De Trafford Straw Wine is a sweet single-variety Chenin Blanc wine produced by the De Trafford winery in the Stellenbosch region, South Africa.
Straw wine or “vin de paille” is an ancient style of wine that is made by drying the grapes on straw, which absorbs moisture from the fruit, turning it into raisins, which concentrates the flavours and sugars.
To make De Trafford Straw Wine, the grapes are harvested at optimum ripeness and placed on straw drying racks in 70% shade for approximately 3 weeks. During this process, the sugars, acidity and flavours in the grapes become more concentrated.
The must slowly ferments with its natural yeasts and the resulting wine ages for about 26 months in new 225-litre French oak barrels, 50% of which are new.
This curious, ancient process results in the De Trafford Straw Wine, which is intensely sweet, but not treacly.
In 1997, De Trafford Wines was the first to make this style of wine in South Africa, inspired by the great Vin de Paille that is made in the Rhone Valley and Jura in France.