The dream of “Deux Frères” commenced in 2008, when Retief and Stephan du Toit elected to develop a boutique vineyard on Le Present, which is situated on the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch wine lands district. The younger brother, Stephan is the viticulturist and winemaker of Deux Frères wines.
Stephan started making wine under the mentorship of the highly regarded Francois Naude at L’Avenir Wine Estate in Stellenbosch in 2000. In 2006, he joined Marianne Wine Estate, also situated in Stellenbosch and was privileged to gain valuable experience on the owner’s other vineyards situated in St. Emilion and Pomerol in France. This experience gave him the right balance of skill and knowledge to return to South Africa to commence soil preparation and the development of vineyards on Le Present. Retief has followed a career in financial markets, managing a hedge fund, trading in equity- and currency derivatives.
Analysis showed that Le Present is suited to the production of red varietals and has three distinct terroirs. 1 Hectare of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted on the higher part of the farm. The soil is more gravel by nature with granite bedrock. Below is a mezzanine between the granite and a sandy clay-based area. Mouvedre (0.32 hectares) and Shiraz (0.4 hectares) was planted in the mezzanine area. Petit Verdot (0.34 hectares) was planted in the sandy clay-based area. On the two hectares approximately ten thousand vines were planted from north to south on a westerly aspect (1mx2.2m spacing). This high density planting forces the vine’s roots to penetrate deep into the soil to provide fruit with rich and unique flavours.
The vines are literally nurtured by Stephan, and with Niklaas who has worked with Stephan for many years, and a young understudy, Marco, tend to all the pruning, suckering and general tending of the vines.
Le Present has a unique setting that must be treasured and the virgin soil is testament to the quality of the grapes harvested. The philosophy of Deux Frères is that quality wine originates from unique terrior, vine selection and continued personal attention.