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de Trafford, Chenin Blanc “Straw Wine” Vintage Blend

About the Wine:
Attractive bright gold colour. Great intensity and sweetness. Dried apricot and lemon skin, some flintiness, but mostly complex honey and treacle. The palate is intensely sweet yet not cloying, fresh and lively with an oxidative complexity and a long clean finish. A sweet treat after a meal. A rewarding challenge to match with desserts!  It is a combination of three excellent, but small vintages: 2011; 2013 & 2014. Chenin Blanc. 
About the Producer:
Architect, David Trafford and chef/artist wife, Rita, purchased the property in 1976, but they had to wait 18 years to plant their commercial vineyard due to quota restrictions. During that waiting period, they produced experimental wines that were only consumed by family and friends. In 1991, when restrictions were lifted, they were ready to go. They focus on small production of about 3,500 cases so that they can perfectly craft every detail. Their single vineyard wines come from the closest mountain to the sea in Stellenbosch, up 393m above sea level. 
The first of its kind in South Africa. Inspired by the great Vin de Paille of the Rhone valley and the Jura, first produced in 1997.
We use exclusively Chenin Blanc, picked at normal (optimum) ripeness and laid out to dry on drying racks under the shade of the oak trees below the winery.
Typically drying takes about 3 weeks and the sugars concentrate as well as the flavour and acidity (providing balance). Extracting the treacle like liquid from the shrivelled berries is back breaking work in our traditional basket press. This is followed by usually a year long fermentation due to the concentrated nature of the liquid. We usually bottle after nearly 2 years in barrels and the result is intensely sweet yet not cloying.