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, 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.
De Krans is widely known as one of the leading producers of port-style wines. It was the first in South Africa to produce a Touriga Nacional as a dry red wine and made the first Pink Port-style wine, as well as the first Moscato perlé wine. 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.
30-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 after which, at the desired sugar, the fermentation is stopped by adding alcohol to the must. Skins are the pressed and the wine is matured in old 300 liter barrels. Before bottling different vintages are blended for a complex fruity Cape Ruby.