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.
“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 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.”
“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.”
“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.”