About Us

Trait Wines is a modern take on the traditional. It is rogue only in its convictions & bold belief in the vineyard. In all other aspects it respects the old world of wine, the old guard of wine, and aspires to tread the same hallowed halls.

Trait Wines

Trait Wines is a cross-continental love story, leading two people to salvage an extraordinary old vineyard in Margaret River. It’s a story of perseverance, fortitude and family.

Theo Truyts (pronounced ‘traits’) & Clare Trythall’s upbringings were physically and culturally worlds apart. From the wilds of Lesotho in Africa to the colourful life of a British expat in Asia, the duo’s lives spanned the globe before their meeting in Western Australia in 2013, he working as a vineyard manager and she as an emergency doctor.

Six years (plus a marriage, citizenship, baby boy and scruffy dog) later, Theo chanced upon a rare opportunity: to assume management of a Margaret River vineyard – one he had worked on early in his time in Australia – that had left an indelible impact. Due to its low yields & ‘un-machine-able’ conditions, it was in danger of abandonment. The thought of this would not leave Theo alone, and struck him as the perfect time to realise his long-held ambition of nurturing his own vineyard.

The sloping site - with vines close-planted more than three decades ago - was producing ever-dwindling yield, but the fruit concentration and the quality was near-on perfection. The cost of running this singular vineyard was almost lunacy. The temptation was too good to refuse.

In 2019, cut off from their families abroad, the Truytses endured their first year as fully-fledged vignerons, with vintage, a tough season of pruning and Theo single-handedly grafting a quarter of the vineyard to Chardonnay. They juggled time with their young son and their ‘day jobs’ alongside the Trait vineyard to make it work, knowing that the precious site needed hand tending year-round, all the while seeing glimpses of magnificence.


Theo is a viticulturist & winemaker who grew up in Lesotho & South Africa. There, the people had a close connection to their beautiful landscape & the community was an international melting pot of culture & language. Interested in agriculture throughout his childhood, Theo chose to pursue viticulture during his time at Stellenbosch University. He worked for several wineries in South Africa including Ernie Els Wines, followed by a vintage in the Rhone at Yves Cuilleron and at Hartford Family in Sonoma. In 2012, Theo completed his first vintage in Margaret River at Pierro, & was offered a role as full-time vineyard manager & assistant winemaker. He left in 2018, & has since spent time at Vasse Felix & Flying Fish Wines and currently Wildberry Springs, while throwing his efforts as viticulturist & winemaker into Trait Wines.

Clare Trythall was born in Japan to English & Welsh parents, while they were working in the shipping trade. She grew up in Asia, largely Singapore, in a multicultural hub. Clare returned to the UK for boarding school & subsequently Scotland for her medical degree, before moving to Perth in Western Australia to establish her career as an emergency medicine consultant. Clare balances her professional career with dedicating her time to their sons, and is the behind-the-scenes director of the immense production that is Trait Wines.

The Vineyard

The fruit for Trait Wines is sourced from a 2.7 hectare vineyard mere kilometres from Margaret River’s town centre in the south west corner of Western Australia. Planted in 1988, the site is sloping and the vines close-planted, meaning that the aid and intervention of machinery is impossible. Everything requires the touch of hands. Due to the age of the vines, production is not vigorous, hence the quality of the fruit is concentrated and the yields are low. The property is a white wine vineyard, planted with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

These vineyard traits are usually the hallmarks of great established wine houses around the world, often under the careful custodianship of several generations. 

Trait Wines is a modern take on the traditional. It is rogue only in its convictions and bold belief in the vineyard. In all other aspects it respects the old world of wine, the old guard of wine, and aspires to tread the same hallowed halls.

Theo & Clare took on the management of this special site in 2019 and have since worked hard to preserve what would otherwise be lost in the vineyard, thanks to obsessive attention, rigorous upkeep and a hands-on approach.

Rejuvenation has meant putting the utmost into viticulture and management, rehabilitating the land and soil practices to bring the vines back to life, plus restoring the ecosystem for a more sustainable approach to farming, rather than stripping from the earth.

Theo’s training as both a viticulturist and winemaker means that he can look at the vineyard in two directions: seeing what would result in the best wine qualities in the bottle, and considering what practices to introduce into the vineyard to reach its full potential.

The X

The “X” that marks all of the Trait bottles is a Truyts family symbol signifying ownership, which was hand-applied to luggage and personal effects. Theo’s family used this symbol on travels throughout Central Africa in the mid 20th Century. He still owns antique trunks belonging to his great-grandfather that bear this mark.

 Theo’s great grandfather moved to the Congo from Belgium in the 1920s as an agricultural engineer, to assist in setting up farms. The family continued to travel back & forth to Belgium, as well as through central & southern Africa. Theo’s grandfather, Theophilus Truyts, also continued the tradition of using the family “X” on his travels through central Africa, and ultimately to South Africa, where he settled with his family.

The amazing designs on our bottles have been created by our incredibly talented friend and artist Angela McKay of Ohkii Studio. She was able to incorporate the hand-painted ‘X’ and the depictions of flora, inspired by the Australian & South African landscape. Angela has spent most of her professional illustrative career based out of Brooklyn, New York. Her artwork, largely inspired by the natural world, draws a deep influence from her childhood spent in the coastal Wilyabrup subregion of Margaret River.