A Look Back at 2022
Dear Friends of De Grendel
It is hard to believe that Christmas is already upon us, but as we slow down to take a well-deserved break and to spend time with our loved ones, we reflect on what was an eventful and successful 2022 at De Grendel.
VIEWS by De Grendel
One of the biggest highlights of the year was the opening of VIEWS by De Grendel, the new wine lounge located on the top of Table Mountain. Offering top-speed Wi-Fi and a full-on wine tasting experience, it allows guests the opportunity to experience the most unique panoramic views of the Mother City from its balconies.
This collaboration with Table Mountain was a natural fit for us. Our De Grendel Cellar sits majestically on fynbos-covered slopes with a picture-perfect view of Table Mountain, while the location of VIEWS offers world-class view vistas of De Grendel on a clear day. What better place to enjoy all these wonderful experiences than from the top of one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Nature’?
De Grendel Restaurant
Earlier this year, the country’s favourite dining destinations were identified by the ratings of more than 200 000 customers in the 2022 Reviewers’ Choice Award by restaurant reservations platform Dineplan. Delighted diners placed De Grendel Restaurant in the top 20 of over 1,000 restaurants across the country, by rating and reviewing food, ambiance, service and value on the Dineplan app.
De Grendel was also recently voted the best winelands restaurant in the Die Burger Readers’ Choice awards and rated third as the best overall wine estate experience for readers of the Western Cape daily newspaper. We were also thrilled to have received a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice 2022 Award as one of the top 10% of all properties on the website and regularly rating highly in the TripAdvisor rankings of fine dining restaurants in South Africa and Africa.
Our Restaurant remains open throughout the festive season, and we would like to invite you to come and experience Chef Ian Bergh and his team’s culinary creations at our fine dining restaurant.
Events & Partnerships
Amid the tough Covid-19 times, there has been much to celebrate at De Grendel throughout the year, and all credit goes to the team who have worked together and found new ways to bring the De Grendel experience to our loyal patrons and visitors through various events held on the farm and elsewhere.
These events and partnerships included ‘Some Sundays’ musical events in Stellenbosch, the ‘Feed My Tribe’ cooking classes, a series of ‘Pesto Princess recipe collaborations’, an ‘Inspirational Ladies Morning’ in celebration of Mother’s Day, and a very successful ‘Sustainable Festive Market’ held on the farm, showcasing sustainable products and produce. We would like to thank our partners for collaborating with us, as well as our loyal patrons for attending our events.
And speaking of sustainability… Responsibility to the environment and responsibility to the people of De Grendel work hand-in-hand, driving a vision to do business with integrity and respect, to continue building De Grendel as a sustainable enterprise at the centre of a successful community.
In pursuit of sustainability and a healthy ecosystem, the farming activities on De Grendel are purposefully diverse with various initiatives that encourage and support sustainability at De Grendel. Our mission is to preserve the environment, protect the planet, minimise our carbon footprint and improve our community. Have a look out our sustainability video here:
In April this year, we partnered with the trusted carbon offset platform ReSpek Nature, which enables users to offset their carbon footprint with one click, one Spekboom plant at a time. In honour of World Earth Day (22 April), we launched a new campaign in which wine lovers who purchased De Grendel wine from our website, were given the opportunity to donate R10 for planting a Spekboom shrub on your behalf.
Our commitment to environmental sustainability, driven by our family’s enduring respect for nature, to match each donation, plant-for-plant, attempting to reverse the climate change impact of shopping. To date, more than 300 donations were received, and we commend you for taking our hands in the battle against climate change.
Wine Awards & Ratings
Meanwhile, the world of wine competitions and ratings continued, albeit with virtual awards ceremonies in many instances, and we are extremely proud of our continued momentum in local and international recognition for our wines.
A highlight was the release of the 2023 Platter’s Wine Guide five-star ratings in November – we are extremely proud to have received three 5*wines, including a fourth 5* award in a row for Elim Shiraz, and no less than 13 4.5* ratings in the 2023 Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide, highlighting the depth and consistency of excellence in the wines of De Grendel.
The Platter’s recognition came not long after no less than eight of our wines achieved scores of 90-plus in international critic Tim Atkin’s 2022 South Africa Special Report, including an outstanding 94 points for our Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2021.
With the 2022 Sauvignon Blanc from De Grendel fresh out of the starting blocks, it added the coveted FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 award to its existing list of accolades in October. This is no small feat, considering 161 wines were entered for this year’s competition.
At the esteemed Veritas awards, De Grendel scored three Double Gold Medals in this year’s competition for our Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2021, Op Die Berg Syrah 2020, and Op Die Berg Syrah 2021.
Furthermore, De Grendel gleamed in Platinum, Double Gold, and Gold at the 2022 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards. In this competition, our Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2021 was one of just 17 of the 1,509 wine entries to be awarded the highest honour of Platinum. Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2021 and Rubaiyat 2017 brought home Double Gold medals, placing in the top 14% of entries, while Amandelboord Pinotage 2020, Elim Shiraz 2019 and Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2020 claimed Gold Medals.
The focus also fell on De Grendel Brut Cap Classique during this year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, receiving a Gold medal for the 2018 vintage.
I am immensely proud of our team for bringing home these sought-after awards. It is through their dedication and commitment towards consistent quality by our Cellar Master, Charles Hopkins, and Winemaker, Morgan Steyn, that we can excel in local and international competitions year after year.
Summer is made for long and lazy lunches, easy al fresco meals, and picnics in the great outdoors with family and friends. If you are looking for some inspiration to create easy and delicious recipes this festive season, you needn’t look further than our suggestions below.
The trusted French Baguette can be spruced up beautifully with an array of delicious ingredients to create easy bruschetta boards, ideal for summer entertainment over a glass of De Grendel Rosé or two.
Served with a chilled bottle of De Grendel Viognier, our pulled pork buns with coriander and chili pesto are equally ideal for easy summer entertaining.
Also try out the ricotta and goats cheese zucchini ravioli for something a bit more substantial. It pairs beautifully with our De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc.
Lastly, we’ve got your covered with our desert recipe. This malva lemon mousse trifle is an exceptionally easy treat to create, ideal for your festive table with a bottle of De Grendel Noble Late Harvest to share.
Our sincerest appreciation goes to the people working at De Grendel, for their resilience and spirit of originality, working as one great team to face the extraordinary challenges of the past two years during which the entire world experienced a chaotic pandemic.
In this joyful season, our heartfelt wishes go out to all friends of De Grendel to be safe on the roads, to treasure your loved ones, and to honour this one precious life we have. We look forward to an even brighter 2023 and hope to see you at De Grendel soon.
De Villiers Graaff