Though I’ve been home from my wine tour of South Africa for about month or so, I have not had much chance to tell the
tales of my trip…and what a trip it was! The first winery we visited is actually a wine I was not familiar with, Kleinood Winery in Stellenbosch, where Tamboerskloof wines and delicious De Boerin olive oil are made.
The owner of Kleinood, Gerard De Villiers, met us at the door of this beautifully designed facility, which was coincidentally designed by Gerard, one of the premier winery designers in the world. Gerard has been responsible for designing wineries just about everywhere fine wines are produced. We were soon joined by Gunter Schultz, the winemaker of Tamboerskloof Wines, and Jessica Saurwein, marketing manager and trained oenologist. The trio gave us a wonderful tour of this spectacular property, which of course included a tasting of many of the winery’s delicious wines. The first wine we tried was a chilled rosé as we walked through the winery’s gardens, which were designed by Gerard’s wife, Libby, who is an accomplished horticulturist. The rosé was full of fresh notes of strawberry, melon, a subtle spice and crisp acidity on the finish, a perfect complement to this beautiful, sunny morning in Stellenbosch.
After our tour of the winemaking facilities, we were treated to a lunch of local cheeses, meats, breads, olives and olive oil from the estate. We enjoyed the spread immensely with
many glasses of Tamboerskloof Syrah, a rich, ripe Viognier and the winery’s signature wine, John Spicer Syrah. Tamboerskloof wines are very well known throughout South Africa and for good reason. The estate Syrahs are aged for a minimum of three years before release; the 2010 Tamboerskloof Syrah was just in the process of being boxed and shipped when we were there. We tasted four vintages of the Syrah at lunch and it was difficult to choose a favorite, but I really enjoyed the 2013…and the Viognier, with its small addition of Roussane, could easily find itself along some of the best whites of Southern France.
This was a great way to start our wine tour of South Africa and I will tell the tale of my other firsts in upcoming posts.
Ken Amendola, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinekena