A beautiful pioneering wine estate in the middle of nowhere at the end of a long, dusty, bumpy road at the Southern tip of Africa. When David and Rita Trafford visited the Malgas region for the first time in 2000, they were blown away with the incredible soils specifically in the Lemoentuin area and immediately set about finding a suitable property to purchase.
EXTREME VINEYARD (The simple maths)
very poor soils (90% stone) + very low rainfall (350mm)
= very low vigour & very low yield
= 100% bush vines & very high quality
Over 200 soil profile holes were dug on a 50m grid in the most promising areas and experts called in to assist us analyse and understand the soils. The geology of the region is in fact simple and comprises Bokkeveld shale with sporadic relics of river terraces – mainly sandstone boulders and pebbles. However, the shale is in various stages of weathering and together with varying layers of alluvial deposits give rise to a complex soil situation’.
Most of the Sijnn vineyards are based on soils with a combination of these alluvial deposits on the Bokkeveld shale base – balancing intensity and structure with aromatic complexity and finesse. These very poor, complex soils encourage a deep root system, and low growth and low yield giving rise to intense, complex wines of great individual character.
Sporadic relics of river terraces occur over much of the Sijnn vineyards at Malgas. These relics are mainly sandstone boulders (pudding stones similar to the galet roules of Chateau Neuf du Pape in France) and pebbles in fine loamy sand, including some minor clay deposits in places. These soils produce fine’ aromatic wines’.
This is essentially the base of the Sijnn soils, underlying the alluvial deposits and in places the surface material too. Comprising clay minerals and quartz and calcite’. Varying quite considerably in friability from fine textured moderately rich soils to broken slate like soils similar to the Duoro in – In Portugal. These clay rich, but well drained soils produce wines of great intensity and structure.
LOCATION & CLIMATE
15 km from the sea, the maritime climate is warm, but not too hot, moderated by southerly winds off the ocean late morning just about every day, especially in summer.
Rainfall averages 350mm per annum, spread just about throughout the year. Maximum seldom exceed 30°c.
Due to the low vigour and low yields from the poor soils and dry climate, there is no need to trellis the vines. All our vines are grown as bush vines.
The vines grow in a natural way adapting to their environment with a gentle helping hand.
High quality warm climate, Southern European/ Mediterranean varieties are grown in a cooler climate for greater complexity and elegance. We are also taking climate change into account and planting for the future.
SIJNN – RED
Future plantings include:
Grenache Noir, Grenache Peluda, Tempranillo and Tinta Cao
SIJNN – WHITE
Future plantings include:
Assyrtiko, Grenache Blanc, Verdelho & Petit Manseng
Hand pruning, hand suckering, hand tipping and hand picking and sorting. No pesticides used. Fungicide sprays kept to a minimum with near organic, sustainable viticulture.
No yeasts added. Indigenous yeast ferments increases complexity and individuality. Minimal sulphur additions, no filtrations and no additions except bentonite fining to the white. All wines fermented and matured in French oak barrels. We are also very proud to have received our IPW (Integrated Production of Wine) certification in 2015.
WINES PRODUCED BY DAVID TRAFFORD
Architect / Winemaker with over 20 years’ experience, focusing on top quality, naturally made wines at De Trafford, Stellenbosch. A member of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild since 2000.