Durbanville is not just that urban sprawl on the side of the N1 as you leave town.
Words by Greg Landman
It is a “hidden treasure” and is easily reached from anywhere in the city. It is also home to some great wine farms and very good restaurants. An easy drive from town you will find yourself in the country, with rolling hills covered in vines, and vistas that stretch down to the close by Atlantic.
The cooling breezes from the ocean play a major role in the production of some of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the country, cooling the vines as they ripen in the fierce summer heat. In the distance “the Mountain, “every Capetonian’s anchor, beams benevolently over all.
De Grendel, the family home of the De Villiers Graaff family is also the home of some superb wines and the site of an excellent restaurant. Driving up to the tasting room one passes horses grazing tranquilly in the fields, and there is the feeling of being in another world, far from every day cares.
Wine legend Charles Hopkins has long been the force driving the superb wines that come from here. The Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc, with a touch of oak to add to its flavours is a knockout, while the unwooded version holds its own at a more manageable price.
The MCC from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is classically dry while the superb Merlot proves they are dab hands at reds as well. The Winifred is a superb white blend with Chardonnay, Viognier, and Semillon playing their part in this classic with delicious almond flavours from the oak.
The Op Die Berg Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay use grapes from the estate’s Ceres Plateau vineyards and are truly magnificent examples of the winemakers’ art. The range is not so large that one feels overwhelmed by it and there is something to please most tastes and pockets.
The staff is charming and helpful and will guide you through it all so get yourself there and experience it for yourself.
Phone 021 558 6280