By Greg Landman
One of the most character packed parts of our country is the Klein Karoo around Calitzdorp.
Dry hard conditions with many of the characteristics that make the Douro Valley in Portugal perfect for the making of superb Ports, here you will find a hardy kind of winemaker, one used to making his own rules, far from the influence of any Cape gables and the French influence that can often prevail in the areas close to Cape Town, like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
The family Nel at De Krans have been there since 1890 when their forefathers bought the land. The present owners and cellar masters are brothers Boets and Stroebel Nel, and their talented young winemaker is Louis van der Riet. Together they form a formidable team, creating, year after year, superb prize winning wines that have become world famous.
The jewels in the crown of this palette are the Port style wines like their magnificent Muscat de Frontignan, intensely raisiny, the Cape Tawny and Cape Vintage, both of which deliver maximum impact in flavour without smothering one in cloying sweetness.
The tang of the fruit is always evident in these wines. The Tinta Roriz and the Toriga Nacional are worthy bearers of their Portuguese varietal names, redolent with the flavours of the earth from which they spring.
The rest of the large range includes treasures like an excellent Wild Ferment Unwooded Chardonnay, a fabulous Tinta Barocca and a MCC bubbly worthy of your attention.
So when you are next in the area and tempted to drive through—don’t—stop for a night and taste for yourself.
Phone: 044 213 3314