SOME BACKGROUND ON OUR HANDCRAFTED WINES
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.
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.
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.
David Trafford, owner & winemaker, qualified as an Architect from the University of Cape Town in 1988 and worked as a full time Architect until 1994. David traded architecture for Wine & Wife by leaving work and marrying Rita, qualified chef & aspiring artist. Living in the middle of the vineyard and close to the winery, they watch over all aspects if the business.
At De Trafford we take a unique approach to winemaking, which is difficult to fit into a single category. If you would like to learn more about our "mindful" approach to winemaking, you can download the following booklet here.