Meet the New Wildlife at De Grendel

De Grendel has some beautiful new animals joining the estate's family of wildlife. Many species of buck used to roam free on the slopes of the Tygerberg Hills. Now De Grendel is reintroducing them with the arrival of Eland, Bontebok, and soon Red Hartebeest.

Eland are peaceful herbivores that populate the grasslands of Africa. These distant cousins of antelopes once reached the verge of extinction because of excessive hunting for their meat. Fortunately, their numbers have increased significantly since they were announced a protected species. 

Bontebok are also antelope, and were also once extensively killed as pests, reduced to a wild population of just 17 animals. Thankfully the species has since recovered too. 

De Grendel Wines Eland

Rob Slater, the stud manager at De Grendel, is in charge of looking after all the cattle on the farm, which has come to include these wonderful additions. He shares with us their experience on the farm.  

Where are the new animals from?

The Eland are from Villiera Wine farm near Stellenbosch. The Springbok belong to our cellarmaster, Charles Hopkins - they are not indigenous to the area and are only here temporarily. We also have seven Bontebok and we are expecting one of them to lamb in the next two weeks.

How old are they, and what are their genders?

We have one big bull Eland and two young bulls, one big cow and two young Eland cows. We are still waiting for the delivery of the others, and then there will be a total of 15 Eland on the farm.

De Grendel Wines Eland Wildlife

Why did the new buck come to De Grendel?

Sir De Villiers Graaff is looking at reintroducing indigenous game to the Tygerberg Hill and slopes that form part of De Grendel. We are also getting seven Red Hartebeest and another 10 or so Bontebok in the near future.

How are they settling in and fitting in with the other animals?

The big Eland bull is patrolling the boundary fence a lot, which he will get used to hopefully. Otherwise all seems settled and happy. Eland are quite peaceful.

How do you tend to them?  

Their water trough gets checked daily, they get counted regularly and their coats are checked from afar with binoculars for any changes that could relate to parasites or nutritional problems.

What were the biggest challenges getting them to De Grendel?

The time it took to get through all of the red tape! But we wanted to do it properly and legally, so our patience was eventually rewarded.

What are the biggest challenges facing them now?

They have to get used to all of the different noises from the city, which includes aircraft flying over us all the time. Plus they have to get used to the new fencing, the boundaries and the new habitat.

What is in store for them in the future?

The possibility of roaming almost the entire Southern slope of the Tygerberg Hill when phase two of the game section happens, which is the aim.

September 30, 2016 by De Grendel

Splashing into Spring with Season of Sauvignon

De Grendel signals the start of the spring season with a month full of white wine celebrations. As a part of the Durbanville Wine Valley’s seasonal festival, which matches jubilance with elegance, Season of Sauvignon is the best way to indulge in spring and celebrate the magic of wine.

De Grendel Wines Durbanville Wine Valley Season of Sauvignon

De Grendel’s signature wines are making their appearance in a myriad of merry ways, from special wine tastings, to workshops with guest speakers, and extravagant lunches with wine pairings.

Just 15 minutes away from Cape Town, the festival is the perfect time for family and friends to gather and enjoy live music, scrumptious food and good vibes. Plus, there’s no better way to enjoy the natural beauty of our country than to stretch your legs over our 220 hectares of fynbos slopes with a glass of the region’s De Grendel MCC Brut.

Here’s what’s on:

1 – 31 October

De Grendel Wines Sauvignon Blanc Promotion

For the whole month, De Grendel is spoiling you with a delicious Sauvignon Blanc Promotion. If you buy 5 wines, you get 1 free. You can explore this in the Tasting Lounge and Stoep, De Grendel Restaurant, or you can purchase them online at www.degrendel.co.za.

1 October

Taste all of the Durbanville Wine Valley's Sauvignon Blancs at one place. Space is limited to 20 people for each session (10am and 3pm) at R50 per person, so get your ticket now! 

To book email anzelle@degrendel.co.za

22 October

Former editor of ELLE Magazine South Africa, editor-at-large and salonniere behind pioneering business concept Salon 58 will be hosting a summer style conversation at De Grendel Restaurant, and YOU'RE invited.

De Grendel Wines Season of Sauvignon Event with Jackie Burger

Jackie will be sharing her expertise about how to build a wardrobe that is easy to wear and that is classic but modern, what to expect from summer fashion and more – this is an event NOT to be missed. 

The event wills a three-course Sauvignon Blanc inspired lunch with wine pairing.

 TIME:

10:30 Welcome drinks and canapés

11:00 Fashion workshop with Jackie Burger

12:30 Lunch

BOOKINGS:

All bookings must be sent to anzelle@degrendel.co.za

COST:

R650 per person (early bird tickets)

R750 per person from 10 October 2016

 

29 + 30 October

The Season of Sauvignon Festival will be celebrated at De Grendel over these two days. One of the special events will see Charles Hopkins, De Grendel cellarmaster, hosting a Sauvignon Blanc workshop in the cellar, with limited space for 40 bookings and only open for De Grendel Loyalty Club members. (To book email anzelle@degrendel.co.za).            

De Grendel Restaurant will also be serving a Sauvignon Blanc inspired menu for lunch and dinner this weekend, at R450p.h, with wine included. To book email restaurant@degrendel.co.za.

The new-look Tasting Lounge and Stoep will be serving pizza, Sauvignon Blanc Slushies (and a few other delectable surprises), and Ice Cream Ninja for the kids. There will be live acoustic music in the background to create the perfect springtime pizzazz.

To view or download the full Durbanville Wine Valley Season of Sauvignon programme, click here.

September 30, 2016 by De Grendel

De Grendel Brings Home Three Big Wins in the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards

With the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards celebrating its 20th anniversary, it was a truly proud occasion for De Grendel to win three awards. De Grendel Shiraz 2015 won Platinum, De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2015 won Gold, and De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc 2016 won Silver.

De Grendel Wines Michelangelo Awards 2016 Winners
The De Grendel Shiraz 2015, which will be released in October 2016, was awarded Michelangelo Platinum. De Grendel cellarmaster Charles Hopkins predicted the 2015 red wines would be particularly special, thanks to various factors, including challenging conditions such as the low rainfall. “The clusters and berries were smaller, which is definitely a plus for red wine colour and quality,” he says.

“Particularly dry and windy climactic conditions during flowering culminated in a 15% reduction in crop size throughout the Coastal Region. This reduction in cluster volume, coupled with cooler weather towards ripening, produced berries with a superior concentration of fruit flavours and increased colour intensity in the red varietals. Additionally, the smaller clusters facilitated a harvest that was earlier by up to 15 days. In conclusion, the vintage of 2015 has the potential to rival the finest vintages in recent years,” he continues.

“The team at De Grendel are particularly proud of the Gold awarded to De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2015,” says Sir De Villiers Graaff. “This is a very competitive category.” The De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay’s vineyards are situated on top of the Witzenberg Mountain in Ceres. Grapes are all hand-picked and brought to De Grendel in an immaculate condition due to the cool ripening temperatures resulting in a well-balanced, medium bodied Chardonnay.

The De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc 2016 also won a silver medal at the awards.

All wines are judged blind according to the international 100-point system and awarded Platinum, Grand’Or, Gold and Silver medals.

September 28, 2016 by De Grendel
Tags: De Grendel

The “Grande Dame” of De Grendel is Back!

De Grendel Winifred
We chatted to Sally Lady Graaff, whose first name is Winifred, the inspiration behind the wine. The Winifred, a white blend of 45% Semillon, 45% Viognier and 10% Chardonnay, made by De Grendel cellarmaster Charles Hopkins, was named after Lady Graaff, the wife of Sir David Graaff, 3rd Baronet.
The name idea was hatched up between Hopkins and Sir David Graaff in 2005/6 and was launched when the De Grendel cellar officially opened. Lady Graaff explains that her father-in-law would always consider Sir David’s suggestions to name the De Grendel calves after his girlfriends. This means that there is not only a wine named after Lady Graaff, but of course a cow too. 
Sally Lady Graaff enjoying a family lunch at her home on De Grendel called Tarentaalbos.

Lady Graaff remembers her reaction to hearing the news about the naming of the wine: “It was a great surprise. Initially I didn’t take it seriously; then I realised it was a very nice gesture. It was an easy acceptance in the end because both my mother and my grandmother are named Winifred, so I just think of it as being named after them.” 
It must be a delightful compliment to have a good wine named after you, and Lady Graaff doesn’t deny it. It is after all, objectively speaking she asserts, her favourite wine by far.  “The Winifred,” she explains, “is a good mixture; it’s well-rounded and it's not too complex."

Sir De Villiers Graaff (4th baronet), says the wine holds a special place in his heart. “It reminds me of my grandmother who had the same name, and whom I was particularly fond of,” he says, commenting that the blend of three varietals makes it a very versatile wine.  


Sir David Graaff (3rd Baronet), Sally Lady Graaff & Sir De Villiers Graaff (4th Baronet) at the opening of the De Grendel Wines cellar in 2006.
The Winifred was originally launched in 2006 along with the opening of the De Grendel Wines cellar. The wine is produced in limited quantities and is available exclusively to the De Grendel Loyalty Club.

“The Viognier, Semillon and Chardonnay are all wooded, but the wood plays a supportive rather than dominant role. It’s an unusual blend, making this a unique wine. The Viognier gives it a peachiness with great viscosity in the mouth, the Chardonnay adds some grapefruit and the Semillon provides lemongrass and waxiness. Each sip you take reveals new flavours, and this is a sign of a special wine,” says Charles Hopkins, Cellar Master.
​

De Grendel Winifred

De Grendel Wines Winifred

Please note that the De Grendel Winifred is ONLY available to De Grendel Loyalty Club members.

Available at R125 per bottle.

BUY NOW

Remember to log into your account before you start shopping to make sure you are able to see the product.

September 21, 2016 by De Grendel

De Grendel Receives 5 Awards at the Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year Competition

De Grendel's farm workers are the reason we are able to do what we do – produce award-winning wines year after year. Which is why we are supremely proud that the Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year competition, sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and Shoprite, acknowledged this with five awards this year. 

De Grendel Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year Competition

De Grendel staff took three first place positions in this year's awards, out of five different categories, making us the best performing farm! The competition begins at a regional level (with De Grendel entering the categories for Durbanville), with the first place winners progressing to the provincial finals. 

An extra special mention for Joseph Phiri who was the overall winner of all the categories combined.

The winners from De Grendel are as follows:

Category Position Winner
General Worker 1 Avrill September
Technical Operator 1 Norman Katelo (Cellar worker)
Foreman 1 Joseph Phiri (Overall winner)
2 Katrina September
Best Performing Farm 1 De Grendel

Tasting Room Renovations

UPDATE: WE HAVE EXTENDED OUR CLOSING TIME TO THE 1ST OF OCTOBER.

The De Grendel Tasting Stoep will be closed from the 12th of September to the 26th of September.

De Grendel Tasting Room Renovations

The Tasting Lounge will still be open as normal for wine tasting only from 9am - 5pm, Mon - Sat, and 10am - 4pm on Sundays.

We have some very exciting changes coming to the tasting stoep, as well as changes to our offerings. Please note that upon reopening the stoep will no longer close at 7pm, Monday to Saturday. The new closing time will be 5pm. Should you have any questions, please send them to tastingroom@degrendel.co.za 

September 09, 2016 by De Grendel

De Grendel Scoops 8 Awards at the International Wine & Spirit Competition

De Grendel’s flagship wine, the De Grendel Rubaiyat 2014, has received a gold award at the International Wine & Spirit Awards 2016. Now in its 47th year, entries for the International Wine & Spirit Competition are received from nearly 90 countries. The De Grendel Rubaiyat 2013 was also awarded gold at the International Wine & Spirit Awards in 2015.
De Grendel Rubaiyat International Wine and Spirit Competition Gold Award

“We are extremely proud of this award,” says De Grendel cellar master Charles Hopkins. “It holds a special place in my heart as we first produced it 10 years ago when I was tasked by Sir David Graaff to make an icon for the estate.”

A classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot, the De Grendel Rubaiyat was named after the classic collection of 1000 Persian love poems from the 10th century, written by Omar Khayyam, held dear by the late Sir David. Each vintage boasts a different quatrain from the poem on the label.

The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are situated in the Firgrove area, about 6km from False Bay. The extremely small and concentrated berries are blended with Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot are from De Grendel. This special wine has layers of red and black berries, violets, fine dark chocolate, roasted nuts, Christmas cake and vanilla and is matured in new French oak giving it a smooth rounded texture with dark ruby core and garnet edges.


The De Grendel Rubaiyat will be available for purchase at De Grendel Restaurant and Tasting Room and online at www.degrendel.co.za in October 2016.

A list of all the prize-winning De Grendel wines at the 2016 awards:

 De Grendel Rubaiyat 2014 Gold
De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Silver Outstanding
De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2015 Silver
De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2013 Silver
De Grendel Merlot 2013 Silver
De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Silver
De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvigon Blanc 2015 Silver
De Grendel Shiraz 2014 Silver

September 07, 2016 by De Grendel

What’s On Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp’s Plate?

She’s a Durbanville local, a winemaker, loves food, and is a frequent visitor at De Grendel. What better reasons to have a chat with one of our favourite South Africans?

 

  

DG: Would you consider yourself to be a foodie?

EAB: I enjoy food, so much so that I have chef friends and associates that either cook, recommend, or even select food for me before I even get to make a choice around food! So, I don’t think I’m a foodie.  I think I love food and that I am just damn lucky!

Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp De Grendel Wines

DG: What’s your favourite dish to cook?

EAB: I can make a mean curry, Cape Malay style, and I make the best omelettes, with fresh greens, feta and thickly-cut peppers. Christmas is also my favourite time to cook. You don’t want to miss out on my honey glazed turkey!

DG: You are based in Cape Town now. Tell us about your move here, and what you’re up to these days work wise.

EAB: I am from Cape Town, and work in Jo'burg and other cities at least three times a month. Believe it or not, it’s not my family that got me to come and live in Cape Town again permanently four years ago, it was my love for golf, wine, and I was headhunted by a radio station to head their midday time channel. These days I am a full time mom, digital presenter, I work on television and I MC for the private sector and government.

DG: Tell us about your own wine? How and why did you decide to get into winemaking?

EAB: Winemaking was a dream. And a dream job. It’s probably the hardest job I have ever undertaken. I did it because I have always wanted to make wine. Would I do it again? Remind me about the difficult process and I might say no, but when I think of how rewarding it was, I would say yes!

DG: What’s the most fun part about winemaking, and what’s the most challenging?

EAB: Fun? Seeing all the hard work come together. Bottling was the most fun and seeing my name and a Michelangelo gold sticker on the finished product. 

DG: How did you feel about winning a prize for your Shiraz?

EAB: I thought "finally I am a winner and not just a finalist!"  I love winning, so I loved every moment. This is the one prize I didn’t think I would win. I feel honoured and I am so grateful!

DG: What’s your favourite thing to eat at the De Grendel Restaurant?

EAB: Choose the scallops starter or risotto; I could eat it for lunch, breakfast and dinner!

Follow Elana on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram here, here and here.

September 01, 2016 by De Grendel

4 Intimate Photographs from the De Grendel Family Album

September is not only the start of spring and the time we get to see our vines begin to produce the grapes for next year’s vintages; it’s also the month in which South Africa celebrates Heritage Day. With over 296 years of history, De Grendel has much to reflect on. To get into the spirit of Heritage Day, we asked Sir De Villiers Graaff to take a trip down memory lane and recall memories from the private family album of the family.

De Grendel Wines Family Photos

“This picture of De Villiers (Sir De Villiers Graaff, 2nd Baronet) and a friend was taken in Muizenberg in about 1918 at the end of the First World War. The railway station had opened in 1913 and it was a popular spot for the family to visit. Records show that they may have even seen the early surfing community playing in the waves on planks of wood!”

De Grendel Historical Family Photos

“De Villiers was a spirited young boy by all accounts. Here he is seen posing in 1916 at the Main House on De Grendel in front of what was one of the first cars in Cape Town with his mother Eileen, Lady Graaff and little brother Dawie Graaff.”

De Grendel Historical Family Photos

“Div (Sir De Villiers Graaff, 2nd baronet) with his youngest brother Dawie. I love this 1915 photo of him riding a goat alongside his nanny. We have a long history of goats at De Grendel and you can still see them on the farm today.”

De Grendel Historical Family Photos

“A sprightly 15-year-old  (Sir De Villiers Graaff, 2nd baronet, known as Div) with his father Sir David Pieter De Villiers Graaff (1st baronet) who was 67 at the time. Sir David married late in life – in fact the family thought he would remain a bachelor but he surprised everyone by marrying Eileen van Heerden, who became Lady Graaff. This photo is from 1925. Div is proudly wearing his Western Province Prep School uniform on what appears to be a glorious summer’s day in the garden in the Main House.”

 

September 01, 2016 by De Grendel

5 Things You Didn't Know about Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is juicy, delicious and is great with cheese, but what other secrets does this favourite red wine harbour? 

#1 Ceres is the perfect place to grow it 

The "Op Die Berg" (on top of the mountain) in the name of De Grendel's Op Die Berg Pinot Noir refers to the continental growing conditions in the unique Witzenberg in Ceres,  950m above sea level, where we source our grapes for this wine from. Sculpted by the cool growing conditions, the slow ripening fruit produces wines of consistently distinctive character and expressive style. This results in a Pinot Noir that has a light, bright red ruby hue and the nose is filled with luscious red cherry, blackberry and pine needle notes that carry through on the palate, balanced with a well-structured freshness.

#2 The French Call It Red Burgundy

We know they're pretty precious about their wine regions, and what they call their grapes, but truly this must have been designed to confuse us all! Indeed Pinot Noir was born in the Burgundy region of France, but unless they're grown in this region they have to be referred to as Pinot Noir. The name means 'pine black' because of the pine shape a bunch makes on the vine and the dark colour of the berries. 

De Grendel Wines Pinot Noir

#3 It's Cousins with Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a natural crossing of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc (a near extinct variety). Like its famous relative, its used to make Champagne. Grapes used for Champagne must usually be the white Chardonnay, but the dark-skinned Pinot Noir is given a gentle pressing without skin contact during fermentation, which yields a white base wine.

#4 It Made South Africa Famous

True story. This is because it gave birth to a unique South African variety, Pinotage. Pinotage is a blend of Pinot Noir and Cinsault and began its life in the lab of Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University Abraham Isak Perold, who developed it in 1925, in the hope of developing a grape that was stable and easy to grow.

#5 It's The Ultimate Food-Loving Wine

A Pinot Noir is the ultimate food-loving, and versatile wine, known to be drinkable with most dishes. We love it with pasta, duck and other game birds, casseroles or, of course, stews like beef bourguignon. Also, be sure to try it at the De Grendel Restaurant paired with our pork belly!

BUY DE GRENDEL OP DIE BERG PINOT NOIR

August 04, 2016 by De Grendel
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