Spring Newsletter: Hail & Hammer

paradise flycather
Most people consider, incorrectly in my view, that Spring starts on 1 September in the Cape, but to me it starts when the Paradise Flycatchers arrive back on our farm in Stellenbosch. These beautiful birds have life pretty sorted, disappearing a few hundred kilometers up the Garden Route to escape our miserable winters and returning in SPRING. This year I was bright enough to note their day of arrival, as it was on “Braai Day” (24 September) – our national culinary holiday!

Usually it actually rains on 1 September, but this year we had the most exquisite first two weeks of September I can remember since arriving on the farm in 1977. Bud break has also been exceptionally good.


Two De Trafford Wines come under the hammer at The Cape Winemakers Guild Auction

I have been a member of the Guild since 2000, an association of some of South Africa’s finest winemakers. It is open to private buyers and trade from around the world. This Saturday two wines we specially made for the CWG, will become available.

Our De Trafford Perspective 2012 is a beautiful blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from our slopes high up on the Helderberg. Our CWG Merlot 2009 from the same vineyard is a single barrel selection from the outstanding 2009 vintage and for those who’ve got over the Sideways movie!

If you cannot attend the Auction on Saturday 4 October at Spier, Stellenbosch, you can contact the Guild Office via email at or call 27 (0)21 852 0408. You can bid telephonically or by proxy. Alternatively, we would recommend our private buyers contact The Wine Cellar, the foremost distributor of fine wines in South Africa, to bid on your behalf. Contact their Cape Town office or call 27 (0)21 448 4105.

We’ve received several positive ratings for these two wines but would like to highlight these ratings:

Perspective Cape Winemakers Guild Stellenbosch 2012 
93. Presents a lovely mélange of roasted tobacco leaf, sage and mint notes, weaving around a core of steeped plum and macerated dark currant fruit, all set against a loamy backdrop. A bittersweet cocoa hint leads to a flicker Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2017. 52 cases made. — James Molesworth

91. Deep ruby-red. Exotic black raspberry, blueberry and plum aromas are accented by notes of peppery spices and leather. Dense, silky and fine-grained, with a distinct wild berry (huckleberry?) character complicated by cherry, earth and leather nuances. Leather and spice notes join firm, dusty tannins on the back end. — Steve Tanzer

Merlot Stellenbosch Cape Winemakers Guild 2009
91. A burly, grippy style, with ganache and espresso notes framing the score of steeped plum and black currant fruit. Dark olive, bay and sage accents line the finish, which has a slightly tarry feel. For fans of the style. Drink now through 2017. 28 cases made.  — James Molesworth

91. Good full ruby-red. Blackberry, plum, tobacco, licorice and smoky oak on the nose and palate, plus a whiff of woodsmoke. Broad, smoky, fine-grained and rich; concentrated and sweet without any heaviness. The musky tobacco and woodsmoke notes carry through on the finish, which features a very fine dusting of tannins. Serious merlot and a bit more old-school than I normally associate with this producer. — Steve Tanzer

Hope to see you wreck your cars getting to De Trafford soon! (Actually we’ve been working on the road a bit)

David Trafford and the De Trafford Team.

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