De Krans Wine Cellar is situated along the upper reaches of the picturesque Gamka River Valley in Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo. The rich and long history of the farm dates back to 1890 when it was bought by the Nel family. The current cellar was built in 1964 by Chris Nel and his brother Danie. The first Portuguese grape variety in Calitzdorp was planted in 1973 at De Krans by a twist of fate. Chris Nel, father of current owners, Boets & Stroebel Nel, intended to plant Shiraz, which turned out to be Tinta Barocca, when the newly planted vineyard started bearing grapes in 1976. Since 1985 other classic Portuguese varieties, such as Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela and Souzão, have been planted.
Calitzdorp is now known as South Africa’s Port Capital and De Krans is widely known as one of the leading producers of port-style wines, as well as one of the most innovative cellars in South Africa. It was the first cellar in South Africa to produce a Touriga Nacional as a dry red wine, made the first Pink Port-style wine, as well as the first Moscato perlé wine in South Africa. The cellar has won more than 700 medals and awards in the past 30 years and was crowned Champion Private Wine Cellar in the Klein Karoo region six times in the last seven years.
Grape varietals used for this wine are Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barocca, Tinta Amarella, Tinta Roriz, and Souzoa. Thirty-year old vines are planted in shallow Karoo sand/clay on Buffelsvlei. Vines are trellised and micro irrigated. Selected blocks are handpicked mid to late February at 26o Balling. Bunches are destemmed, crushed, and rapidly cooled in an open fermenter. Grapes are left to start fermenting spontaneously. Later the skins are pressed, the juice separated and, at desired sugar levels, fermentation is stopped by adding alcohol to the juice. The wine spends 12 months in concrete tanks before it is left to mature for a further 10 months in 30 to 40-year-old 300 litre barrels.