De Grendel Wine Estate, in the Durbanville Wine Appellation, is on the foothills of the Tygerberg Hills and faces the city of Cape Town, a mere 20 minutes’ drive away. It is perfectly situated with the ocean barely 7 kilometres away, source of cooling breezes off the cold Benguela Current which flows up our west coast from deep down in the cold South Atlantic Ocean. De Grendel is named for a bolt, as in the Dutch, or Afrikaans now, Slot en Grendel, lock and bolt.
Vines in current use on the De Grendel farm were planted by the late Sir David Graaff in the year 2000, about 200 years after the last vines were grubbed up on the farm. De Grendel van de Tijgerberg was bought in 1890 by Sir David’s grandfather, the iconic South African businessman and politician, Sir David De Villiers Graaff, to be used as a breeding and resting ground for the prized purebred Arab horses that he bought while travelling in Argentina.
Some 20 years later Sir David established the now oldest registered Holstein herd in South Africa with 14 cows that all trace back to the Segis cow family in Friesland. This herd was built up by his son, Sir De Villiers Graaff, legendary South African Politician, to a herd which dominated the national championships.
Having studied at the University of Grenoble in France, Sir David had developed a love of fine wine, and on the recommendation of a family friend, who recognised Durbanville as a key grape-growing area, the first vineyards were planted in 2000. Initially, after an exhaustive study of the terroir and climate, Sir David planted 10ha with Cabernet and Merlot.
Now, nineteen years later, 110 hectares of De Grendel are under vines. Situated on the other side of the hill from the rest of the Durbanville Wine Route, De Grendel is unique amongst Cape vineyards in that it is the only estate with the holy wine triumvirate of sea views, cool ocean breezes and misty nights.
De Grendel has become synonymous with exquisite wines, borne of the Graaff’s love of the soil and scientific approach to winemaking. Founding Cellar Master, Charles Hopkins, continues to rake in awards for his sublime wines.
The Tasting Lounge on the Estate is a long, glass encased verandah with possibly the most spectacular of any wine farm in the Cape. Look out over the vineyards to the magnificent view of Table Mountain, Cape Town city and the Atlantic Ocean, or chill in the relaxed lounge atmosphere. Two wine tastings are offered, one a Premium Tasting at R90, and a Flagship Tasting at R110.
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Ian Bergh, the chef at the much awarded De Grendel restaurant, offers a Gourmet Snack Selection, at the De Grendel Tasting Room for R195 per selection. This delicious new selection is ideal as a light snack for two whilst enjoying a wine tasting and the stunning views.
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Ian Bergh brings a real passion for farm to fork food and gives local artisan produce an inventive modern twist. Ian is an original locavore with a great respect for the seasons and their bounty. Ian’s menu is based on classic, locally sourced ingredients, served in creative flavour combinations and with an inventive, modern edge. The simple menu changes every day according to availability of ingredients.
One of the things that Ian does is to mentor young students, notable from the well known Silwood Cookery School. Something he was lucky to have as a chef-in-training, 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.
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