Anybody who has watched a film like “A Walk in the Clouds” (starring Keanu Reeves) or “A Good Year” (starring Russell Crowe) has probably had a moment where he dreamed of owning his own wine farm, and producing a complex wine that portrays the distinctiveness of South Africa's diverse “terroir”. Being a farmer myself I know that watching Russel Crowe farming and actually doing it are worlds apart. Even though I know this, I still had the desire to be part of the winemaking process and not just drink the stuff. This February I found a way to “work” for my wine without the stress and hassle of an actual wine farmer.
During the harvest in February, Sijnn Wine invites the public to come and experience the harvest in Malgas, to see how their beautiful wines are made. Sijnn Wine still use traditional methods: handpicking, basket presses, punchdowns... the good old way.
Sijnn Wine is owned by Architect / Winemaker David Trafford who has over 20 years’ experience, focusing on top quality, naturally made wines at De Trafford, Stellenbosch. David has been a member of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild since 2000. At Sijnn Wine they believe in natural farming and wine making. They still make use of hand pruning, hand suckering, hand tipping and hand picking and sorting. No pesticides are used and fungicide sprays are kept to a minimum with near organic, sustainable viticulture.
Our activities on the day included picking, eating, crushing grapes with our bare feet, pressing the juice into a big barrel and enjoying the wine paired with a hard to beat view and locally sourced vintner platter. What a day! The wine maker at Sijnn Wine, Charla Bosman, even made time for some “wine talk”.
While enjoying the magnificent views of the Breede River and appreciating the fine wine, I could imagine myself owning a wine farm….
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