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Farm Stories

News Letter Summer 2023/4

Kleinood Farm

Summer, red violin,
clear cloud,
a buzz
or cicada
precedes you,
the vaulted
smooth, shiny
as an eye,
and under your gaze,
fish from
the infinite sky
flattering elytron,
bee belly,
terrible and paternal
like a working ox,
dry sun
on the head
like an unexpected
sun of thirst
walking on the sand,
desert sea,
the Sulphur miner
with yellow sweat,
the aviator
ray to ray
the celestial sun,
from forehead
to eyes
in the Lota mine,

the miner
his black
the fields
the wheat rustles, blue
seek shade,
they touch
they dip
their heads
into a diamond.

Oh abundant
of ripe apples,
on the verdant, lips
of the wild plum,
of soft dust
on top
of soft dust,
noon, red copper
and in the afternoon
the fire
rests, the air
makes the clover
dance, enters
the deserted power
plant, a star
in the somber
sky, crackling
without burning
the summer


Pablo Neruda

Kleinood Farm

After the coldest wettest winter in years and nature bursting out of its seams in spring, summer, too, has not held back. The flowers, the veggies, the vineyards, the birds, the heat, the light – everything so colourful and healthy and utterly abundant.

With the vigorous growth and scorching heat, everything needs cutting back and tying up and everything needs water. All hands need to be on deck all the time with always the sun on our backs and hot dusty soil under foot. The days are long, but the evenings are blissfully beautiful with sounds and scents not to be found anywhere else in the world.

Vines are wonderful reminders of the onset and characteristics of each season. Knowing what should be happening brings a sense of anticipation and then comes the joy and feigned surprise when it happens. All winter predictions are made of what summer will bring, what harvest to expect and the problems that lie ahead, but nature does what nature does and we can only do our damnedest.

Reynie’s vineyards are looking great. The heat brings its own challenges with the sugars and this harvest is very different from that of last year when it rained all the time. So too, it seems as if we are going to have a generous olive yield for a change.

As always the white cultivars are picked first and some Syrah with the acidity still high enough for the rosé. Then follows the Syrah proper. Already the winery is busy and happy. Again the sensory overload with the scent of fermenting juice, happy voices over the noise of machines, clattering lug boxes, running water and the tractor bringing in yet another load.

The tempestuous winter caused a fair amount of damage on Kleinood. We lost some of the great old oaks and many of them lost large branches. However, the more serious damage was done by the rivers running though the paddock and forest . The water wreaked havoc on the part of the farm – the debris brought down by the torrents was incredible. New streams and rivers were made where the waters could not be contained within the old riverbanks and the entire bridge across the confluence of the Moordenaarskloof and Blaauwklippen rivers was washed away.

Once things had dried up we found ourselves with quite some rebuilding and fixing and sawing, and chopping and cleaning up to do. Thus our favourite picnic spot on the farm was out of bounds this summer with the rebuilding of the bridge and stabilizing the river banks. According to the engineer and master of the house, this was, “a one in a hundred year flood and we will not be around to see the next one.” If this assumption is correct, everything will be in place and settled by next summer.

Kleinood also used the summer to break all ties with the national electricity grid. With the roof of the winery now covered with sun panels and the batteries in place, we are now masters of our own destiny.

Kleinood Farm

Kleinood will officially produce its 20th Tamboerskloof Syrah vintage this year. Yes, in 2004 the first bottle of Tamboerskloof Syrah was produced. It feels really good. The Kleinood Tamboerskloof Syrah 2019, released in January, is also the first vintage of the Tamboerskloof made by, wine maker, Reynie Oosthuizen.

Because of the fact that Kleinood has always produced terroir driven wines, there is no need for reservations concerning the consistency of the style and quality of the wine. Reynie has, without any doubt, managed to create a Rhône style vintage that elegantly and effortlessly reflects all the inherent qualities of the Syrah cultivar and Kleinood terroir. This much loved and respected Tamboerskloof wine received 93 points from Tim Atkin and awarded 4 1/2 stars by John Platter.

Also, keep an eye open for the beautiful range of (die pierewaaiers) = the dandies, mostly produced only for members of The Kleinood Table, but do pop up from time to time in select venues. These include Grenache Blanc that goes by the name (inkommer) = outsider, Chenin Blanc called (buurman) = neighbour and Mourvèdre or (meevaller) = windfall.

Slowly, but surely, we are going into autumn. The days will become friendlier. The mornings and evenings will be crisp and cool, with rolling mists from False Bay sometimes. The swallows will leave and here and there the last roses will bravely still bud and bloom.

Things on the farm will become quieter and slower. The leaves will fall and there will be oranges and lemons, quinces, apples and pears on the trees. The cosmos will be in flower. The cellar will be sleepy, with just the smell of summer and the fine aromas of wine becoming wine. We will start hoping for rain, to take away the dust and soak deep into the thirsty soil.

But for now, it is summer – and what a glorious summer it’s been!

Kleinood Farm

Warm summer sun,

Shine kindly here,

Warm southern wind,

Blow softly here.

Green sod above,

Lie light, lie light.

Good night, dear heart,

Good night, good night.


Mark Twain

To life,