The much-awaited De Toren Book XVII 2020 vintage is officially released

by Kyla Van Heerden

When Pliny the Elder, the famed Ancient Roman author, naturalist, philosopher, and commander of the early empire, composed his Naturalis Historia, an encyclopedic work comprising 37 books, little did he know that the 17th entry would be the ancestral herald of De Toren’s sumptuous, hyper-artisanal Book XVII. Pliny’s Book XVII is an agricultural treatise on the careful art of wine made by hand, one of the first ever recorded. De Toren’s Book XVII is one of the most luxurious wines the world has yet to produce, employing a deep-seated respect for age-old practices that combines with contemporary winemaking’s return to organic practices and purity of approach.

A South African expression of the Bordeaux style, this red blend tells the story of the masterful transformation of only the finest fruit into the finest wine, through the application of passion and devotion. The magnificent 2020 vintage of this singular wine has now been released.

The bespoke packaging, like this exquisite wine, is crafted by hand. Emblazoned on the front is an image of a hand-drawn eagle composed of multiple elements. A magnificent bird, at the apex of the avian world, this eagle has been illustrated by a renowned international artist using an ancient engraving technique.

A montage of individual elements is carved out within the outline of the eagle. These visual elements depict aspects of the wine and together narrate the story behind Book XVII, a story as powerful as the remarkable wine itself. It is a story about ancient writings, unique terroir, and the specially selected and sustainably farmed vines from which this wine is crafted. The label encapsulates De Toren’s meticulous attention to detail throughout the winemaking process and the seamless synergy between technology and tradition.

Once the bottle is opened, it reveals a stand-out wine, that closely resembles the successful 2015 vintage. There is a bouquet of dark, perfumed blackberries, plum, vanilla and a hint of sweet oak spice on the nose. This wine delights with a dense yet vibrant palette and flavours of blueberries, and freshly ripened black currant. As one has come to expect from De Toren, this wine has a delicate acidity that holds all its components in perfect harmony, as well as fine, polished tannins. An exceptional wine, it ages exceptionally well and holds potential for decades to come.

Each of the bespoke, limited-production bottles is individually labeled and numbered by hand. Each bottle is displayed in a unique wooden case with an accompanying iconic key – the very same key that will unlock this wine’s every pleasure.

De Toren offers complimentary delivery in South Africa for orders valued at R2000 or more. For more information visit

For more information, visit

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