This is an exciting new vineyard venture for David Trafford on a stony plateau between Malagas and Cape Infanta approximately 230km east of Cape Town.
Located at the mouth of the Breede River – called Sijnn by the original Khoisan inhabitants. Perched on a plateau of slate and rolled stones, about 15km from the southern oceans of Africa.
At this stage there are no other vineyards within a 40 km radius, the closest being those inland around Swellendam and along the coast of Elim. The wines are made by the De Trafford team in Stellenbosch.
Together with a few strategic partners, a small run-down ostrich and grain farm was purchased in 2003. The potential vineyards are located 60m to 70m above the Breede River, 25 km from the sea by boat and 15 km as the crow flies.
The complex stony soils, together with a warm dry climate (350mm) moderated by the constant sea breezes offers excellent vineyard potential and the possibility of producing something unique. As this is quite a pioneering venture, extensive soil studies were undertaken and together with climatic data a variety of proven Mediterranean or southern European varieties have been planted, including Syrah, Mourvèdre, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira together with future plantings of Tempranillo and Grenache. Chenin Blanc and Viognier have been planted for a white wine blend together with future plantings of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc.
On 9 February 2007 the first grapes were carefully picked (ten tons from the first 5.5 ha planted in 2004) and transported back to Stellenbosch for vinification. All the vines are grown as bush vines with a maximum expected yield of 3 tons / ha (24hl/ha). The new wines are quietly resting in a mix of new and old 700 liter French oak barrels and are already showing a unique and appealing character. Watch this space for further progress!