In Their Words
Durbanville Hills History & Location
A mere 20 minutes’ drive from Cape Town’s city centre, the unique location of Durbanville Hills’ cellar offers not only a spectacular view of Table Mountain and Table Bay, but also an extraordinary terroir ideal for winemaking.
Wine has been made in the Durbanville area since the end of the 17th Century, but it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that Durbanville Hills was established. Seven local grape farmers – along with multinational beverage company Distell – joined forces to build our cellar as part of a joint venture to make their own wine. Since the first vintage in 1999, there are now nine member farms, all located near the cellar. Such is the heritage of the region that the youngest of these member farms, Klein Roosboom, was established in 1714!
In addition to a state of the art winery and wine tasting facilities, Durbanville Hills features a popular restaurant with idyllic views. We cater to families, couples, groups, weddings and corporate functions offering extraordinary wines and exceptional food.
Durbanville Hills Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open Mon 12pm-5pm, Tue to Sat 10am-5pm & Sun 11am-7pm (last rounds 1 hour prior).
Summer Sundown Sundays: every Sun (from 3 Oct 21 – 27 Mar 22), from 3pm-6pm. Bookings essential.
Collectors Reserve Tasting & Cellar Tour: available Mon to Fri (48 hours pre-booking required).
Cellar Tours: available Mon to Fri (24 hours pre-booking required).
Tangram Restaurant: open daily for breakfast 8.30am-11am, lunch 12pm-3pm & dinner Wed to Sat only, 6pm-9pm.
Olive Grove Bistro: as per Wine Tasting hours.
We are usually open on Public Holidays from 10am-5pm. 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.
Durbanville Hills Wine Tasting
Durbanville Hills produce a range of wines to suit all palates and tastes. The flagship Durbanville Hills range uses grapes carefully sourced from member farms, showing balanced and flavourful finesse which suits contemporary palates. The premium Collector’s Reserve range is specially crafted using only the finest grapes from Cape Town’s best vineyards. The Tangram range includes cultivars chosen from specially selected local vineyards in the Durbanville region, showcasing elegance and longevity. We also have Cellar Door exlusives and a Durbanville Hill Light wine range.
**LATEST WINE RANGE – CAPE PORTRAIT**
In celebrating the vibrancy of Cape Town, the Durbanville Hills winemaking team have created the Cape Portrait range of blended wines, encapsulating the unique sights, sounds and pulse of the city. A true taste of Cape Town in each bottle.
Our relaxed indoor and outdoor tasting areas are the perfect place to unwind. The tasting room’s décor is chic, inviting you to linger in the lounge area with its comfy seating and views of the cellar – or outside in our Olive Grove Bistro or beneath our olive trees. Our summer ‘Sundown Sundays’ are particularly popular with live music – bookings are recommended.
Wine Tasting Prices
We offer a Crystal Tasting including 5 wines from our Durbanville Hills, Collectors Reserve or Cellar Door exclusive wines, for R75pp. Alternatively you can pair a selection of 5 wines with 5 cheeses, 5 artisan chocolates or biltong/dried fruit – all 3 options are R105pp. Meat or cheese platters are also available, from R200 for 2.
If you’re visiting between Monday to Friday (12pm-3pm) and pre-book 48 hours in advance, we also offer a 2 hour Collectors Reserve Tasting Experience for R295pp. This includes tasting all 7 Collectors Reserve wines with food pairings, a private cellar tour and a bottle of Collectors Reserve to take home.
Durbanville Hills Restaurants
Durbanville Hill’s flagship restaurant Tangram is a light and contemporary space featuring a double volume ceiling, wood finishes, earthy tones and South African décor, plus a panoramic view of Table Mountain, Table Bay, the rolling hills and vineyards. The wooden deck is the perfect setting for sipping on a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc whilst the kids are entertained in the play-area.
The farm’s informal Olive Grove Bistro is a bright and airy café-style option, located next to the outdoor wine tasting area and kids’ jungle gym, at ground level.
Menus & Pricing
Tangram’s award-winning menu is simple, unpretentious yet sophisticated, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner on selected evenings. Look out for staples such as Bagel Benedicts at breakfast, plus grilled meats, lightly spiced fish, vegan delicacies and homemade ice cream at lunch or dinner. Main courses start from around R150pp.
The Olive Grove Bistro serves simple fare including fish and chips, sandwiches of the day, plus cheese and meat platters. Prices start from around R100pp.
Durbanville Hills Tours & Activities
The farm usually offers two Cellar Tours. The 90 minute general Cellar Tour is available Monday to Friday and includes the farm’s Crystal Wine Tasting for R100pp (bookings must be made 24 hours in advance).
Alternatively, a premium 2 hour Collectors Reserve Tasting Experience is also available Monday to Friday (12pm-3pm) including a private cellar tour, 7 Collectors Reserve Wines with food pairings and a bottle of wine to take home for R295pp (bookings must be made 48 hours in advance).
During the warmer summer months, Sundown Sundays takes place every Sunday between 3 Oct 21 – 27 Mar 22, from 3pm to 6pm. Expect top-class local entertainment, wine tastings with special stations for the Durbanville Hills Honeysuckle Demi-Sec Sparkling Wine and a beautiful sunset guaranteed. Bookings are essential, so reserve your spot by phone or email.
When Lucy Visited
Considering Durbanville Hills only opened in the 1990's, it’s incredible how successful it’s become! The farm boasts the 3rd largest cellar in South Africa and their size means you can expect a wide variety of affordable wines.
I’ve visited the farm 3 or 4 times over the years, and there is always a lovely mix of people. Cyclists, families, small groups, couples. You’d be as at home here having an intimate business meeting as you would joining friends for a catch up – and with a number of indoor and outdoor spaces, it’s also a good choice come summer or winter.
So why make the trip out to Durbanville Hills?
Firstly, if you’re not local to Cape Town, you may not be that familiar with Durbanville itself. Located around 25 mins north of the CBD, it’s a predominantly suburban and agricultural area, which historically doesn’t feature heavily on the international tourist trail as there are no big hotels here. That said, it’s an important wine growing area – especially for Sauvignon Blanc – and definitely one to explore.
If coming from town, you pass through quite a bit of urban sprawl to get here, however once you hit Durbanville’s wine valley, you’re met with undulating hills and vines sloping along the horizon. As most farms on the Durbanville Wine Route tend to face towards the mountains of Stellenbosch or back towards the sea and Table Mountain, it absolutely makes for a worthwhile trip for the view alone. But in addition to that, Durbanville Hills is a bit of a local institution, offering affordable wines and a lovely restaurant.
So What About The Farm Itself?
First thing to note is that although Durbanville Hills is surrounded by vineyards, they don’t actually have their own – grapes are sourced from several renowned local partners. Don’t let that put you off though as this flexibility, along with the enormous financial backing of giant Distell, allows them to produce HUGE quantities of crowd-pleasing wines every year – so you’re sure to find a wine which suits both your palette and wallet.
Durbanville Hills opened in the mid 1990’s and is a modern and purpose built wine farm. Whilst you won’t find Cape Dutch heritage buildings here, you will enjoy spectacular views down towards Table Bay, Robben Island and Table Mountain due to its hilltop position. Due to the angle of the farm, the best views are found from the upper level Tangram restaurant, which features huge double storey floor to ceiling glass windows and a large outdoor viewing area. Tangram is airy and contemporary, popular with the local crowd who like to meet for coffee, brekkie or an upmarket lunch/dinner with a stunning view.
Downstairs, located next to the indoor/outdoor wine tasting area, you also have the relaxed Olive Grove Bistro, designed to serve simple meals and snacks to the wine tasting crowd (think charcuterie platters, fish and chips etc). As it’s also located next to the small kids’ jungle gym, it’s most popular with families as you can watch the kids whilst you eat.
In terms of wine tasting, Durbanville Hills splits their tasting areas into two spaces: indoor and outdoor. The spacious indoor tasting area features a simple bar with views out towards Robben Island on a clear day – and a contemporary lounge with curved stone walls offers glimpses into their cellar. Outside, they have a lovely set up with tables under their swaying olive trees. You do have to stand and walk to the edge of this outdoor area to really enjoy the views, however in all honesty in the warmer months, it’s very pleasant sitting under the trees with a gentle breeze and ample shade.
So What's The Restaurant Like?
Open daily for breakfast and lunch and then dinner from Wed to Sat, Tangram is an ideal spot for groups of all sizes looking for a bright and airy indoor space to catch up, with really friendly service. Ask for a table near the window for (potential!) views of Table Mountain.
The relatively small bistro-style menu is enticing and changes seasonally – they use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible and it was nice watching the chefs snip herbs from the pots in front of the restaurant. I was hosted for my lunch but noted starters were around R100 and mains R200. This is more on the pricier side for a wine farm but the quality is a step up for sure, with decent portion sizes, tastes and textures. I was impressed with their colourful presentation and unusual takes on local dishes – such as eggplant shaped ‘bacon’ with a hazelnut and chickpea salad. A huge bonus is that wine is sold at cellar door prices, so we shared a bottle of their premium Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, which can only be bought on the farm, for just R120. That’s amazing for a quality restaurant and keeps the bill low.
So What About The Wine Tasting?
As mentioned, Durbanville Hills produce a wide variety of affordable wines and this value for money and variety extends to their tasting options too. Well organised and efficient, you can tell they’ve spent time thinking about the visitor experience.
Most of their famous commercial wines fall into the Durbanville Hills range but they also have several Reserve wines and now the fun and funky Cape Portrait blend range, reflecting the diversity of Cape Town’s heritage and landscapes. If you prefer a more leisurely wine tasting, I’d recommend the Crystal Tasting. 5 wines are included and these are usually poured in pairs, with the final wine being poured on its own. I personally prefer this as it gives you the chance to get to know your host, ask a few questions and actually take in what they’re telling you (plus your wines don’t get cold/warm sitting there waiting).
They’re renowned for their Sauvignon Blanc, but Durbanville Hills also produce quality reds, whites, bubbly Cap Classique and dessert wines too – and they present food pairings which complement these options. Chocolate, cheese and biltong pairings are pretty run of the mill but are popular for a reason – I had the R105 cheese pairing and felt the cheeses paired really well with my 5 wines, nicely bringing out their flavour profiles… and I absolutely adored their apricot Cape Honey Bee dessert wine with blue cheese! Note wines served with the food pairings are usually all brought out and explained together, on a pretty platter.
Service is friendly but efficient, and this is mostly down to their popularity – they’re heavily supported by locals who often come for a glass or bottle to enjoy the lovely vibe and views. So if you’re a real oenophile and want something a little more serious, read on – if not, don’t miss their newest wine range: the fun and vibrant Capr Portrait
Tours & Other Activities
The farm offers two main tours: a Cellar Tour including the Crystal Tasting (R100), or the 2 hour Collectors Reserve Tasting Experience, with all seven Collectors Reserve wines and a complimentary bottle included (R295). Both must be pre-booked. I’ve had the chance to look at their cellar and couldn’t believe the size of it! Towering 60,000 litre tanks and these just have to be seen to be believed. Durbanville Hills is really an incredible operation and worth a behind the scenes look.
Other experiences include their summer ‘Sundown Sundays’ with live music under the olive trees – a very popular weekend hotspot so pre-book if you can. I’ve not made it here yet on a Sunday but I can imagine it’s great fun with plenty of wine and good vibes flowing.
A good all-round option for couples, families, cyclists and groups who are looking for a well-run, friendly and modern wine farm with lovely city and vineyard views, plus good food and affordable wine. Why would I go back? For that insanely good Cape Honey Bee Dessert Wine!
Even if you don’t eat at Tangram, make sure you venture upstairs to the restaurant’s adjacent balcony for some amazing Instagram-worthy views of the Mother City in all her glory!