May Newsletter: Harvest report & new releases

Harvest Report 2015 The earliest harvest I’ve been involved with since 1984. Winter 2014 started early with cool & wet weather. Budding was early and exceptionally even. After a normal Spring, the summer was particularly dry although with very few very hot days (well over 30°C). On reflection it was perfect ripening conditions and the grapes had ideal conditions just about every hour of every day.

Many producers brag about a long hang time, but for me its all about the number of hours the grapes have been in ideal temperature – between 18°C and 30°C for warmer climate varieties and up to 27°C for a delicate variety like Pinot Noir. If it is cold and wet for a week, that is effectively dead time. If it is excessively hot, the vines shut down and worse still, the grapes may start to raisin.

For those who know cricket I like this analogy: The longer the batsman occupies the crease, the more likely he will score runs – this is typical of the cooler European vineyard and some of the boring English batsmen. An effective batmen, like AB de Villiers only needs a short time at the crease to score a mass of runs! The 2015 wines are showing great promise and I look forward to seeing how they progress with some time in barrel.

Heindie checking the malolactic fermentation progression, old school style.

Hottest Day Ever As is typical with nature, quite against the run of play in a Summer famous for its moderation came the hottest day in recorded history. On 3 March 2015 a temperature of 42°C was recorded at Cape Town International Airport.

Study trip to France & Spain I’m about to embark on a study trip from Cote Rotie to Priorat. Instagram is now on my phone, so the trip should not only be an inspirational one, but a social media adventure too! Starting off with a first time visit to customers in Ireland, Kinnegar Wines, and ending off with tastings in Germany with WineScouts, Taste of Africa in Luxemburg and Korova in Belgium. The core of the trip will be visits to producers along the Rhone river from Cote Rotie to Châteauneuf-du-Pape & across the South of France to Priorat in Spain.


Wine & Wildebeest Safari

We are privileged to host our third amazing wine safari to the extraordinary plains of the Maasai Mara in Kenya. You can click here to download the detailed document. Don’t miss this trip of a lifetime!


chenin 2014 artwork

Chenin Blanc 2014 release

We are delighted  to finally release our 2014 Chenin – Rita taking her time to complete the finer details of her painting and the printers struggling to get the colours right!

The wine is a delight. A little lighter, brighter and fresher than usual. With a little rain lurking around & cooler, softer ripening conditions, the vintage is a little less concentrated. We’d recommend drinking this wine within the first 5 or 6 years, rather than the usual 8 to 10 years. It remind a bit of the 2003 (the wine, not the vintage conditions) & that is drinking beautifully now, so perhaps the 2014 will surprise! You can order online, download the order form & tasting notes.


De Trafford Elevation 393 2009 En Primeur Release
Widely accepted as the vintage of the decade we are wildly excited about the release of this wine planned for September this year. This is the pinnacle of the De Trafford production and specially held back so that even a numb palate can see the potential of this wine.

A first for us, the 2010 vintage were released ahead of the 2009 as it is a bigger, bolder wine, giving the 2009 time to show its true class. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc from our vineyard 393 meters above sea level.

A small portion of the 2009 vintage will be available as futures at R450 per bottle which you can order by sending an e-mail to Don’t miss the opportunity to secure our best wine from the vintage of the decade.

Hope you get an opportunity to enjoy some of our wines soon.
Kind regards,
David, Rita & team.

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