The estate was founded in 1679 by Simon van der Stel. Simon brought with him a sound knowledge of viticulture. In 1982 John Platter (wine writer) purchased the estate which was then known as Avontuur. Looking at the magnificent view, John decided to rename the wine farm Delaire Estate, meaning “From the Sky”. Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International acquired the estate in 2003 and vowed to transform it into South Africa’s most desirable art, hospitality and wine destination. In just three years the estate was rated one of the top ten wine producers in South Africa.
The estate currently owns 20 hectares of vineyards which are located on the slopes of Botmaskop Mountain. The vines benefit from a north-facing aspect as well as high-altitude and maritime influences. Winemaker Morné Vrey produces excellent red blends dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, with impressive single block Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, a 100% Cabernet Franc rosé, and some supremely elegant vintages.
It is interesting to note that Delaire Graff Estate wines rank among the most prestigious in the Southern Hemisphere, where their cutting-edge 450-ton gravity-fed Estate winery is a celebration of both old and new.
After a lengthy tour of the “Owner’s Villa” we headed to the main building walking through breathtaking landscaped gardens, stunning sculptures, and art. It’s interesting to note that the gardens have over 350 indigenous plants, exotic plants and flowers.
Once inside I had to ask …. for a brief visit to the Graff Diamonds store as it begs for further investigation. Once inside (no photos allowed) it was certainly the ultimate experience — so many enticing pieces and iconic stones were on display. I felt like I was inside a beautifully designed jewelry box.
After a twenty-minute conversation with the Assistant Manager on Graff Diamond’s history, we headed off to the Delaire Graff Tasting Room.
On route, we came across Laurence Graff’s recent acquisition the original of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s ‘Chinese Girl’, which is currently displayed at the entrance of the winery. This is said to be one of the most recognizable paintings in the world.
Delaire Graff Tasting Room
The Tasting Room offers incredible mountain and vineyard views. The sommeliers were quite knowledgeable on South African wines, and their service was quite intuitive – this is certainly hospitality at its best!
Delaire Graff Estate Wines Tasted
Delaire Graff Estate ‘Sunrise’ Brut MCC
This wine was named after the magnificent 118.08 carat “Delaire Sunrise Diamond” the largest square emerald cut fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world.
Method: Traditional Method
Blend: 58% Chenin Blanc, 34% Chardonnay & 8% Cabernet Franc
Light yellow gold in colour; a stream of fine and persistent bubbles; with green apple and melon dominating the nose; the palate shows finesse and intensity, some citrus flavours [lemon and grapefruit] along with toasty brioche; zesty and fresh – elegantly balanced; lovely long yeasty citrus finish.
The Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut MCC spoils the eye with its radiant, golden colour and unquestionably lives up to its name!
2022 Delaire Graff Estate Rose Cabernet Franc
This unique Rosé is handpicked and gently pressed to obtain the perfect, subtle salmon pink hue. This wine is also a Delaire Graff Estate employee favorite.
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc
Medium-intensity salmon in color; has aromas of strawberry, red plum, dark berries with a hint of candy floss; a creamy and structured palate with layered flavours of fresh strawberry, red berries, cassis, and a seductive spicy finish.
2021 Delaire Graff Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay (Estate)
Winemaker Morné Vrey is committed to meticulous vineyard management. The grapes are handpicked, whole bunch pressed, fermented, and matured in small French oak barrels for 10 months.
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
The wine is a buttery yellow hue; complex aromas of citrus, peaches, concomitant spice, vanilla and salted butter; The palate repeats the aromas with to a long lingering finish.
2019 Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Reserve Merlot
These wines come from the oldest vineyards on the Estate. These wines are a raconteur weaving the tale of the property’s humble beginnings. Expressions of the site’s splendor, with its rich earthiness and bountiful fruit. These Single Vineyard wines are also handpicked and are matured in 80% new French oak for 16 months. Vinification – extensive sorting of the grapes formed part of the quality management process. The grapes were de-stemmed only, not crushed, to ensure gentle extraction of fruit flavours.
Alcohol: 14.5 %
Varietal: 100% Merlot
Firm and well balanced, this Merlot is characterized by spice, dark plum and dark red berry flavours and aromas whilst silky, ripe tannins with a long and lingering finish; a luxurious elegant wine.
What an extraordinary experience to sip Delaire Graff terroir-specific award-winning wines with these stunning views of the Winelands and being surrounded by Laurence Graff’s personal art collection.
From Laurence Graff’s own words
“Delaire means ‘from the sky’, and the wines we craft here are an invitation to savour this unique piece of heaven and earth in Stellenbosch.”
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