Wine farm focus: De Grendel
I often thought that we needed to drive far away to the winelands to find a gem. To find a wine farm rich in history with good quality wine, I thought would be a difficult task since we were visiting a farm in the city but boy was I wrong.
Just a 15 minute drive away from our warehouse in Montague Gardens lies De Grendel, part of the Durbanville wine region. As I mentioned, I have always felt that I needed to drive out to experience a wine farm, so it’s slightly embarrassing that I had never visited De Grendel before as it's right on our doorstep. It. Is. Beautiful. If you’re looking for history coupled with a beautiful view, this farm doesn’t fall short. Great quality wine is obviously on the menu. The winery achieved four Platter’s 5 star ratings. These ratings make them one of thirteen wineries to achieve this. An additional 8 wines that are part of the De Grendel range received between 92 and 94 points, earning them all 4.5 stars.
We got to hear about the history of the farm while taken on a tour of the land by Douglas. The tour is R225 per person. I suggest booking in advance to avoid disappointment. As we pulled away to start the tour we were greeted by a few springboks in the road. 880 hectares in size, this farm is home to eland, red hartebeest, bontebok, cattle, sheep, fish eagles, blue crane and so much more.
Douglas has a wealth of knowledge, not only about the family and its history but also about the South African political, social and business landscape. He recalls dates and events as if it happened just yesterday. I would absolutely butcher all the details if I tried to recall everything I was told. Read up on the family history and their influence in South Africa, specifically Cape Town, here.
We did the flagship tasting which is R130 per person. It consists of the Cap Classique Brut, Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc, Op Die Berg Chardonnay, Op Die Berg Pinot Noir, Amandelboord Pinotage and Rubaiyat. The tasting room boasts beautiful views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.
Cap Classique Brut
My favourite part about tastings is starting with some bubbly. Zesty, fresh citrusy flavours with a fine mousse.
Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc (4.5 stars)
The wine is a blend of 91% Sauvignon Blanc sourced from high quality vineyards in Darling together with Semillon from De Grendel vineyards. There are hints of dried fruit on the nose with green pepper and asparagus on the palate.
Op Die Berg Chardonnay (4.5 stars)
This chardonnay has a fruitier focus on the palate with citrus, marmalade, spice, butterscotch and vanilla. The oak is light, not harsh at all.
Op Die Berg Pinot Noir (4.5 stars)
Beautiful deep red in colour. The tannins in the wine are not too harsh. Flavours of cherry and strawberry jam fill the palate.
Amandelboord Pinotage (4.5 stars)
Beautifully balanced. This is a great expression of the South African cultivar. Sweet and spicy plum, blackberries and liquorice fill the palate. The wine is aged in a combination of French and American Oak with 12% being new oak.
Shiraz (4.5 stars)
Aged in 80% French and 20% American oak. The smokey flavour in the wine comes from the American oak. Hints of white pepper and fynbos. Fruitier flavours come forward with a soft and seamless finish.
Rubaiyat (5 stars)
This classic Bordeaux style blend is De Grendel’s flagship wine. While touring the farm Douglas told us an interesting fact about the Rubaiyat. The late Sir David loved Omar Khayyam’s collection of love poems. Each vintage features a different quatrain from the poem on the label. Dark berry flavours. The tannins are fine. The wine has a lengthy finish.
We were treated to the Proposal Hill Cap Classique Brut Rosé (4.5 stars) after our tasting. This cap classique is made of 100% Pinot Noir grapes. Slightly drier than I would prefer, however the mousse is fine with lovely flavours of strawberry and black cherry.
For this month only, get up to 15% off on all De Grendel wines. To see the full range shop here.