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De Trafford Straw Wine 3V

De Trafford Wines were the first in South Africa to produce this exceptional style of wine. Experimentally in 1995 and 1996 and officially in 1997 after having to get approval through the Wine & Spirit Board and even having to pass a bill in Parliament.


3V is now a first for us too. A combination of three excellent, but small vintages:

2011; 2013 & 2014. Chenin Blanc. 

Vineyard Blocks

(Based on 2013 vintage for vine age and yield)


2 blocks (Keermont) 41 year old vines on neighbouring high altitude slope. Deep red granite based Hutton soil. Yield 3 tons/ha. 2nd block 7yr vines. 7 tons/ha

2 blocks (Post House) 27 & 29 year old vines. Lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the sea. Gravelly Hutton and Escourt soil. Yield 4 tons/ha.

1 block (Helderzicht) 29 year old bush vines.  Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Yield 7 tons/ha.

Vintage Conditions

2011 was hot and dry and ideal for Straw Wine. 2013 somewhat cooler, but pretty dry too. 2014 was also a cooler vintage, but quite a bit of late season rain and a little trickier to produce Straw Wine. We had to take some of the grapes off the rack a little earlier. Three good and complimentary Straw Wine vintages. However, the significant difference is in the evolution of the three wines before blending and bottling.


The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and laid out on drying racks in 70% shade for about 3 weeks. Before the 2013 vintage, we suffered severe winds which reduced the shading over the straw wine racks. We decided to do a little less Straw Wine over the next few years until the trees recover. The natural drying process allows the grapes to concentrate sugars, acids and flavours, before re-harvesting in the cool mornings. Fermented with natural yeasts and matured for 20 to 56 months using 50% new 225L French oak barrels. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined.

Bottling date: 5/01/16.  Production: 766 cases (6 x 375 ml)

Tasting Notes

Attractive bright gold colour. Great intensity and sweetness. Dried apricot and lemon skin, some flintiness, but mostly complex honey and treacle. The palate is intensely sweet yet not cloying, fresh and lively with an oxidative complexity and a long clean finish. A sweet treat after a meal. A rewarding challenge to match with desserts!


Alc. 11.93           Sug.  218           TA  6.1          pH 3.91          VA  1.40           SO2 4free & 102total

These are naturally made, living wines which may deposit a sediment and / or tartrate crystals. Keep below 18°C to avoid the possibility of re-fermentation.

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