Trevor DeRuisé (aka LOST BOY), a professional cyclist from the USA happened to stumble upon his new home among the vines of Cape Agulhas and by the looks of this year’s harvest and his investment in South Africa’s wildlife, he won’t be returning to the USA anytime soon.
After eleven years of professional mountain bike racing, Trevor DeRuisé reached a breaking point, sold everything he owned (except his bicycle) and moved to the Southern-most tip of Africa. Although his mountain bike days allowed him to see the most extraordinary landscapes and picturesque vineyards, the race robbed him from truly appreciating nature. His travels allowed him to meet a lot of people, including wine makers who inspired him to start making his own wine in 2014. It wasn’t too long before he realised that making wine was a passion he wanted to pursue. “I wanted to get back to nature; simplicity. I wanted to work with my hands,” he says. It was in 2018 that DeRuisé came to South Africa for what was supposed to be a three-month harvest. He was planning to return to the USA to pursue a career in wine making, but the thing about South Africa is that once you’ve tasted its wine, it’s hard to let go.
In truth, DeRuisé initially knew nothing about South Africa’s rich wine culture and, feeling lost, he landed up Googling destinations where wine harvests were coming up. He came to Lomond Wine Estate for a three-month harvest period and then inevitably decided to stay. Today he is renting vines on the property and he has launched his own wine brand: LOST BOY. 2020 was his first vintage – a tough year that still delivered stellar wines. DeRuisé says that 2021’s harvest looks exceptionally promising. “It looks like a super good vintage. Last year was quite tough, but this year everything is looking very healthy and tasting great.” He will be doing all of his same wines again this year, including his nearly sold out Rosé of Pinot Noir, Fumé Blanc and Syrah. In addition to these, 2021 also promises to deliver LOST BOY’s first 100% Pinot Noir Rosé MCC and a super special, Napa-inspired Chardonnay (thanks to RX South Africa‘s support with brand-new Tonnellerie de Mercurey barrels).
The name, LOST BOY refers to his story as a young man who felt a bit lost and unsure about his future. “I knew I wanted a simpler life with nature,” he says. While building himself a simpler life and getting more involved in the farming side of things, DeRuisé is also building a brand with a strong, inspiring story attached to it and if you ask me, it’s a brand worth keeping tabs on. Every wine he produces is linked to one of five wildlife conservation trusts and he is also involved with the Fynbos Conservancy, assisting in building new mountain bike tracks and appreciating the brilliance of South Africa’s proteas and pin cushions at the same time.
When you’re ever in the Cape Agulhas area, be sure to pop in at Lomond Wine Estate to meet Trevor and to taste his LOST BOY wines. Everything is done by hand and his wines are made in small batches (600 – 1000 litres per wine). Trevor’s method of wine making fits in perfectly with a simpler life – something I believe we should all strive for.