Kinnegar Wines , Importers of fine selected wines

Importers of fine selected wines

Specialist in South African Wines

De Trafford Wines

E-mail Print PDF

André Morganthal first brought us to meet David Trafford, founder and winemaker at De Trafford wines, in April 1998. For me, this was an amazing visit at the time. Because the winemaking was all done very traditionally, by hand and on a very small scale, it was very easy to see at first hand all of the steps involved in the winemaking process - remember, I was studying for the WSET Diploma at the time and this particular visit gave me huge understanding of the details of the process. The tiny basket press used for the Straw Wine /Vin de Paille looked like a toy but it still in active use.

david traffordDavid Trafford is an architect with no formal training as a winemaker. Who could imagine? David says:

"...understanding and working with the vineyard to coax something magical from the land, after that it's hold thumbs you don't cock it up in the cellar.""I never chose winemaking as a profession – it was thrust upon me. I chose Architecture as a profession, but live on land with such great vineyard potential, it was impossible not to get involved in the wine business."

A working knowledge of winemaking gleaned from local winemakers, a vintage spent at St Emilion and David's own practical experience has ensured a small but steady flow of wines of increasing sophistication.

With an acute appreciation of nature and sense of time and place, David is also disarmingly shy, humorous, and honest. When not making wine he goes to physio to repair his back, he walks in the mountains, jogs, swims, plays tennis, squash and golf.

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. You need faith to actually get here as the dirt road in is so long, we still wonder, despite many visits, if we are on the right track. 

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.

 

You are here: Home