Agulhas Wine Triangle

Julian Richfield: The journey, the destination, the wines

Written by Julian Richfield

Would you travel 40Kms down a bumpy dirt road to taste some wine? I recently did and it was well worth it!

Insane you might say? I appreciate the pun – the journey along that long and winding road was to visit Sijnn Wines in Malgas, on the Cape’s South Coast.

I wondered how and why a winery got to be established in that area?

David and Rita Trafford (of De Trafford Wines in Stellenbosch) discovered the future Sijnn land while on holiday in Malgas in 2000. The soil and landscape reminded them of Portugal and they were immediately intrigued. A purchase agreement and more than 200 soil profiles later, approximately ten hectares of vines were planted and the name Sijnn Wines was appropriated to this pioneering venture – fittingly so as the word ‘sijnn’ is derived from the Khoisan word meaning river bank. The Breede River flows through the area.

Sijnn is situated 15km from the sea, the maritime climate is warm, but not too hot, moderated by southerly winds off the ocean late morning just about every day, especially in summer. Due to the low vigour and low yields from the poor soils and dry climate, all the vines are grown as bush vines, in a natural way adapting to their environment with gentle help from the human hand. 

Sijnn believe in natural farming and natural winemaking, and focus their skills on blending Mediterranean-style varieties that are best suited to the local climate.

Back to that road, 40 Kms later when we saw a sign saying SIJNN – we knew we had finally arrived at our destination. We parked our car and walked around the cellar building to be confronted by this spectacular view:

We gasped at the view and it reminded me of my first view of the Olifants River from Olifants Camp in Kruger many years ago..

The tasting area is al fresco, partly under cover, and we were warmly welcomed by Charla Bosman, Sijnn’s vivacious winemaker.

For the full article:

A delightful winery discovery