Durbanville Hills wine route is often over shadowed by its wine region neighbours Constantia and Stellenbosch when its come to choosing where to send day enjoying the South African Winelands. If you haven't visited the Durbanville wine route, you need to put its neighbours aside for your next planned wine outing and put De Grendel at the top of your bucket list.
What shocked me the most about my visit to De Grendel is all this time it had be right under my nose and I never been introduced. How could have taken me so long to discover such a all rounder ticker boxer. So let me explain why De Grendel ticks all the boxes for me and why it will become part of my future frequently visited options and highly recommend choice for my fellow travelers, friends and family.
De Grendel, means latch or lock in Dutch and the estate stretches out over almost 330 hectares on the fynbos-covered slopes of Tygerberg Hill. Grendel has deep roots in South Africa's history as one of Cape Town’s oldest farms. First awarded to the Danish settler Claas Mayboom by Governor van der Stel all the way back in 1720, De Grendel van de Tijgerberg was bought by the iconic South African businessman and politician Sir David De Villiers Graaff in 1890.
Driving to De Grendel was a breeze. I arrived in under 15 minutes, my first thought was "wow, that was incredibly quick. This estate in basically in my backyard". The distance is really convenient and great for groups who want to car pull a pocket friendly Uber ride for a fun wine excursion.
De Grendel is the place to go for the creme dela crem postcard perfect view of Table Mountain; you won't get more stunning view of our seven world wonder at any other wine estate. On a clear day, you can see all the way from Table Bay, Robbin Island, to our City centre and on to False Bay, and sometimes even on to Cape Point. The wine cellar, tasting center and restaurant is situated high on Tigerberg hill and boost and magnificent 360 panoramic views to admire.
As it was still 10am in the morning when I arrived, I started my day out with a energy boost of double espresso (De grendel makes some good bean juice), whilst waiting for the others to arrive for our farm tour around the estate. When I was first driving in to De Grendel I remember thinking "wow this estate is massive!" but after the our drive around the estate, massive seem small comparison to how much larger it actually is.
One of the many types of buck on the estate
After running beside the car on our farm drive, some pup needed a cool off
After a very informative estate adventure and soaking up some gorgeous fresh air and views the time had arrived; It was time to taste some wine.
The tasting center is bright with natural light from the long glass encased veranda comfortable beach themed wicker lounge chair are elegantly spread out so that each visitor will be able to get a outstanding view. The interior decor theme is porcelain blue and white and ties everything together beautifully, there's a strong feng shui force in place. On a balmy summers day you can sit on the patio and let the rest of the world melt away.
Winemaker Charles sat down with us to take us through the wines. Charles is one of South Africa’s most highly regarded winemakers, a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild and Chairman of the South African Wine Show Association. Charles is passionate about his craft, often going abroad to study winemaking. He has spent harvest seasons in the Sonoma Valley, California, and in Bordeaux, France. Over the last ten years he has also conducted study tours to Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and France.
The wine tasting was a absolute treat, and Charles was able to pass on such valuable information on to our group. I feel head over heels with his Koetshuis Sauvigon Blanc 2017. Such a knock out wine: The Nose exudes asparagus, fynbos and canned peas with a mineral element, on the palate you get some sea salty fresh acidity with green fig preserve, grape fruit and long mineral finish; this wine is well-balanced, vibrant and a beautiful expression of Lutouw and Darling Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
Premium Tasting: R90
Flagship Tasting: R110
After a great wine tasting we headed downstairs to the restaurant. their menu is based on classic, locally sourced ingredients, served in creative flavour combinations and served with an inventive, modern edge. The simple menu changes every day according to availability of ingredients. De Grendel like to surprise their guests, that’s why you’ll find that their menu lists only the ingredients with no indication of how your meal will be prepared or which ingredients dominate (of course, if you ask, they’ll gladly tell you more).
The Head Chef at De grendel is Ian Bergh. Ian brings a real passion for farm produce to the table and gives local artisan produce an inventive modern twist. Ian is no slave to fad and food fashions, and is an original locavore with a great respect for the seasons and their bounty. His hands-on training and experience are rooted in classical cuisine, having worked with Franck Dangereux at La Colombe and further honed his skills at Kurland, Five Flies and Pure at Hout Bay Manor before joining Jonathan Davies at De Grendel to launch the restaurant in 2012.
Lunch a la Carte
Bread Service Yoghurt & muesli loaf, Jersey butter
Gnocchi, smoked tomato, walnut, basil, bocconcini, Padano paired with De Grendel Winifred 2018
Springbok loin, celeriac, radicchio, courgette, cherry, 5 spice jus paired with De Grendel Shiraz 2017
Arborio, pumpkin, chilli, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, Padano, mascarpone paired with De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2018
Karoo lamb neck, chermoula, tomato, date, feta, pickle, yoghurt, coriander, spinach, jus paired with De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2017
Citrus cheesecake, strawberry, earl grey, white chocolate, raspberry-almond cake paired with De Grendel Rose 2018
Valrhona aero, nutella mousse, lime, banana brûlée, hazelnut paired with De Grendel Noble Late Harvest 2017
Tasting Room open times:
Mon- Sat: 09h00 to 17h00
Sun: 10h00 to 16h00*
Please note that it is required to make a booking if you are a group of 8 or more. Bookings can be made via email to email@example.com or call 021 558 6280
To make a restaurant reservation call them on +27 (0)21 558 7035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org