De Grendel Op die Berg Syrah 2020, so good with Liver in a sour sauce…

Charles Hopkins, Founding Winemaker, holding a bottle of De Grendel Op die Berg Syrah 2020

While De Grendel Wine Estate is in the Durbanville Wine Appellation, the owning family, the Graaffs, also own agricultural land high up in the Witzenberg Mountains in Ceres in a specially created Wine Appellation – Ceres Plateau. Here they farm deciduous fruits and wine grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and this utterly lovely Syrah.

With vineyards at times covered in snow in winter, the climate is a Continental one unaffected by marine intervention like the rest of the Western Cape Vineyards.

Winter brings snow to the Op die Berg Vineyards in the Witzenberg Mountains

The vines are planted in yellow shale soils and the snow covering in winter provides ideal temperatures for a long rest after the harvest. Once harvested, the grapes are brought to De Grendel where half are destalked, and half are whole bunch fermented in open fermenters with frequent mechanical punch downs.  After malolactic fermentation, the wine was matured for a year in previous fill French Oak Barrels, from 2nd, 3rd and 4th fills. It was then prepared for bottling.

Shiraz Grapes ripening on the vine


From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with an elegant screw cap. The label is simple and attractive. In the glass, the wine is a deep purply blood plum at the heart which pales out to a more translucent purple at the edges. The aromas are of sweet red berry fruits, oak spice and a good grind of white pepper. The palate has a superb acidity line which runs from entry into the long and gradually waning aftertaste. It is full of body, rich and round and a mélange of red and black berries and plums perfectly supported by the oak spice and vanilla from barrel maturation. An impressive glass for quiet drinking.


While we can’t all get to the Estate, the De Grendel Op die Berg Syrah 2020, is available at the De Grendel Restaurant, the kitchen of which is under the hands of Executive Chef Ian Bergh. Ian pairs a Kudu Loin, almond and garlic puree, truffle, baby leek, baby potatoes, kale, chimichurri, blackberry jus, written in his amusing shorthand style. My choice would be Sheep’s Liver in Sour Sauce, which I often make, a recipe received from Nic van Wyk, a chef friend. CLICK HERE for the recipe.

Ian Bergh – Executive Chef at De Grendel Restaurant

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