In Their Words
De Grendel History & Location
The De Grendel farm, which has been in the Graaff family for four generations, sits majestically on the fynbos-covered elevated slopes of the Tygerberg, with a picture-perfect panorama of Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town.
Boasting an incredible agricultural history dating back to the 1890s, De Grendel’s evolution into wine came in the year 2000 with the planting of new vines on the estate. The first vintages were sold in 2003 and De Grendel has since become firmly established as a key player in the South African wine industry, with several high-profile accolades to our name.
The farm boasts a state of the art winery, modern and inviting tasting room and an award-winning restaurant.
De Grendel Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open daily 9am-5pm, except Sun & Public Hols 10am-4pm (pre-booking essential).
Restaurant: open for lunch Thu to Sun 11.30am-2.30pm & dinner Wed to Sat 6pm-9.30pm.
Cellar Tour: currently suspended due to COVID, please refer to the website for latest updates.
1 Hour Farm Tour: available daily (24 hour pre-booking essential).
Farm Tour with Picnic: available Wed to Sun (24 hour pre-booking essential).
De Grendel are closed Good Friday, Xmas Day and New Years Day. All times, prices and facilities listed are subject to change. We recommend checking latest details directly with the farm and pre-booking experiences wherever possible, to avoid disappointment.
De Grendel Wine Tasting
The views of Table Mountain and Cape Town from the glass-encased veranda of the Tasting Lounge and outdoor veranda are possibly the most spectacular of any wine farm in the Cape. As you sip our award-winning wines, 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.
Wine Tasting Prices
De Grendel offers two tastings: a Premium option for R100 or Flagship for R120. Both include up to 6 pre-selected white, red or sparkling wines. Please note it is essential to pre-book wine tastings.
An optional Dalewood Wineland cheese platter is available for 2 at R150, plus a snack board consisting of nuts, crisps, and biltong costing R60.
De Grendel Restaurants
The Graaff family’s passion for winemaking extends to the philosophy we employ at our award-winning restaurant: the use of seasonal and locally sourced fresh produce, and a menu that is updated regularly, reflective of the unique culinary heritage of the Cape and created with complementary De Grendel wines in mind. The homely restaurant boasts large arched windows throughout, to take in sea breezes and views of the farm’s dam and magnificent Table Bay.
Menus & Pricing
We offer a set 2 or 3 course menu, based on classic ingredients served in creative flavour combinations with an inventive, modern edge. More recently the addition of a vegetable garden on the estate sees even more fresh produce on the plates at De Grendel Restaurant.
Staples include luxurious risottos, tender meats, classically prepared fish and a selection of desserts. An option for vegetarians option is also available. Prices at lunch and dinner start from R435pp for 2 courses and R475pp for 3 courses, excluding wine. Please note at dinner, De Grendel welcomes children over 10 years old only.
De Grendel Tours & Activities
Cellar Tours are unfortunately currently suspended due to COVID, however please do check the De Grendel website for the latest updates, as this could quickly change as restrictions are eased.
The 1 hour De Grendel Farm Tour introduces guests to Springbok, Eland, Red Hartebeest and Bontebok while entertaining guests with stories about the history of the farm and the Graaff family. These depart daily at 10am, 12pm or 2pm and cost R500 for 2 people. From Wed – Sun you can also choose to add a picnic to your tour, for a total cost of R900 for 2. Bookings are essential at least 24 hours in advance.
When Lucy Visited
Oh gorgeous De Grendel! Definitely up there as one of my favourites. Why? I promise, spend a few hours here with your better half sipping their award-winning wines, sampling hearty cuisine and soaking up that incredible view and you too will be charmed by this understated gem - which also has a fascinating tale to tell!
So what makes De Grendel stand out?
Firstly as I’ve mentioned in other Durbanville Wine Valley reviews, if you’re not from Cape Town you might not be too familiar with this area, despite its long wine growing history. These days, Durbanville and the Tygerberg are one of the most popular suburban areas to live north of the city, however with limited tourist attractions it doesn’t feature particularly heavily on the tourist trail. Don’t let that put you off however, as in my eyes, it’s a benefit! Discreetly tucked away up a private road away from the crowds, this huge farm is a little oasis of rolling hills, vines and meandering small game – which affords it a charming, rural feel.
If you’re taking the 25 min drive from the city – away from Table Mountain – it’s only when you park at the farm and turn around that you see that magnificent view down towards Table Bay. And boy is that view intoxicating! No other wine farm boasts such uninterrupted panoramic views of Table Mountain from its Tasting Lounge, so it was love at first sight (never mind the wine!).
But aside from its location, De Grendel is a heady mix of heritage, superb quality and intimacy. Although it has an extensive farming history, modern winemaking only began in the year 2000 – yet they have won a multitude of awards, for both their food and wine. Owned and operated by the Graaff family, that have elevated what is still a passionate family-run business into something really special.
So What About The Farm Itself?
Whilst located in a relatively suburban area, De Grendel covers nearly 330 hectares so you completely forget the outside world. Historically a dairy farm and breeding ground for Arab horses, they now grow vines and blueberries on a large scale, plus are home to a plethora of wildlife including sheep (they harvest Merino wool), cows (their bulls are prized), goats, Eland, Springbok, Red Harteebest and more. Really interesting farm tours are available which explore all its corners, including an overview of its varied history and fascinating Graaff family owners – see the Tours section for more information.
In spite of its origins dating from the 1890’s, as mentioned above, wine production at De Grendel only started in 2000. Highly respected winemaker Charles Hopkins was lured from rival Graham Beck to oversee the construction of a brand new cellar and tasting room here, and he continues to head up De Grendel’s winemaking. The airy and cheerful Tasting Lounge, richly styled Tasting Room and popular restaurant are all located in the main building at the top of the estate overlooking their dam. Look left as you walk in and you’ll spot the farm’s large cellar, which offers a glimpse into the size of the De Grendel operation.
Most wine tasting bookings tend to be allocated tables in the wine tasting lounge first. This bright and cosy space was recently refurbished and features comfy wicker chairs and (almost) floor to ceiling windows for everyone to enjoy those iconic Table Mountain views. If it’s a pleasant day you can also sit outside, overlooking the vines. They also have a second area with a couple of welcoming sofas and a fireplace and a separate Tasting Room & Bar, ideal for larger groups. They carefully control numbers so do ALWAYS pre-book!
What about the Wine Tasting?
De Grendel offers two tastings: their Premium (R100) or Flagship (R120). These usually include a mix of whites, reds, bubbly Cap Classique and dessert wine – with some vintages dating back several years. These are fine wines, served individually at a leisurely pace – and I love how staff take their time to explain each patiently, alongside little titbits of the farm’s 200+ year history.
They currently have 80 hectares under vine with some grapes supplemented from their farm Op de Berg (north of Ceres), plus Paarl, Stellenbosch and Elim (although they advised me they’re working towards increasing their own production and even making strides towards converting some to organic). Expect to pay upwards of R100 per bottle (average is more like R200) however once you taste the quality, you’ll hopefully also feel it’s a fair price.
Durbanville is renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc and certainly De Grendel’s affordable R100 offering is very quaffable, crisp and zesty – the winemaker Charles is very passionate about this varietal. That said, sourcing grapes from several regions means they can offer several varieties which are expressive of their terroir: I personally love their Chardonnay/Pinot Cap Classique Brut, Shiraz (from both Elim and now Op de Berg), plus their Viognier, unusual Winifred and stunning Noble Late Harvest dessert wine. You really can’t go wrong here whatever your preference and their passion for winemaking really shines though. If you’re feeling peckish, they serve a Dalewood cheese platter for 2 (R150), plus you can purchase additional nibbles such as nuts and biltong (R60).
What about the Restaurant?
Definitely recommended and great value for the quality on offer. I’ve visited a couple of times, both for lunch and dinner (once paying, once hosted) and here you can tuck into a refined 2 or 3 course set menu for under R500 per person, with many ingredients sourced from their organic vegetable patch. Considering the quality of food on offer – think classic, seasonal dishes such as tender lamb shoulder, delicate salmon, melt in your mouth citrus cheesecake – I think it’s excellent value and all courses can be paired with De Grendel wines.
Definitely a restaurant for grown ups and the views are wonderful. You can look across the pretty dam towards the silhouette of Table Mountain, or inside, peer into the cellar or through the glass towards the kitchen, abuzz with chefs.
What about the Tours?
Currently their Cellar Tours are postponed due to COVID, however when these are back on sale I would highly recommend experiencing one. Not only can you wine taste amongst the barrels but you get to meet the people behind the labels and see where all the magic happens! I enjoyed a tour with Morgan (the assistant winemaker) and he was so engaging and down to earth – nothing was a stupid question and I came away with so much more respect for what happens in the cellar.
Luckily you can still enjoy a little ‘behind the scenes’ experience during these testing times, in the form of De Grendel’s 1 hour safari–style Farm Tour. This operates daily, or if visiting between Wed and Sun you can also add a delicious picnic. As you traverse past vines and forest on the lookout for antelope and grazing wildlife, Douglas the guide will explain the incredible history of the prestigious Graaff family owners, a tale which interweaves through the Boer war, politics and the British Empire, with triumphant adventures in love, enterprise and innovation. The family do a heck of a lot in terms of social enterprise, ethical trading and the environment, and the farm is currently carbon negative and a member of many green initiatives. A fascinating hour.
Please note all tour times and days of operation vary, so contact De Grendel for the latest details and how to book.
De Grendel is a charming and professionally run tranquil farm, boasting unmatched Table Mountain views, wonderful wines and really personal service. I’d specifically recommend them for couples and small groups due to this peaceful setting, and wouldn’t particularly advocate bringing young children here, due to its elegant vibe and lack of family–focused facilities. A top fave!
You MUST pre-book so when you do, ask for a seat in the Tasting Lounge nearest the window if you can. Then you really can enjoy uninterrupted views of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.