In Their Words
Signal Gun History & Location
Hooggelegen Farm, home of Signal Gun Wines, has been in the De Wit family for over six generations. One of the oldest family-owned wine farms in the Durbanville area, it’s located approximately 30 mins from Cape Town’s city centre.
The farm is so named as the Dutch East India Company (VOC) installed more than 50 cannons on hills and mountains around the region, which could call the Burgher Militia when necessary to defend the Cape. We still have the original Signal Gun on our farm and use this cannon and a few others that are still in good working order, to fire shots on joyous occasions.
Signal Gun is a historic family-friendly food and wine destination, boasting a restaurant with outstanding views, a tasting room and lawn, plus Durbanville’s only craft beer brewery.
Signal Gun Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open daily, 10am-5pm.
Restaurant: open daily 9am-10pm (except Sundays when we close at 6pm).
Signal Gun Wine Safari: available Sat & Sun only (min 4, pre-booking essential).
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.
Signal Gun Wine Tasting
What started as a hobby for M.J. in 2006, gradually grew into an award-winning wine range, which produces just 6,500 cases of top quality, handcrafted wine a year.
In 2013, the building which was once used as a cattle barn/milk stable was converted into a tasting venue called Die Stal. Here you can taste the full range of our wines including our award-winning Gun Smoke Merlot, as well as our Hoogeberg craft beer range, plus our beer and biltong pairings. Cheese platters are also available.
Wine Tasting Prices
Signal Gun’s Premium Tasting (R80pp) includes 6 red and white wines, whilst the De Wit Family Reserve Tasting (R100pp) includes 5 varietals including MCC (bubbles), the award-winning Gun Smoke Merlot, Sauvignon Reserve and your choice of 2 premium wines.
We also offer a 4 Beers Tasting (R50pp) or a 4 Beers with Biltong (R100pp). As food pairings options can and do change, please check the Signal Gun website for the latest information: www.signalgun.com/restaurant/tasting-room/.
Signal Gun Restaurants
Our relaxed and informal restaurant is surrounded by vineyards, with a focus on eating great food and enjoying our selection of superb wines from the Durbanville Wine Valley, which are sure to satisfy all tastes.
Menus & Pricing
Signal Gun Restaurant’s large menu includes breakfast staples such as waffles and French toast, with hearty country fare including pizzas, burgers, steaks, wraps and salads featuring heavily for lunch and dinner. Prices start from around R120 for a main meal and a childrens’ menu is also available.
Signal Gun Tours & Activities
The farm offers a 90 min scenic Signal Gun Wine Safari which meanders through the vineyards up through Hoogeberg’s Game Camp, where visitors may be able to see Eland, Springbuck, Zebra, Ostrich as well as a variety of birds including hawks and fish eagles. Learn about the farm’s history and enjoy magnificent views! Tours operate on Saturdays at 11am and 2pm, Sundays at 11am. Prices from R175pp including a glass of wine (minimum 4 people, must be booked in advance).
The farm also fires their 300 year old cannon on the first Saturday of each month, at 1pm (including public holidays).
When Lucy Visited
I’ve visited Signal Gun a few times and I love its sunny beer garden vibe, where you wile away the hours with friends and family over a bottle of wine, tasty pizza and great views. Summertime vibes all round!
Another relative newcomer in terms of Durbanville wine production, award-winning Signal Gun started making wines less than 20 years ago and they now only produce just over 6000 cases a year. Although this is ‘boutique’ in terms of wine making, the style of the farm is anything but: it’s a bustling yet tranquil place, ideal for groups and family catch ups. Plus they are the only craft brewery in Durbanville!
So why make the trip out to Signal Gun?
It’s an easy drive from the city and the star of the show (for me) is undoubtedly the glorious view from the farm’s casual restaurant. More than 50% of the tables are outside and from its elevated position you have a wonderful vista of rolling farmlands and vineyards, towards the distant mountains of Stellenbosch. On a clear day this really is one of the best views I’ve enjoyed in Durbanville.
The restaurant menu is huge and unfussy (think pizzas, burgers, tacos etc) but whilst it always feels busy, the staff seem in control and there is always a nice vibe. Last time I was here on a public holiday they also had a live singer (who was excellent) adding to the atmosphere. At the time of writing you can’t pre-book the restaurant, so I would suggest arriving as early as possible to get a good seat. Alternatively on cold days or in winter, there are plenty of seats inside but you don’t get those same views unfortunatelyI.
The second main draw for me is its family-friendliness. The grounds are really green and peaceful, with water features and nooks and crannies to explore – plus there is a decent sized jungle gym area which my two step sons loved. You do have to leave your table to watch over your kids on the equipment, but they were happy for a good two hours, running around making new friends.
What About The Rest Of The Farm?
The wine tasting area sits separately from the restaurant, with the main tasting room being the old cattle barn/milk stable. Inside is quite small with just a couple of tables, so most visitors tend to sit outside in the sprawling tasting garden, which is a relatively enclosed with plenty of seating for groups under swaying willow trees. Very pleasant, but obviously weather-dependant and as it sits lower on the farm you don’t get those same jaw dropping panoramic views across the horizon. I’d recommend combining both lunch in the more elevated restaurant with a visit to the tasting area if possible, so you get the best of both worlds.
Around the grounds you can also find a number of old cannons, which the kids loved. Most are not operational however they do fire them once a month and occasionally for events. I also spotted their safari vehicle for farm tours, which looked in excellent condition however I haven’t had the opportunity to join one as yet.
What About Signal Gun’s Wines?
The farm produces a few varietals and so offer a range of tastings and 2 food pairing options to try. I took the 5 wine De Wit Reserve Tasting (R100) and my husband tried the 3 Beers & Biltong (R100).
My tasting included a bubbly Cap Classique, the flagship Sea Smoke Sauvignon Blanc, award-winning Gun Smoke Merlot and two others of my choice (I chose Shiraz and Pinotage). I really love their tropical Sauvignon Blanc, so fresh and crisp and it’s my ‘go to’ whenever I visit. The Gun Smoke Merlot was fruity, juicy and smooth however the other more full bodied reds probably needed a bit more aeration or ageing.
But as I’ve come to realising on this wine tasting adventure, it’s actually quite hard tasting full bodied reds in any Tasting Room, as often they’re meant for years of ageing first and certainly taste very different two or three days after opening (which is the average length of time I pre open now, as for full bodied tannic reds it makes them so much more mellow). So I can’t be too negative about Signal Gun’s reds. My husband enjoyed his Weiss beer and which is a nice touch to offer something different. Service was friendly and prompt.
For families and groups of friends, Signal Gun is a no brainer. Crowd pleasing food and decent wines in a tranquil yet vibey setting, with gorgeous views on a clear day. My advice is bring the kids, let them go crazy on the lawns while you enjoy an early tasting, then head up to the restaurant to get pizza and the best views in the house!
At the time of writing, you can’t pre book the restaurant and I’ve noticed lots of people arriving at 12, so it gets packed around this time. Make a plan to arrive at 11.45 instead and not only will you beat the crowds every single time but you’ll also get the best pick of the seats! Also, visit on the 1st Saturday of the month and you can also experience their historic cannon being fired at 1pm.