Our Journey Begins at Sunrise

Shades of the sun

Laurence Graff with the Delaire Graff Sunrise diamond

Our story begins with two men, seemingly unalike, yet bound by a shared pursuit for perfection. The one, Laurence Graff OBE, driven by the pursuit of craft, a fixation with detail and a devotion to beauty. The other, Morné Vrey, master winemaker whose respect for the heritage of his craft defines his ambition. For the House of Graff, the journey from stone to polished gem starts with inspired vision, and as custodian of many of the world’s rarest and most exquisite gemstones, the legacy of Graff lives within an unwavering respect for the heritage of the stone. 

Within a diamond, there an enigmatic sense of desire that has seduced admirers for millennia. Born with an intense and vibrant beauty deep within the earth, yellow diamonds are perhaps the most alluring, radiating a light from within akin to the ferocity and brilliance of the sun. The House of Graff has handled a myriad of magnificent yellow diamonds, the most notable being the Star of Bombay, a 47.39-carat yellow stone that marked the beginning of Graff ’s yellow diamond collection.

Transforming a diamond from its rough form into a scintillating masterpiece is an art which few will inherently understand. It requires precision of the steadiest hand and an obsessive passion for unlocking perfection. In 2009, a perfectly formed octahedral yellow diamond rough, weighing 221.81 carats, was unearthed at an alluvial mine in South Africa. The size, colour and quality of the stone left Graff astounded and the journey to perfection began. After nearly a year of meticulous cutting and polishing at the hands of a Master Cutter, the stone yielded the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow square emerald cut diamond in the world at 118.08 carats. Reminiscent of the warm glow of dawn from Delaire Graff Estate, the diamond was aptly named, the Delaire Sunrise.

 

Delaire Graff Sunrise

To Graff, an uncut diamond is nature’s legacy, waiting to weave its tale at the hands of the master craftsman. Much in the same way, the grapes hold a story which can only unfold at the hands of a master winemaker.  From the beginning, Winemaker Morné Vrey crafts Delaire Graff wines with an intentional practice, the vision of perfection deciding every step of the process.  The practice demands a restrained hand; a subtlety to the intervention, deceptively simple, guiding the natural process to find harmony in their expressive balance.  And so it was fitting that Vrey would honour the captivating Delaire Sunrise in name when launching his Méthode Cap Classique (MCC).

‘As breath-taking as the African sunrise and the finest example of the Master Cutter’s skill. The Delaire Sunrise diamond is the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow square emerald cut diamond in the world and a truly incredible work of art.’ – Laurence Graff

Delaire Graff MCC sunrise Brut

A notable contribution to South African Cap Classiques, the Delaire Sunrise Brut MCC was a deviation from the traditional South African MCC grape varietals. This ground-breaking MCC is the first South African crémant blend driven by Chenin Blanc in the style of the Loire Valley. Resplendent in its own right, the Sunrise Brut catches the light through a fine, integrated mousse and pale yellow colour. Zesty in nature, the wine is an elegant blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc. Aromas of fresh gooseberry on the nose are supported by citrus notes of lime and grapefruit. Silky and smooth on the palate at first, the wine unsheathes a flinty minerality with subtle tannins, huge length, subtle hints of vanilla and a lingering finish. The wine is a remarkable addition to the Delaire Graff wine portfolio and MCC landscape of South Africa, and pays homage to the Sunrise diamond through an intricate label embossed with the many layered facets of the diamond itself.

“The Sunrise Brut epitomises the excellence and innovation that is inherent in the vineyards and all our wines. It also reflects what is achievable if the adventurous spirit of South African winemakers is given the freedom to explore.” – Morné Vrey

Thus, our journey begins and ends with the Delaire Sunrise, iridescent and resplendent. Two men, experts in their craft, executing with patience, careful restraint and clear vision, both gemstone and wine a testament to their makers’ obsession with perfection.   

 

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