Wine 1

The final chapter

The Secrets of Sauvignon revealed

Wine 1

The final chapter

The Secrets of Sauvignon revealed

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In 2017, the Black Oystercatcher’s Dirk Human decided to solve a wine mystery: To understand the relationship between the wine in your glass, and the soil the vines grow in.


He called it: The Secrets of Sauvignon.

Here’s what he did. He harvested:

– 3 wines
– From 3 different soil types
– Vinified the same way.


Look back at Dirk’s journey here:

Now, 2 years later, we enter the final chapter of the journey. 

Dirk is ready to reveal the Secrets of Sauvignon: to understand how terroir shapes wine; and how it builds the complex character and minerality in the Sauvignon Blanc.

Here’s what we THOUGHT would happen:


The Black Oystercatcher Quartzite Sauvignon Blanc:

We expected the quartzite to capture the herbal influence (especially jasmine). Also, we noted buchu characters, and notable lime.

The Black Oystercatcher Iron Ferricrete Sauvignon Blanc:

The ‘Koffie Klip’ seemed to encapsulate gooseberry, blackcurrant and floral aromas – with strong floral notes.

The Black Oystercatcher Broken Shale Sauvignon Blanc:

Here we expected a strong tropical influence – especially a note of green apple. Our first tasters also experienced the wine’s minerality from the broken shale vineyard block.

The results TODAY? Well – we’re not giving ANYTHING away.


But here’s what some of the experts who shared their tasting notes with us have to say about the Secrets of Sauvignon Collection:


Sommelier Barry Scholfield says, “Anybody who says Sauvignon Blanc isn’t a good translator of terroir has clearly never been to Elim. What an outstanding collection of wines.”

According to Caroline Rillema of Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar, “What we all loved was the fact that there is a big difference between the wines, in terms of aroma and flavour profiles. Each of them, in its own way, is excellent but very young and will improve with age – something that emerged after 24 hours. The second time we tasted them the flavours were magnified by the small amount of oxidation.”

Master of Wine, Tim Atkins rated the three wines as follows:  

  • Black Oystercatcher Broken Shale Sauvignon Blanc 93
  • Black Oystercatcher Iron Ferricrete Sauvignon Blanc 93
  • Black Oystercatcher Quartzite Sauvignon Blanc 91


Thank you for joining us in our Secrets of Sauvignon journey – as Dirk set out to see exactly how the terroir shapes the wine

The results speak for themselves….

DIRK OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED the wines at a tasting in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Order your own Secrets of Sauvignon Collection, to reveal the secret.