In case you thought Durbanville was that great big suburb on the side of the N1, do think again. The Durbanville Wine Route is the closest to the city, easily accessible, and a delight.
The cooling breezes from the close by Atlantic which it overlooks cools down the vines as they ripen, helping the area yield some of the country’s best wines, especially Sauvignon Blancs.
Another factor is that the area is home to large limestone quarries, the element that adds its own character to the grapes that grow there, as it does in many parts of France.
Among the treasures of the Durbanville Wine Route, Hillcrest has long been a favourite of mine. Very popular with families who flock there on the weekends, the kids can run around within eye and ear shot. It also has views that will take your breath away, right down to the sea.
Vineyards and olive groves are visible wherever you look, carpeting the softly undulating landscape. The wines are delicious and the olive oil is just the thing to take home, slightly peppery, a suitable anointment for a worthy salad.
At the restaurant try the deliciously rich organic chicken liver parfait with fresh farm bread and homemade preserves or the steak salad with thinly sliced sirloin, Danish feta, olives, and greens for starters. Then go on to the famous chicken pie with béchamel sauce, fabulous puff pastry and a Greek salad, or the 220gm burger, a hefty feast that will make any man’s heart squeak with anticipation.
There are great steaks to be had and a smoked salmon timbale with tangy berry sauce that will please those who are not into all that meat.
The cheesecakes—either fridge or baked (such a great idea) are the way to go for pud.
They are open for breakfast and lunch. Do a wine or olive tasting while you’re there. The kids menu will satisfy budding little gourmets too.
Contact: 021 975 2346
Words: Greg Landman
As the wine writer for Country Life magazine for the last 15 years, Greg has met and interviewed more than 150 of the country’s top wine makers. His articles offer unique insights into where to eat, what to drink, and where to go all over the Western Cape. With his dining companion Beryl Ormsby Browne, he has also reviewed more than 60 country restaurants for the magazine and has been a reviewer for the prestigious Eat Out Guide for 12 years. His passion for everything the winelands has to offer has led him into the world of wine tours. To find out more, visit his website Magic Grape Tours.