Situated on top of the Helshoogte Pass outside Stellenbosch, breathtaking Tokara is the embodiment of the philosophy that good wine, good food and good art go together to make a good lifestyle.  And to embody this lifestyle, the Tokara Restaurant allows you to feast on terroir focused contemporary cuisine, award-winning wines and dramatic views over Stellenbosch and False Bay.

And of course we are extremely interested in their wine offering. The Tokara Restaurant wine  list is an evolving selection of fine wines intended to compliment the gastronomic feast you will experience, all personally selected by Sommelier, Jaap-Henk Koelewijn. When you visit the Tokara Restaurant, Jaap-Henk Koelewijn would  be very happy to assist you in pairing the perfect wine with the food you wish to order.  

Jaap-Henk strongly believes that a wine by the glass service is very important in the restaurant service today. He feels that not only does it give customers the opportunity to try something new or different, but is also allows restaurants a wine sale, when a whole bottle of wine is just too much.

And because of our interest in Tokara’s wine offering, we recently had the good fortune of chatting to Jaap-Henk about his approach, as a renowned sommelier, to the international trend of wine by the glass. 

Jaap-Henk shared with us that the full range of Tokara wines are showcased on their wine by the glass list. Their wine list also includes wines from neighbouring farms and from estates elsewhere in South Africa.

To support his extensive wine by the glass offering, Jaap-Henk ensured that a Le Verre Vin preservation system was installed at Tokara when he joined them in 2010.  Jaap-Henk had originally found out about Le Verre de Vin wine preservation systems when he was working at Waddesdon Manor in the UK in 2005. At Waddeson Manor they had the Le Verre de Vin system installed as they offered an extensive range of wines available by the glass.

During his time working with the system at Waddesdon Manor in the UK, Jaap-Henk realised that he lost only half a bottle of wine over a period of twelve months, even when they were offering premium wines.  The fact that he had hardly any wastage was one of the biggest deciding factors in getting a Le Verre de Vin system installed at Tokara. He also wanted to be able to offer speciality wines by the glass that people wanted to try but might not be able to afford an entire bottle, and a Le Verre de Vin wine preservation system would afford him the opportunity to do this.

What we are really proud of is the fact that Jaap-Henk still has the same unit in operation that was installed in 2010 – this means that this unit is in its ninth year of service, underscoring the robustness of the Le Verre de Vin offering, and as always backed up by great post sales service.

Jaap-Henk’s enthusiasm for Le Verre de Vin also lies in the fact that it allows him to have countless wines available by the glass, from the everyday wines all the way to high-end exclusive wines. He finds that with such little risk of wastage, one can easily offer premium wines by the glass without the worry that he would have to sell it within 48 hours from opening.  Jaap-Henk finds that having a Le Verre de Vin wine preservation system in place means that his wastage is very limited and this is coupled with the sale of wines by the glass being increased significantly – Le Verre de Vin then becomes a sound business investment.

And because Tokara has a Le Verre de Vin wine preservation system in place, this gives them options in how they offer their wine by the glass.  At Tokara they offer wines at full glass portions or 75ml tasting portions.  They find that the sale of tasting potions allows the opportunity of wines in different price categories to be ordered in the same meal. This tasting portion works especially well these days where their guests are living more healthy and responsible lives.

On a final note, Jaap-Henk had this to share about Le Verre de Vin: “The system is a great addition to any wine bar or restaurant. The system allows you to offer a more personal service to your guests and the reduction on waste is reason enough to get the machine.”

If you would like to know more about Le Verre de Vin and how you can really reap the benefit of offering a range of wine by the glass too, then please contact us on 021 788 9788 or email us at and we will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.