The story of Kleinood farm
The de Villiers family has left deep footprints in the history of the South African wine industry through the centuries, and Kleinood and the Tamboerskloof wines are no exception.
The French Huguenot Jacob de Villiers bought the wine farm Boschendal between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, after immigrating to the Cape of Good Hope in 1688. In the year 2000 Gerard de Villiers, a direct descendant of Jacob, and his wife, Libby, found the piece of land that stole their hearts – complete with mountains, river and a pristine tract of indigenous forest.
They renamed the farm to Kleinood. Kleinood is an Afrikaans word from Dutch and German origin meaning something small and precious. This is exactly what Kleinood means to them and precisely what it is – a small farm, very dear to their hearts, specializing in the production of only a Syrah based red wine, a single vineyard Syrah and small production of Viognier and Syrah Rosé as well as de Boerin extra virgin olive oil. Kleinood lies nestled in the Blaauwklippen Valley on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain outside Stellenbosch – the premier red wine area in the Cape. They decided on which cultivars to plant after several years of careful analyses of soil types and climatic conditions on the farm. Thus, not only their passion, but also the terroir, the sun and the rain led them to plant Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Rousanne and Viognier on North and West facing slopes. From this delicate balance between science and passion the Tamboerskloof wines, now cultivated, nurtured, harvested, pressed, matured and bottled with equal care were born.
Before moving to the Boland, Gerard, Libby and their two children, Spicer and Katharien, lived in the Cape Town suburb Tamboerskloof for 25 years. Hence, they decided to call their wine Tamboerskloof. The name Tamboerskloof means the valley (kloof) of the drums (tamboer). Tamboerskloof is once again an integral part of the de Villiers family history as well as that of Cape Town and the Boland.
The Dutch settlers immigrated to the Cape in 1652 to farm with fruit and vegetables to supply the Dutch East Indian Company ships on their way to the east. Lookout posts manned with spotters were established on the hills and mountains around the Cape peninsula. These spotters drummed the message of an approaching ship from one lookout post to the next until the farmers in the surrounding valleys heard the drums and proceeded to harvest their crops and hasten to Cape Town harbour with their wagons in order to meet the ship on arrival.
Times have changed. They now receive their orders for Tamboerskloof Syrah, Tamboerskloof Viognier, Tamboerskloof Katharien Syrah Rosé and de Boerin extra virgin olive oil by email from Europe, but still hasten with their precious product to the Cape Town harbour to meet the delivery deadline.
Gerard, an Engineer by profession, who has devoted his substantial skills and energies to designing cellars for some of the biggest names in the Cape wine industry designed and built the Winery. Libby, responsible for the architectural design, created timeless buildings with strong traditional Cape influences and materials. Gerard used his experience to design a state of the art winery without losing contact with traditional winemaking methods.
Everything is simply and holistically designed and dedicated to explore, develop and use the full potential of the farm and their personal skills in order to produce the best wine Kleinood is capable of.
As the name so aptly reflects, this is very much a personal and highly individual project where no viticultural or oenological effort is spared to produce wines of excellence. However, primarily Kleinood is a home where, once again, a de Villiers family has come home to roost.