?
*Laughs* No comment…
If not guilty pleasures, any funny wine moments then?
A memorable moment was when someone asked, “Can you please pour me more of that nice Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc, but the red one please?” In the cellar, it’s got to be the fact that it’s sometimes slippery and not always funny when you fall, but over the years we’ve had a laugh or two. Being able to make wine and share that passion with family and friends is probably the best memory of all.
More about Du Toitskloof Wines
Du Toitskloof Sauvignon Blanc 2020
One of the best ways to enjoy summer is with a nice, cold Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a very tropical sort of flavour, with lots of lychee and pineapple flavours coming through, with just a hint of grass that is always noticeable in this style of wine. And on the palette, it’s nice and smooth, well balanced between the sweetness of the fruit and the acidity.
Du Toitskloof Pinotage Rosé
Another perfect summer drinking wine! On the nose it’s full of berries, so all you need with this wine really is a picnic blanket and some snacks. There’s a lot of layers to this full-bodied wine, with a beautiful balance between fruit and acidity.
This wine is fantastic to enjoy with a lot of different style foods. We recommend it with light foods; seafood, pastas, and light-style curries. Buy 6 x 750ml bottles for R342 or 4 x 3L for R520 online.
Du Toitskloof Pinotage 2018
A truly South African wine that is perfect for somebody who appreciates a nice red wine. On the nose there are subtle wood flavours, plums, cherries, and even a slight hint of chocolate.
It’s nice and smooth on the palette, easy-drinking and well balanced between fruit and wood.
The pinotage is obviously a little more tannic and robust than the previous wines, so you can enjoy it with more robust foods. And it’s actually a perfect companion to our local foods, like salty biltong, curries, oxtail potjie, you name it! Buy 6 x 750ml bottles for R390 online.