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Newsletter: June 2017


De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2016 The 2016 is quite a stylistic departure due to the extreme weather conditions. One of the hottest, driest and certainly the earliest we’ve experienced. Acidities were lower than usual and we thus fermented a small portion (about 4%) on the skins to add a greater phenolic (tannin) component to compliment the structure of the wine.

We also included a little Viognier (4%) which further pushes the wine towards a White Rhone like Chenin Blanc. Of course, I think it’s great and a clear expression of the vintage. In addition, instead of a painting, an image of one of Rita’s exciting new hand printed scarf collection has been used for the label.

De Trafford Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 It’s a little cheeky for us to be releasing such a young Cabernet Sauvignon, but 2013 was such a small harvest and this 2014 is delicious. Yes, it will benefit from many years, but as 2014 is a lighter, softer vintage, and it’s already drinking well now.

De Trafford Elevation 393 2011 Our flagship blend from the vineyard around our home at 393m above sea level. A big, rich, ripe and intense vintage with mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% each Merlot and Syrah. A selection of the best barrels that reflects the character of the vintage, as well as this beautiful vineyard.

WELCOME BABY LUCA There is nothing that compares to producing your first child and that is exactly what Xenia has gone and done! A gorgeous little chap, a month old now. She’ll be on maternity leave for a few months, so if our customer service is a bit shaky, you can blame Luca!

JURANCON, BORDEAUX & LOIRE, FRANCE – MAY 2017 In May last year I went to Piedmont and Etna in Sicily and didn’t even get around to posting a blog. Well, this year I went to France with our Sijnn winemaker, Charla Haasbroek and Sijnn partner, Simon Farr, and thankfully Charla took the trouble to write a lovely blog of our research trip to Jurancon, Bordeaux and the Loire. An epic week for the senses. Read all about our travels here.

BOTANICAL PRINTED SCARVES: AUTUMN COLLECTION LAUNCH Rita has packed away her paint brushes and canvases for a while and started to develop a range of naturally printed silk scarves. Each one is individually designed and printed using plant material from around the farm and in effect reflecting the season and our environment. We’ll be celebrating this new venture with a pop up launch at Hazz Coffee Shop in Stellenbosch at 6.00pm Wednesday 19 July. Following the launch the scarves will be available on Rita’s website and at the winery.

WINE & WILDEBEEST 2018 We’re off to the Maasai Mara again next year for what will surely be another unforgettable week of incredible wildlife and wilderness, together with great food, wine and the hospitality and knowledge of well known photographers Daryl & Sharna Balfour. We have 18-25 August 2018 allocated to us. Read our previous safari blog and contact Daryl at for more information and bookings. Limited to 12 guests.

HARVEST 2017 Wow what a great harvest! Another warm to hot trouble free growing season and a ripening period that was hot, but not too hot, with importantly cool evenings. Generally we had excellent ripeness of tannins, sugars not too high and good pH and acidity levels. The wines appear similar to the fabulous 2015 vintage, but with a little more elegance and austerity. 2015 being more hedonistic, while 2017 more cerebral – although you shouldn’t need to use your brain too much to find the pleasure!

Most of the wines have completed the malolactic fermentation and the last few barrels have fermented dry, so it’s time to let the cold air into the cellar and let them chill through winter before we do our spring rackings.

BLAAUKLIPPEN VALLEY HOP We had a lovely open day two weeks ago along with neighbours Keermont and Kleinood and around 80 visitors enjoying our collaborative effort. It is a privilege to live and work in this beautiful place.

Kind regards, David Trafford and the De Trafford Team.

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