Winery Design

Fine wines require flexibility and time

The winery, a study in simplicity, combines the structural and technological expertise of owner-designer Gerard in a clever combination of high-tech and tradition. It was designed to work very softly with the grapes and to afford the winemaker the most flexibility possible.

At arrival in the winery the bunches are sorted by hand on a sorting table. The berries are also hand sorted on a separate table after destalking. They are then crushed into a satellite tank that is electronically lifted up to roof level, suspended, and rolled from an overhead beam to the fermenter that has been earmarked to receive that particular block. This intricate process ensures the grapes do not undergo any harsh pumping treatment. ‘Softly, gently’ is the Kleinood mantra.

The cellar houses no less than 14 different size fermenters. This allows flexibility to ferment the batches of grapes coming from the vineyard in a correctly sized tank. Some fermenters are closed with a big manhole at the top, suitable for punching down, while others are open-top fermenters. The same innovative system, designed by Gerard, used for moving grapes is used to operate the very soft pneumatic punch-down device which replaces and replicates the labour-intensive traditional punching down of the cap by hand. “Fixed piping was installed for pump-overs to facilitate skin contact during fermentation,” explains Gerard.

The ‘free run’ wine gravitates into barrels from the fermenters, while the fermented skins are scraped by hand into a basket for pressing in the cellar’s state of the art basket press. Malolactic fermentation takes place in tank or a selection of French 5001 medium-toasted, tightgrained oak barrels from a selection of coopers including Boutes, Sylvan, Garonaise and Cadus.

The barrel maturation room has four different temperature zones controlled to facilitate malolactic fermentation in one corner behind a temperature control curtain, and cold maturation in another part of the room. The humidity in the room is controlled by computer to ensure optimum humidity for the maturation process. The wine is blended and then left in the blending tanks for at least three months for the various components to ‘marry’, integrate and develop the desired complexity, roundness and elegance. Tamboerskloof Syrah is matured in the bottle at a temperature of 14 to 15 degrees centigrade for a minimum of one year prior to release onto the market.

"A clever combination of high-tech and tradition."