Here’s a vinous story that embraces three continents, yet is firmly
rooted in the fertile soils of the Breede river valley. Lozärn wines,
handcrafted on Doornbosch farm, honour a family matriarch while
celebrating a red varietal whose very name evokes images of South
American castanets and sambas!
Join us in raising a glass of captivating Carménère for a toast to
the Smuts family who are nurturing this exotic cultivar far from its
adopted home. The grape is likely to be well-known to travellers
who have sampled the wines of Chile, where it was confused with
Merlot until, during the last decade of the 20th century, studies
proved that the vines were, indeed, Carménère, which had been
lost to Europe since the phylloxera outbreak in the 19th century.
In 2012, winemaker Salóme was enjoying a fine Chilean Carménère
with husband, Sybrand and a true friend. It was love at first sip,
which led to the planting of a Carménère vineyard two years later
on Doornbosch. This is – as far as they can ascertain – the first
single vineyard Carménère for South Africa. The wine bug had
bit, and the Chilean import was joined by several other Bordeaux
cultivars along with Sauvignon Blanc.
Time to unearth a little family history which forms a parallel tale
in the Lozärn story. In 1898 a daughter was born to Robert Müller
and Amy Sedgwick in Fish Hoek and was named Kathleen May.
Her maternal grandfather was Captain James Sedgwick, founder
of the famous Sedgwick’s Old Brown sherry enterprise. Kathleen’s
childhood was shared between Europe and South Africa, followed
by studies at a horticultural college in Warwickshire. The advent of
World War I saw her father serve in the German army, which led
to Kathleen, known as Kay, join her mother and sister in escaping
on a troop train to Switzerland where they settled in Lucerne. This
picturesque city soon found a special place in Kay’s heart.
At the age of 21 Kathleen May married Sebastian Smuts in Harare,
Zimbabwe. They ended up relocating to Somerset West. Here
Sebastian Smuts managed the vast Vergelegen. Kay’s urge to farm
herself saw them buying land in the Robertson valley in 1923,
naming it after her fond memories Lucerne; she farmed mainly with
ducks and chickens. Their only son Ivan Sedgwick Smuts took over
the farm eventually, planting vineyards and orchards. He and his
wife Dianne Beard had three sons, one of whom, Grant Smuts now
runs Lucerne along with his sons Juan-Ivan and Sean-Grant, the
Lozärn, the Swiss-German pronunciation of Lucerne, was chosen
as the wine brand, and labels are adorned with a skeletal image of
a duck. Granny Kay is also honoured with a fine Bordeaux-style red
blend named Kay’s Legacy.
The maiden vintages of the Lozärn range were released to an
appreciative public at the end of 2017. Success in the form of
gold from the Michelangelo contest for the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
attests to quality and promises future success for this boutique
range, crafted by winemaker Salóme Buys-Vermeulen.
Flagship Kay’s Legacy 2017 is led by 14% Cabernet Sauvignon,
with 28% Merlot, 55% Cabernet Franc and 3% Carménère.
Carménère 2016, is the unique red, and this grape is also used
to produce the 2017 Rosé. The alcohol levels have been kept
moderate with Carménère at 12,5% along with those of the Rosé
and the Sauvignon Blanc.
Winemaker Salóme, who marks her 10th year in the industry in
2018, is both passionate and dedicated to her work, describing
it as “sensory science”. She expresses her achievements like this:
“After a full circle of seasons in the vineyard… you get to bottle
your love and passion and share that vintage with others… Forever
Notes of stone fruit fill your mouth, with a soft touch of creaminess.
Enjoy this masterpiece as a festive appetiser with gourmet canapés or partner traditional chicken or duck celebratory dishes. Raise a glass to previous generations who still continue to inspire.
We are dedicating this exceptional wine to Sebastian Smuts, husband of Lucerne founder and farmer, Kay.
A strong sense of place captivates one with the first swirl of your glass of Cabernet Franc, making it a true celebration of the very distinctive character rooted in the cool deep clay soils of Robertson.
Gripping tannins and green peppercorn tones are balanced with ripe black fruit.
Pair this well rounded wine with Portobello mushrooms steamed on an open fire and a fresh beef salad.
Salóme Buys-Vermeulen, winemaker at Lozärn Wines in Robertson said: “Eco-conscious wine lovers can also rest assured that our range of wines are 100% vegan-friendly. This means that no animal-derived products were used during the winemaking process. Instead,...
For many Valentine’s Day symbolizes the celebration of love between two people. At Lozärn Wines – we want to extend this love to all things proudly South African and the things that South Africans love! We asked ourselves, what makes us South African? We have 11...
A visit to Lozärn Wines is an absolute must but just remember this wine farm is open by appointment only. Not only will the winemaker, Salóme, show you around her little winery but she will also share some of the most fascinating stories with you which is told out of...
Our final taste of the Robertson wine life was a morning spent with Salóme, Sybrand and Grant learning about the history of Lozärn Wines – The Pioneers of Carménère in South Africa. We began with an interactive tasting right in the cellar where all our questions about...
International Carménère Day, November 24, is a celebration of the Chilean wine varietal thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994. Known as the ‘Lost Child of Bordeaux’, Carménère was one of the original six red varieties used in the blends of Bordeaux,...
Lozärn Wines, champions of Carménère, produce a single-vineyard red wine and a great rosé for International Carménère Day November 24th…
Lozärn Wines, made on Doornbosch farm in the Robertson region, are the champions of the Carménère grape variety on home soil. In 2012, winemaker Salóme Buys-Vermeulen was enjoying a fine Chilean Carménère with husband, Sybrand and a friend. She says it “was love at...
Celebrate Carménère Day on 24 November with these unique South African expressions of Chile’s signature grape ~ Malu Lambert: Educational piece Read More
Lozärn Wines, handcrafted on Doornbosch farm in the Robertson region, are the champions of the carménère grape variety on home soil. In 2012, winemaker Salóme Buys-Vermeulen was enjoying a fine Chilean carménère with husband, Sybrand and a friend. She says it “was...
Happy world Carménère day! This is a one of a kind for South Africa, only 700 bottles of this baby were produced and for only R120 a bottle, it’s a real steal! Read More
I only recently discovered that the variety, Carménère, is in fact considered to be only 21 years old, as it was re-discovered in Chile in the 90s and then officially recognised again in 1998. Why? The dreaded phylloxera, which decimated vineyards across France in...
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Wine Tastings by Appointment Only
(cheese platters only by special request)
Lozarn wines available at:
Laverne Wine Boutique – Robertson
Wine on Main – Cape Agulhas,
Boulevard Cellars – Johannesburg
Wine Tonight – Cape Town