De Krans – two brothers, one passion for excellent wine
It is the success story of two brothers: since the 1980s, Boets and Strobel Nel have been running the De Krans wine estate in Calitzdorp, which has been in the family since 1890. Year after year, the two produce renowned wines of the highest standard together in the Klein Karoo region – hence the name of the wine collection: Broederskap. For a long time, the estate's winemaking focus was on white grape varieties, but in the 1970s a red wine was to be added. Since the climate in Calitzdorp is closest to the weather conditions in the Swartland, Shiraz vines were bought there – at least that was the plan. After the first harvest in 1973, however, the family realised: the wine from these grapes did not smell or taste like Shiraz at all, because it was Tinta Barocca. The family compared their climate in Klein Karoo with the climatic conditions in Portugal, the home of the grape variety – and was not surprised at the quality of the wine. After all, the conditions are so similar that De Krans can grow the Portuguese grape varieties at an excellent level. Today, the innovative winery is one of the leading producers of wines with Portuguese grape varieties in the Cape.
De Krans – special growing area in Klein Karoo
The fact that the cultivation of Tinta Barocca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela and Souzao is so successful at De Krans is not least due to the very special character of the region. Klein Karoo – the south-western part of the Great Karoo, the central high plateau of South Africa – is a valley 350 kilometres long and 40 to 60 kilometres wide, surrounded almost entirely by mountains. With the rugged mountains and rolling hills always in view, one nevertheless has a feeling of vastness and solitude. By the way, "Karoo" means something like "dry, stony land". In winter there can be frost at night and rainfall of no more than 300 mm, but in summer the semi-desert landscape is hot and dry, so dry in fact that almost half of all the world's succulent species grow here. The species-rich area also has a long tradition of ostrich farming. Viticulture is possible in this region on the foothills of the mountains, whose slate soils offer good conditions for Portuguese grape varieties, and along the rivers.
De Krans – a guarantor for world-class wines
Year after year, the Nel family successfully manages to create outstanding wines despite the difficult conditions – this is also reflected in the more than 700 medals and awards that De Krans has received for its wines over the past thirty years. The brothers Boets and Strobel Nel took over responsibility for the family estate in the 1980s and focus on excellent quality, in line with the motto "Each vintage needs to be better than the previous one or the same – but never below." Only the best grapes are used to capture the unique terroir in Calitzdorp in the bottle – and they have succeeded perfectly with the creations of the Broederskap collection. For the Calitzdorp White, the grape variety Verdelho was used, which copes perfectly with the climate and delivers an elegant white wine. The Portuguese red wine varieties are found in the multi-layered and full-bodied Red Blend and the Cape Vintage is a small masterpiece among the dessert wines, because the Nel family is one of the pioneers in the production of dessert wines in South Africa. Enough good reasons to definitely try these unusual wines from an unusual wine-growing region.