It was a sweltering hot day in Stellenbosch when we arrived at the picturesque Kleinood Farm, just off Blaauwklippen Road, to a glass of graciously accepted Rosé and a group of people who, complete with Panama hats and floral skirts, looked all sorts of sophistication. This was the start to a day in the Winelands I will never forget.
Kleinood Farm is in a league of its own, producing not only handcrafted, single vineyard Tamboerskloof wines, but also the well-known Boerin Olive Oil. We were here to experience the farm and its bounty, from beautiful greenhouses with clay-pot herb gardens, to veggie patches lush with the season’s goodness; rose gardens bordered a breathtaking dam and mountain vista and pretty fountains fronted tranquil entrances to the manor house and wine cellar. Oh, and we were here to celebrate the wine.
Gerard de Villiers and his wife Libby bought the farm in 2000 not as farmers but as ardent fans of viticulture. They dug up the 10 hectare farm ‘till it looked like a Swiss cheese’, Gerard shares, and found five different soil types. Kleinood’s viticultural approach of dividing the farm into small vineyard blocks, or microfarms, has given winemaker and viticulturist Gunter Schultz and Gerard the opportunity to create highly individual wine. The launch of the John Spicer Syrah was why we were all there, and with only 1 700 bottles produced, this limited release Syrah was so worth celebrating.
Each bottle is labeled by hand and wrapped in a print of a painting created on the farm by acclaimed South African artist Beezy Bailey in May 2014. Libby is responsible for the farm’s aesthetic with all designs, labels and decor her pride and joy. Each vintage will be wrapped in a new, different painting accompanied by a small black book on the neck of the bottle, describing the wine’s heritage and unique qualities. In addition to its original packaging, the wine has an ageing potential of 15 or more years, making it a must-have limited-release collector’s item.
As if this fine attention to detail isn’t enough, the farm is home to landscape art from the likes of Strijdom van der Merwe; a composting system where coffee grinds and vegetable waste from various restaurants in the area are used as compost; bee hives on the farm help pollinate the gardens, olive groves and fruit orchards; the forest has been cleared of alien plants, and indigenous plants and trees planted in their stead. All of these details echo the craftsmanship and attention to detail synonymous with the philosophy of Kleinood. And from first hand experience, their philosophy runs deep and is something I’ll never forget.
Where Kleinood, Blaauwklippen Road, Stellenbosch
Viewing/tasting By appointment only
Contact +27 21 880 2527, www.kleinood.com
Photography Courtesy; Lisa Wallace