There is a little piece of paradise hidden in Stellenbosch. Nestled in the Blaauwklippen Valley on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain range, just outside Stellenbosch – you’ll find Kleinood. This small, boutique winery is owned by de Villiers family. Gerard de Villiers is a direct descendant of Abraham de Villiers, the French Huguenot who bought some wine farms (for example Boschendal) in the Cape around 1715. Much later, in the year 2000, Gerard de Villiers and his wife Libby bought a piece of land in Stellenbosch: Kleinood. Kleinood in Dutch/Afrikaans means something ‘small and precious’. Gerard and Libby de Villiers named the farm Kleinood because to them it is a very precious, small place close to their hearts. We visited the farm in last year in October, spring time (after enjoying the Tamboerskloof Syrah wine at home already for 4 years and saying to each other every time we drink it: ‘we really háve to visit this farm’) and we loved it. Today I’ll show you some photos about the special morning we spend at Kleinood.
Gerard de Villiers, the owner, is by profession an engineer, and you can see that on the beautiful building! He designed and built the winery himself, and because of this success he did the design and architecture of more wineries in the Cape. His wife Libby is very good with architectural interior design and she created timeless buildings with strong Cape influences and natural materials.
Personally I love the interior and style of Kleinood: simple, plain, but still warm and traditional. The long table in the wine tasting area is beautiful. I can imagine the family sitting their during the weekends, with lots of friends, family, beautiful food and wine.
We started our morning at Kleinood outside, with a tour through the vineyards together with the winemaker Gunter Schultz. Twelve hectares is owned by Kleinood: 10 for vineyards and 2 for their olive trees. Most of the vineyards planted by de Villiers family is Syrah, the popular red grape from this area. With it’s hot summers and cold nights Stellenbosch is the perfect environment for wine culture. A smaller part of the vineyards on the land is Viognier, a white grape which (often) has a herbal, spicy taste and a hit of flowers, too. When a Viognier wine is dry enough, I usually like it a lot.
Inside the tasting room you can see the different vineyards and olive groves on the farm on this image on the wall.
The Tamboerskloof wines of Kleinood are delicious. They won already quite some awards and are always well acknowledges by wine connoisseurs, and by for example inside the prestigious Platter Guide. You see them more and more on wine lists of the better restaurants in the Cape, which is nice for the Kleinood staff and for de Villiers family. But it gets more and more difficult (and expensive) to make sure you always have some stock at home! At Kleinood they do 4 different wines: Tamboerskloof Syrah, Tamboerskloof John Spicer Syrah, Tamboerskloof Viognier and Tamboerskloof Rosé. My absolute personal winner is the Syrah, what a beautiful wine! Red fruits like strawberry and cherry, soft tannins, rich but subtle and elegant. I love it! The John Spicer is the same but more exclusive, as it’s a single vineyard Syrah. I tasted this special edition once in a restaurant and loved it, but not more than the ‘normal’ Tamboerskloof Syrah. The Viognier, the white wine, has a beautiful palate with stone fruits, citrus, a hit of almond and lots of freshness. It’s rich, smooth and interesting, with a long dry finish. The rosé is made out of 100% Syrah grapes, slightly squeezed without using too much of the red grape skin. The colour is salmon pink, with fruity notes of strawberry and other fruits. For me this wine is the least favourite, but I know some people are crazy about it. So it’s just a personal thing. I love the bottling and the labels of Tamboerskloof; plain, rustique, but stylish with nice thick quality paper and a very recognisable font.
As most of us know Tamboerskloof is a suburb in Cape Town, located just under Lions Head and Signal Hill. Around 1652, when the Dutch settlers immigrated to the Cape to farm fresh vegetables, fruits and other food to supply their ships on the way to the East with. Lookout posts manned with spotters were located on the hills around the Cape. These spotters drummed the message of an approaching ship from one lookout to the next until the farms in the valleys heard them and could prepare their harvest delivery to the harbour of Cape Town. The first lookout location was were the suburb of Tamboerskloof is now. ‘Kloof’ means Valley in Dutch/Afrikaans, and ‘Tamboer’ means Drum. The Villiers family lived for over 25 years in this suburb of Cape Town, before they moved to Stellenbosch and start their Kleinood farm. They had very happy years in their house in the city and that’s why they decided to name their wines Tamboerskloof.
De Boerin olive oil
Besides fantastic wines Kleinood also offers an award wining virgin olive oil: De Boerin. Their olives grow on their own farm, close to the river. The taste is so delicate, pure, peppery, herby, green grassy and elegant; all at the same time. ‘De Boerin’ is a favourite olive oil in our house to cook with. Not to just to throw into a pan when frying, but more for the exclusive taste: for a vinaigrette, pesto, or just pure; drizzled on a pasta dish, on buffalo mozzarella or figs. It’s divine, and it won Gold in the SA Olive Oil Awards 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. What is special about it too, that it’s a blend of selected Italian cultivars: Coratina, Favolosa, Delicata, Leccino and Frantio.
After our guided tour through the vineyards, the winemaker showed us his domain: the wine cellar and its producing areas. What is so nice about Kleinood; they do almost everything themselves. From the cultivating to the harvesting to pressing and storing in wine barrels. Even the bottling and labelling they do themselves.
Kleinood Boutique Winery is located on Blaauwklippen Road, Stellenbosch (click here for detailed directions)
The family owned winery offers four different (2 red, 1 white, 1 rosé) wines 1 one award-winning olive oil.
Wine and olive oil tasting + tour is possible, but by appointment only. On Fridays they usually do between 10.00 am – 1.00 pm a tour, including tasting (also pre booked). Click here for more information on their website,
*Note: I have not been asked, invited or payed to write about Kleinood. The Tamboerskloof wines (especially the Shiraz!) and De Boerin olive oil have been popular in our little household for years, and that’s why I wanted to write about it. All photos are mine.
Some information about the history of the farm and background information about the wines + de Villiers family, I found on the website of Kleinood. Also, the wine maker told us all about it during our visit.