Takuan doing deliveries in Europe

Cellar Master Takuan von Arnim reports back from Europe

Takuan doing deliveries in Europe

My annual trip abroad, although very much delayed, was a highlight. Spending time with family and friends was a tiny dose of normalcy – which was much needed in the current climate! 

Takuan doing some client deliveries in Europe

Home to Arnim Wines and my sister Zoë! With Zoë and per partner Koen – I have always seen this partnership as a home away from home and a great hub to share our wines with Europe.

Myself and Koen explored the restaurant scene in what was wine- listing season! This is when restaurants relook their wine lists and it’s a great time to be seen and available to answer questions. The timing was also such that Europe’s restrictions were easing and people were keen to get out and  support local restaurants, after too much banana-bread making at home! (I am pleased to see that this trend was cross-border!)

I  share my father’s passion for food and wine and the magic when the perfect marriage happens between the two. It was a great experience to taste what the European chefs are up to and even greater getting to chat to some Michelin star owners to see what they look for in wine pairings and how our wines can add to their guests’ experience.

I was pleased to be in the country to witness a container from the Cape arrive, and assist with some local deliveries – what  fun to see the look on the faces of clients receiving their Haute Cabrière wine and Pierre Jourdan Cap Classique, via the Cellar Master who produced them in  South Africa

Memorable moment | Visiting Koen and Zoë’s friends and owners of Sail and Anchor, a Michelin star restaurant. The prawn starter with a glass of the Haute Collection Chardonnay was something I am adding to my bucket list of enjoying at least once more!

A hop across the border and I was meeting our Dutch importer who is also a partner in some restaurants and shares a love of  food and wine pairings, also likening them to art! 

From meeting sommeliers to restaurant owners and clients, the trip came full circle when I was able to do a tasting for the sales team of Wine and Spirits– these are usually done online, or via a presentation. This opportunity was something they appreciated as much as I did.


Spending time with the team from Wine & Spirits

Memorable moment | Visiting a Michelin star restaurant! The standard of service is phenomenal and it feels a bit like a great theatre show!

Eco-scooters in Germany for the win!

A trip to Germany is not complete without a visit to Klocke Wines, they are our largest and long standing  importers and have a big footprint in Germany. It’s always interesting to see what consumers are buying in terms of their local wines and wines from other countries.  

I spent some time with our newest importer, Wehl’s Wein Welt. The owners are a couple who fell in love with Haute Cabrière and the von Arnim family on a visit to South Africa  two years ago – they felt like family!


Memorable moment | Zooming through Berlin on an electric bike with my wife Christiane – A great way to see and experience the amazing city that is the heart of Germany, and feel its incredible history. So many details and nuances that would be missed when in a car.

I have missed the buzz of a wine show, with most being cancelled in the last 18 months, Kapweine kicked off Zurich with all the South African vibes – including a braai!

The festival is on Lake Zurich and it was very fulfilling offering Pierre Jourdan Brut and the iconic Chardonnay Pinot Noir on entry to those visiting. Being our two most popular wines in that region, it felt fitting to kick-off the first (hopefully of many more to come) wine show post the global lockdown.

Memorable moment | A venison braai and tasting for 2400 people attending the Kapeweine wine show – in the rain while celebrating a wonderful  reunion with my parents friends they met on arrival in South Africa back in 1971, Peter and Stefanie Altherr.

Venison braai in Zurich
Takuan and Christiane von Arnim

In the blink of an eye 8 weeks, came to an end and I was on my way back to South Africa, along with too many photos, a couple extra kilograms in good times and mementos, and, above all, affirmation. I am proud of wines we create at Haute Cabrière and they stand up well to the high quality of  European wines, Most rewarding is that our philosophy behind our wines is exactly what the international market is looking for in a wine producer.

I am grateful to our team in the cellar for holding down the fort in my absence, as well as being part of the dream and the journey to here and from here.

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