Krone’s newly released site-specific vintage is part of a pioneering series that explores the most outstanding sites for Cap Classique. In 2016 Krone released South Africa’s first site-specific Cap Classique to further underscore its commitment to making vintage-only bottle-fermented sparkling wines. A pure expression of mountain-born chardonnay, the Krone Kaaimansgat Blanc de Blancs 2016 hailed from the iconic Kaaimansgat vineyard near Villiersdorp. The newly released 2018 vintage also springs from this high-altitude blind valley, situated 700-metres above sea level.

“Producing a vintage wine from a single vineyard is the purest expression of transparency and authenticity. It is an exercise in courage and passion, leaving no place to hide as the quality of the grapes and the skill of the winemaker are in full view,” says Rudiger Gretschel, Krone’s cellarmaster.

“Kaaimansgat is a site of extremes. The old, unirrigated vines are planted on the steep foothills of the mountains. In winter the mountains encircling the vineyards are covered in snow, in summer the day temperatures are warm and sunny, the nights cool to cold –  ideal conditions for later ripening of the grapes, producing wines with a strong acidity at full ripeness and low pH, perfect for making superlative Cap Classique,” Gretschel explains.

Another distinct chardonnay site has now been isolated at Krone’s home farm, Twee Jonge Gezellen in Tulbagh. Following an extensive replanting programme, with the assistance of legendary vineyard consultant Rosa Kruger, sees the release of the inaugural Twee Jonge Gezellen Blanc de Blancs 2019.

Like Kaaimansgat, the climate in Tulbagh is extreme. The farm is ensconced by snow-capped mountains in winter and experiences hot conditions in the summer. The rocky soils are like nowhere else in the Cape winelands.

Twee Jonge Gezellen’s vineyards run up the eastern slopes of the Saronsberg Mountain. The mountain is known as “the rainmaker” thanks to the rain-shadow effect created by the peak. Protected from the buffeting of the Cape’s summer South-Easter, the elevated vineyards are raised from the valley floor and benefit from the cool airflow that descends the mountain slopes by night. Ripening in Tulbagh occurs on average two weeks earlier than in the majority of the Western Cape’s wine regions. This allows the grapes to retain their natural acidity, which is so important for the making of elegant Cap Classique.

Carving a sense of place from these remarkable two sites, Krone’s winemaking team bottles the spirit of the vines, the very character of the vintage, with the philosophy of each vintage telling its own story.

“We follow the story of our terroir, so that every vintage is a true expression of the vineyard,” says Krone’s marketing director Abigail Rands. “Each year we look back to what the previous year has taught us, while at the same time we look forward to the story of the soil unfolding along with the new vintage.”

Part of Krone’s commitment to celebrating a unique moment in time and place is the KRONE x WHATIFTHEWORLD contemporary art gallery, housed on the Tulbagh farm. The gallery is currently hosting Seeds of the fig, a new exhibition of curated by RESERVOIR, until the end of March 2023. Showcasing work by 24 artists, the exhibition focuses on contemporary sculptural practice from the continent.

For more information visit: https://www.kronecapclassique.co.za/