Delaire Graff | Stellenbosch, South Africa
Delaire Graff Wine Estate is noted for its high-altitude vineyards and unique terroir due to a lofty location on the crest of the panoramic Helshoogte Mountain Pass overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch. Originally a farm named Avontuur the estate was bought in 1982 by the celebrated wine writer and winemaker John Platter, who renamed it Delaire Estate, meaning ‘From the Sky’.
In 2003 ownership passed onto Laurence Graff of Graff Diamonds International Ltd, who then initiated a six-year redevelopment programme to transform the estate into the premium world-class winery, restaurant, hotel and spa that it is today. During the refurbishments, one of the most advanced cellars in the Southern Hemisphere was installed; this became operational in 2008 with the release of the first wines under the Delaire Graff label. In just three years, the Estate has been propelled straight into the top tier of South Africa’s finest boutique wineries.
Delaire Graff is a relatively small estate with only 22 hectares under vine, the focus of production has been on the varietals suited to the local terroir, namely Chardonnay and red Bordeaux varietals. The desire to add other classic Cape varietals to the portfolio sent the winemaking team in search of the finest and best-matched plots to the new varietals. The Shiraz vines are located closer to the ocean to benefit from the cooler climate, the Sauvignon is a blend of grapes sourced from four premium wine regions, and the Chenin is sourced from 35 year old bush vines in Swartland. These long-term lease vineyards are managed year-round by the Delaire Graff viticulturist team.
While the Graff investment has enabled Delaire Graff to be transformed into a luxury estate with a state-of-the-art winery, this alone would not guarantee the production of great wines. Above all, it is the unique terroirs, the premium quality of the grapes, combined with the skill of one of South Africa’s leading young winemakers, Morné Vrey, that all combine to produce some of the finest wines that South Africa has to offer.
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