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 2016 is led by 53% Cabernet Sauvignon,
with 33% Merlot and Cabernet Franc making up the remainder.
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
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. Read...
Carménère was thought to have originated from Bordeaux and has gone through great trials and tribulations and today is widely celebrated and loved around the... Read...
Terms & Conditions: 1. Entrants must be 18 years and older. 2. Competition starts on 1 Aug 2019 and closes at 17:00 on 9 Aug 2019. The winner will be chosen at random by an independent judge and the winner will be announced on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on 13...
Its women's month and we are celebrating everything women, and if there's one person that we at GLAMOUR headquarters think you should know its Salóme Buys-Vermeulen. Read...
Born in Chile, Carménère was officially recognised as a wine variety in 1996. The grape is known for producing wines with red fruit flavours, along with an unmistakable pepper note. Read...
When visiting Lozärn, forget everything you thought you knew about winemaking as winemaker Salóme Buys-Vermeulen turns the world of winemaking and wine appreciation on its head with her approach to crafting amazing, memorable wines that stand out and imprint their...
This is a wonderful easy recipe that will become a favourite in your household. This self-saucing lemon and naartjie pudding has a creamy sauce with a burst of citrus. Read...
With a glass of Lozärn Wines Carménère in my hand, recommended by the man himself, my night in the warm and cosy Lapos Kitchen began. Read More
Lozärn Wines in Bonnievale in the Robertson Wine Appellation burst, like a tight reined pony onto the wine scene with its first bottling in 2017. I have had the pleasure of tasting all the Estate’s wines this year and the latest to arrive was the Lozarn Carménère...
“This area is very flat. If you have a hill it’s a privilege,” says Salóme Buys-Vermeulen of Bonnievale in the Western Cape. Winemaker at Lozärn, Salóme was formerly the vineyard manager at Ormonde estate near Darling, and worked harvests from New Zealand to Arendsig...