Vintage-only Krone Méthode Cap Classique is handcrafted on Twee Jonge Gezellen wine estate in Tulbagh. We bottle the spirit of the vines, the character of the vintage.

“Each Krone vintage is a moment in time to be celebrated,”

Rudiger Gretschel, chief winemaker

Transient yet immutable. We follow the story of our terroir, so that every vintage is a true expression of the vineyard. Each year we look back to what the previous vintage has taught us, while at the same time we look forward to the story of the soil unfolding along with the new vintage.

The historic Twee Jonge Gezellen farm in Tulbagh is the home of Krone, a collection of vintage-only, terroir-driven Méthode Cap Classiques made from the finest grapes.

Some things stay the same: traditional grape varieties (Chardonnay & Pinot Noir) are night-harvested under the light of the stars. We have been night harvesting our grapes since the early 1980s. This method allows us to preserve grape quality and the delicate aromas and flavours, which we capture in the cool of the night, before the heat of the day. Krone MCC is then bottle-fermented on the lees and is matured in Africa’s oldest underground cellar: the site of much innovation and vision throughout its 300-year history.

Sculpted by the vintage.

Single vineyard vintage cuvées, rooted in time and place.

The Creation

The making of vintage-only Krone MCC is directed by nature: from soil to vine to bottle. Our winemaking team channels the rain, the sun, the wind into structure, complexity and balance—and seals it all with a cork.

The site-specific rocky soils of Tulbagh are like nowhere else in the Cape Winelands. This is our bedrock for making great Cap Classique. Traditional grape varieties (Chardonnay & Pinot Noir) are picked early in the season and are night-harvested under the light of the stars.

These methods help the grapes to retain a high natural acidity and low sugar content. The night-harvested grapes are then whole-bunch pressed. The grapes are also pressed quickly to preserve the aromatics as well as the clarity of the juice. Only free-run juice is used.

Each grape variety is fermented individually in tanks and the first fermentation produces a low-alcohol base-wine. This fermentation lasts for a period of approximately four months, once complete the different base wine batches are blended and bottled. Krone MCC is made in classic bottle-fermented style with maturation on the lees in our underground cellar.

“The vintage that stands out for me is 2014, as this was when we started whole bunch pressing: we don’t de-stem grapes with a de-stemmer but we press the whole bunches as they come out of the vineyard.”

Stephan de Beer, head winemaker

Winemaker’s secret

The Liqueur de Tirage—our winemaker’s reserve—is added to the base wine blend and acts as a catalyst for the second fermentation. This is what creates the bubbles. The bottles are then sealed with a crown cap and left to rest in the cool of our 300-year-old underground cellar. Krone MCC matures on the lees for at least a year. The contact with the yeast gives our Cap Classique its distinct biscuity flavour.

Rémuage or riddling is an age-old technique used by the great Champagne houses of the world. Towards the end of the resting period, the bottles must be rotated to loosen the sediment from the lees. The bottles of Krone MCC are hand-turned to gradually tilt the bottle neck down, rotating it by small increments. As the angle of the tilt increases, gravity draws the sediment into the neck in preparation for disgorgement.

Rémuage

Disgorgement

We freeze the necks of the bottles, remove the crown caps and the ‘plug’ of frozen wine and yeast shoots out of the top of the bottle, leaving the clear MCC behind.

The wine that was absorbed into the frozen plug leaves a space in the bottle, which our winemaker tops up with dosage.

Dosage

Krone Méthode Cap Classique celebrates the vintage and the character of each harvest, selecting only the finest, most distinctive grapes.

Cork and muselet

Finally, the cork is inserted into the bottle, the muselet (the wire cage that suppresses the cork) is wrapped around the neck and the Méthode Cap Classique is ready to be labelled. The MCC remains under six atmospheres of pressure, until the moment you choose to open your bottle of Krone, releasing the story of the vintage.

terroir

The site-specific rocky soils of Tulbagh are like nowhere else in the Cape Winelands. This is our bedrock for making great Cap Classique. 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 Méthode Cap Classique. At Twee Jonge Gezellen, this has enables us to use malolactic fermentation—normally rare in the making of MCC—which ensures richness of flavour without losing the fresh acidity that makes Krone MCCs so sought-after.

History

Twee Jonge Gezellen is among the oldest farms in the Western Cape. Originally, it was one of 14 farms established after 1700 when the then governor of the Cape, Willem van der Stel, motivated for an expansion beyond Cape Town into the Winterberg, Witzenberg and Roodezand area. The area was to become Tulbagh, and the town was established in 1743.

The historic Twee Jonge Gezellen farm in Tulbagh is the home of Krone, a collection of notable, vintage-only South African Méthode Cap Classiques made from grapes grown and night-harvested in this distinctive terroir.

Twee Jonge Gezellen estate became wine-producing in the 20th century and, in a continuation of the founding pioneer spirit, invented cold fermentation in the 1950s, among other firsts.

A devastating earthquake rocked the region in 1969, effectively delaying the introduction of Krone Méthode Cap Classique by 20 years. The first Krone Borealis vintage (1987) was released in 1991 to much acclaim; and a new generation of MCCs was born.

In 2017 the historic estate was reimagined with the interior design being inspired by its rich heritage and original architecture.