Background


The farm Doornkraal lies at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains in the Klein Karoo. Known by locals as Kannaland (after the family of succulent plants whose dream inducing properties are legendary), this harsh yet striking region is perfect for ostrich farming but something of a challenge for wine growers who rely on irrigation for their vineyards. Similarities (in climate, if not soil) with the Duoro Valley of Portugal have inspired some vintners to apply their talents to “port” and fortified desert wines. As a result, the Little Karoo region is famous for fortified desert wines of international standard.

The Le Roux family has been farming and making wines and brandy at Domein Doornkraal for several generations. When the farm was established a small vineyard was immediately planted between the great stretches of thorn bush, which characterise the region. At present about 6000 cases of bottled wines are produced from about 38 hectares of vineyards, planted with Chardonnay, Semillon, Chenin Blanc as well as Muscat de Frontignon. Among the red cultivars are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage and Tinta Barocca.

Piet le Roux is the third generation winemaker at Domein Doornkraal, son of the owner of Gerrit (Swepie) le Roux. Doornkraal’s basic philosophy is that God gave man wine to enjoy and enhance life, therefore we make wines which drink easily and are typically Klein Karoo – to enjoy with our climate, scenery and food.


THE WINES OF DOORNKRAAL

For three generations wine was made and brandy distilled until PK le Roux, the present winemaker’s grandfather, began making dessert wines in 1936.

Swepie le Roux made a dry red in 1978 and in 1986 he and his wife, Ann, opened a wine house in the veld at the side of the road between de Rust Oudtshoorn where Doornkraal wines can be tasted and bought.

Seventeen wines are made at Doornkraal of which the sparkling wine, Tickled Pink, with its enchanting label incorporating pink ostrich feathers, is the most popular.

Doornkraal wines have won numerous awards. Pinta is our flagship – the latest bottling of this sweet jerepigo style desert wine has earned a Veritas Double Gold Medal, the highest award given to South African wines. This wine has signature earthy/ porty tones with deep chocolaty smoothness.

Our Tawny Port wine, Diep Tanige Port, boasts a Silver Veritas award – this exceptional tawny port has a plum/toasted hazelnut bouquet with hints of wood smoke, prune and some gamey tones (excellent with smoked springbok or ostrich carpaccio). The range of desert wines also includes an excellent Jerepigo, made from Muscadel and aged in French oak casks.

The so-called “military wines” are especially popular. The are dessert wines and start with Kaptein (Captain), a rich blend of Muscadel, Tinta Barocca and Pinotage. This is followed by Majoor (Major), a golden Jerepigo. Then follows Korporaal (Corporal) and, still in the cellar, the noble Generaal (General).

Kuierwyn (literally a wine to be enjoyed with friends). Is a blend of Steen and Semillon with some Colombard. It is exactly what its name implies – a pleasant unassuming wine for all social occasions. Kannaland is the red equivalent and is a blend of Pinotage and Merlot with a touch of Tinta Barocca. It is a supple wine, with an exciting concentrated fruitiness that is ready to be enjoyed now.

The red wines produced at Doornkraal are of exceptional quality - fined only with ostrich egg white - and offer excellent value for money. There are the Doornkraal Merlot (Veritas Bronze) and Merlot-Pinotage blend, the latter in which the berry flavours marry superbly with the spiciness of the Pinotage.

Domein Doornkraal
+27 44 251-6715