Background

De Trafford Winery is situated on the beautiful Mont Fleur farm set at the top of a dramatic valley above Stellenbosch, 380m up between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountains, right at the end of the Blaauwklip road, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

A little background to our handcrafted wines Trafford Winery is situated on the beautiful Mont Fleur farm set at the top of a dramatic valley above Stellenbosch, 380m up between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountains, right at the end of the Blaauwklip road, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

The history of wine growing on this mountain farm started with the purchase of the property in 1976 by the Trafford family as inaccessible grazing land. Many of the high altitude slopes were deemed suitable for high quality red grape varieties. Unfortunately, due to the absurd quota restrictions, planting a commercial vineyard had to wait 18 years. In 1983 a small vineyard was established to produce experimental wines - consumed by family and friends! These were our learning curve years (1984 - 1991), which included lots of help and advice from local winemakers and working experience in France, particularly in the Bordeaux area.

Vineyards
In 1991 quota restrictions were lifted. Our winery was registered in time for the 1992 harvest and a new vineyard was planted in 1994 and 1995. Varieties, clones, rootstocks, vine densities and trellis systems were carefully chosen to suit the subtle variations in soil and microclimate. The aim is to produce high quality red wines which convey the personality and uniqueness of this mountain site to the full.

In addition to grapes grown on Mont Fleur, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chenin Blanc grapes have been sourced from 3 vineyards in the Helderberg and Stellenbosch Mountain area to produce grapes with highly concentrated, balanced flavour from naturally low yielding vines. Rows of vines are carefully chosen from the various vineyard blocks and monitored throughout the growing season to ensure the best possible quality fruit. Our tiny production of 3500 cases means we can pay every attention to detail.

Our Wines
Red Wine

A hallmark of De Trafford Wines is the effort spent in growing ripe vines to produce properly ripe fruit. Picked at optimum ripeness with maximum potential intensity and complexity, never overripe, despite the often high sugars. The grapes are carefully handpicked and transported to the winery in small lugboxes. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts takes place in various small tanks and includes a pre-fermentation and post fermentation phase with regular punching down of the cap. The wine is transferred from the fermentation tanks directly to small French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation while still 'dirty', to better integrate flavours. The wines remain in barrels ( 30 - 50 % new ) with gentle, carefully timed rackings in a cool damp underground cellar for approx. 18 - 22 months - depending on the vintage. This is an active period of stabalization, flavour development and phenolic polymerization (softening) rather than a passive period of oak flavour extraction. The natural development of the wine is allowed with the minimum of handling, which sometimes includes a light fining with fresh, free range egg whites and no filtration prior to bottling on the property.

White Wine
The noble Chenin Blanc grapes are allowed to ripen to their full potential and picked only in the cool early morning (before 9.00am). The grapes are lightly pressed in a traditional basket press after a few hours skin contact and fermented with indigenous yeasts in small oak casks. The wine is matured for a further 6 months in casks before bottling on the property with only a light fining and no filtration.

Straw Wine (Vin de Paille)
The first of its kind in South Africa ! Chenin Blanc grapes are laid out to dry on racks ( or straw ). This raisining process concentrates the sugar, acidity and fruit flavours to produce a luscious, sweet dessert wine. Fermented and matured in new French and American oak barrels for extra richness.

De Trafford wines vary in their tasting qualities, but they have a distinctive personality - intensely flavoured and finely structured with great length and finesse. These are naturally made, living wines which will deposit a sediment - a healthy sign of a HANDCRAFTED WINE.


Max. production capacity : 3500 cases.


Mont Fleur Vineyard
350 - 410 m above sea level, medium deep red mountain soils, mostly decomposed granite.
Shiraz (1.8ha) Cabernet Franc (0.4ha)
Merlot (1.2ha) Pinot Noir (0.3ha)
Cabernet Sauvignon (1.1ha) Roobernet (0.1ha)

Keermont Vineyard
250 - 400m above sea level. Medium deep red mountain soils, mostly decomposed granite. Some of the Chenin Blanc on stony alluvial soil.
Chenin Blanc (3ha) Cabernet Sauvignon (0.9ha)
Shiraz (1.3ha) Merlot (1.5ha)

Post House Vineyard
100m above sea level, 8 km from the cooling sea breezes of False Bay. Mostly low vigour gravely clay soils. Decomposed granite.
Chenin Blanc (1.5ha) Cabernet Sauvignon (1.0ha)
Merlot (1.0ha) Petit Verdot (0.4ha)

De Trafford Wines
+27.218801611