With a mere 5 hectares under vine, de Trafford farm is the ultimate in boutique wineries. The farm, beautiful Mont Fleur, is situated 380m up against the Helderberg Mountain, south of Stellenbosch. De Trafford produces a miniscule 3500 cases per year, and production is limited to selected varietals namely: Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. At present, wines sell out within weeks of release. Owner and self-taught winemaker David Trafford has made the transition from being an architect to one of South Africa’s top winemakers in just 10 years.
The wine making process uses the philosophy of paying great attention to detail. The process is as natural as possible. The critical decision of when to harvest is determined more by tasting the grapes for optimum ripeness than by chemical analysis – trusting his innate knowledge from past experiences. With hand picking, pressing in a traditional basket press, the use of indigenous yeast occurring in the grape skins for fermentation, minimum handling, no acid additions or filtration. This allows for natural development of the wine.
Straw wine (Vin de Paille) is a unique specialty - the first of its kind in South Africa!
De Trafford wines have a distinctive personality - intensely flavored and finely structured, with great length and finesse.
David and his wife design their own labels. David designs the red wine labels with architectural themes, while his wife, Rita paints the labels for the Chenin Blanc, which changes each year, and the Straw Wine, which remains the same.
De Trafford wines have done very well with their Wine Spectator ratings. The score of 93 points was awarded to their Straw Wine 2001, Elevation 393 2000 and Shiraz 2000. David also received 94 points for his 2001, 2003 and 2005 Shiraz, as well as for the 2005 Straw Wine, the highest score given to a South African dessert wine yet. According to the WS, David makes 2 of the top 4 wines of South Africa, the Shiraz and Elevation 393.