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. Growing of vineyards on this farm started with the purchase of the property in 1976 by former architect, David Trafford and his wife Rita, a chef and artist, when it was still inaccessible grazing land. Many of the high altitude slopes were found suitable for high quality red grape varieties. Complex granitic based soils have an ideal clay content that allows good drainage and sufficient water retention at the same time.
Due to quota restrictions, the planting of a commercial vineyard had to wait eighteen years. In 1983 a small vineyard was established to produce experimental wines – consumed by family and friends. 1984 to 1991 were learning curve years, which included lots of help and advice from local winemakers and working experience in France, particularly in the Bordeaux area. Today David and Rita live in the middle of the vineyard, close to the winery and watch closely over all aspects of their business.
In addition to grapes grown on Mont Fleur, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chenin Blanc grapes have been sourced from three other 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. Small-scale production means careful attention paid to every detail of the winemaking process.
‘This blended wine best reflects our magnificent vineyard site high up on the eastern slopes of the Helderberg mountain.’ Cabernet Sauvignon 57% (eleven year old vines), Merlot 29% (eleven year old vines), Shiraz 14% (ten year old vines). The best barrels were selected for this reserve wine.