De Grendel's annual price increases will be effective from Tuesday, 1 March 2016, so make sure you stock up on your favourite De Grendel Wines before then to avoid disappointment.
For details of our price changes, see below.
|PRICE||LOYALTY CLUB PRICE||NEW PRICE||NEW LOYALTY CLUB PRICE|
|Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc||R110||R99||R125||R112.50|
|Noble Late Harvest||R110||R99||R120||R108|
Loyalty Club members - remember to log into your profile before shopping to receive your automatic 10% discount.
Not part of the Loyalty Club yet? Click here to find out more about the benefits and how to join.
It's a question we often get asked at De Grendel. How did a family way down in the south of Africa come to carry this title? How did a former herdboy from a humble background earn it?
The baronetcy that embellishes the De Grendel name was born out of exceptional drive and persistence; from a man who had very little schooling, but a significant impact on the world around him. Sir David Graaff, Bt, was from a poor family on a farm in Villiersdorp where he went from being a herdboy, having just finished third grade, to fulfilling a versatile range of jobs and roles in and around Cape Town.
Sir De Villiers Graaff (2nd Baronet) and his wife, Helena.
Regardless of his premature exit from proper education, David Graaff showed that he had an exceptional brain for business at an early age. Dawie was only 11 when he left the farm where he was born in the Overberg for Cape Town to work in the butchery of a relative, Jacobus Arnoldus Combrinck, which he took over at the age of 18.
His innovations lay in the field of refrigeration and the meat industry with an extensive distribution network for frozen products. He bought refrigerator carriages for transporting fresh foods on the growing South African rail network. This large-scale refrigeration of meat, fruit and other products was unprecedented at the time and thus he was able to make a large fortune. In fact, he made such rapid progress that within a few years he was regarded as the pioneer of cold storage in South Africa.
As a successful young businessman, Graaff demonstrated a passionate sense of social responsibility early on as well. At 23 years old, he was elected as a Cape Town city councillor and at the age of 32 he became mayor of the Mother City. During his time as councillor, and especially as mayor (from 1890 to 1892), the city was thoroughly modernised, making a much more inhabitable place of the dirty city, derided by some writers at that time as the City of Stenches.
He played a decisive role in bringing electricity to Cape Town, and the first power plant was named after him, Graaff Electrical Lighting Works. The power plant is now a historic monument next to the Molteno Reservoir in Oranjezicht.
Moreover, as benefactor he set an example for South African business people by way of his assistance to various charities, in particular by donating large amounts for educational purposes. He funded the school named after him in his home town, Villiersdorp, and the De Villiers Graaff High School remains a monument to the high premium he had placed on good education and teaching.
Graaff was a bachelor when the British honorary titles were awarded to South Africans shortly after unification. Initially reluctant, he received a baronetcy in 1911. Two years later the 53-year-old bachelor, then a member of the nobility, married a clergyman’s daughter 30 years his junior.
Three sons were born out of his wedding to Eileen van Heerden, who became Lady Graaff. Graaff declared in his testament that De Grendel should be associated with his hereditary title, and that it should provide the baronetcy with a home in South Africa
So, what does the title mean? A baronetcy, the only British hereditary honour which is not a peerage, is part of the centuries-old tradition of honorary titles conferred by the British crown. This particular title dates back to 1611, when King James I introduced it to collect funds. A baronetcy, like a lordship, is a hereditary title, mainly for male descendants, and has a territorial designation. A baronet ranks between a baron and a knight, but does not automatically earn a place in the British House of Lords. Baronets are not formally deemed to be noble, although they are widely regarded as being members of the aristocracy.
***EVENT DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!***
Make sure to follow Le Creuset to be the first to know when tickets go on sale.
The classic quality of Le Creuset, and the incredible food innovations of chefs Ian Bergh (De Grendel) and Franck Dangereux (Foodbarn), are being brought together once again for an intimate evening at De Grendel Restaurant on 2 March 2016.
The event brings these two incredibly experienced chefs together to share top tips on cooking, along with some sublime inspiration for those upcoming Le Creuset purchases. Guests will again be treated to a stunning 3-course sit-down dinner with a special selection of wines from De Grendel.
The previous event sold out in hours, so we know it’s going to be even harder to get your hands on them now that the foodie grapevine is raving about us, so we are giving one De Grendel Newsletter subscriber the chance to win a pair of tickets* to this sought after event. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE.
*T&Cs apply. Entrants must be over the age of 18 years. The winner will be selected via random draw and contacted via email. The prize includes 2 tickets valid for the Le Creuset event at De Grendel Restaurant on 2 March 2016 only and is not transferrable. Travel to and from the event is not included.
With Valentine's Day almost upon us, we thought we'd dig into the enchanting stories of the Graaff family and share them with you. De Grendel farm is also a popular spot for romancing couples thanks to its incredible view of Table Mountain. What a great location to pop the question, while toasting your love with a glass of our MCC!
Where the love story begins
Sir David Graaff, the first in the family to receive the baronetcy title and the man who founded De Grendel, was directly related to one of the most beautiful love stories that enriches the romantic history of De Grendel. Sir David Graaff’s father, the farmhand, was able to win the hand and heart of the farmer’s pretty young daughter, despite a few obstacles. It all happened in the middle of the 19th century, among the bushes of Wolfhuiskloof, where the herdboy Petrus Norbertus Johannes Graaff, generally known as Nort, worked. Fortuitously for him, Wolfhuiskloof was situated adjacent to the farm Radyn owned by Pieter Hendrik de Villiers, who had a very pretty daughter, Anna Elizabeth.
As the herdboy, Nort had to go to Bo-Radyn to work, which was often enough to fall in love with Anna. But De Villiers didn’t like him, and banned him from seeing his daughter. Nort was a man of tenacity, so he made sure he and Anna saw each other. After a love letter or two, Anna eventually built up the courage to elope with Nort, and they lived happily ever after… and so did one of the love letters, which was found in a secret drawer of a large armoire; an heirloom that came from Wolfhuiskloof.
Love against all odds
Nort’s son, Sir David Graaff (the first baronet), who inherited the land, carried on this air of tenacious romance when he married a much younger woman, very much out of his league, and at an age that everyone reckoned was too late. He was a bachelor when the British honorary title of baronetcy was awarded to him, which was probably because it was thought that he would not have any heirs. But two years later, at the age of 53, Sir David Graaff, a member of the nobility, married a clergyman’s daughter, Eileen van Heerden, who was 30 years his junior. Her mother was initially opposed to the courtship due to the age difference, but was convinced after a visit to Graaff’s glorious farm, De Grendel. And so Eileen became the much admired first Lady Graaff, who eventually proved herself a great match for her husband’s business acumen, and raised three sons to carry the legacy even further.
Love for the garden
The Graaff romance extends across all aspects of life on the farm; with Lady Graaff pouring her tender love and care into the lush fauna, fauna and furniture that gives life to De Grendel. Lady Eileen’s daughter-in-law, Lady Ena, described how Lady Eileen would often, while they sat drinking tea on the front veranda of De Grendel overlooking the grounds, tell her how, as a young bride, she had lived out her passion for gardening. Loads of soil had been brought in to transform the inhospitable landscape into a Garden of Eden. The formal layout of the garden included lawns, terraces, hedges and herbaceous borders, Italian statues, and the flowers a riot of colour in the different seasons.
Although the show garden was her main interest at De Grendel, she also had a deep love for the antique furniture in the house, tracing their history as if they were family members, like the armoire for example, in which her husband found his father’s love letter to his mother, Anna.
The greatest bond of all
The love a mother has for her child is one of the strongest connections to exist in the human heart. It is this kind of love given to all of the Graaff children throughout the generations that must have come to fuel their success. When Jannie, the youngest of Lady Eileen and Sir David’s (the first baronet) three sons, was only three years old when his father died. In these trying circumstances Lady Eileen’s motherly instincts never wavered. Jannie had to go to boarding school, so she gave him a basket with five doves, which he put under his bed. Each day a dove with a letter from Jannie would fly back to De Grendel where the butler, Frikkie Esau, fetched it from the dovecote to give to his mother.
Serves 6 as a starter
500g beef fillet, trimmed
1 TSP fresh, chopped thyme
Salt and pepper
Warm Mushroom Salad
1 kg mixed, fresh mushrooms
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP soy sauce
Salt and pepper
3 TBSP of red wine vinegar
2 TBSP full cream sherry
1 TSP tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP Truffle oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1. Generously sprinkle salt, pepper and the thyme onto a chopping board and roll the fillet in the mixture.
2. Heat up a skillet until it is smoking hot and pour a dash of olive oil into the skillet and sear the beef fillet on all sides. This should take no more than about 60 seconds to 90 seconds in total. Remove from the pan and let cool.
3. Chop the mushrooms and place in a bowl and toss in the lemon juice. In a frying pan, melt the butter with a dash of olive oil and when it starts to turn brown add the mushrooms. Sautée the mushrooms and when all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are a golden brown add the soy sauce and cook for a further 2 mins. Keep warm.
4. Whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside until you are about to serve the dish.
5. Slice the beef fillet as thin as you can using an extremely sharp knife and arrange the slices onto the plate to cover the entire eating surface. Then share out the rocket leaves evenly on all of the plates.
6. Now, take the frying pan with the mushrooms and place on the heat and pour in the vinaigrette. When hot take off the heat and place an equal amount of mushrooms in the centre of each plate and drizzle the warm vinaigrette over them.
Garnish with generous amounts of shaved parmesan and a couple of turns of black pepper and serve immediately with a bottle of De Grendel Pinot Noir 2013.
With the February heat upon us, we recommend you serve our light, yet lavish De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir along with you Valentines Dinner. To really impress your Valentine, remember to chill the bottle 20 minutes in your fridge before enjoying this ultimate food loving wine.
Enjoy it with our beef carpaccio and warm mushroom salad, with rocket and parmesan! Check out the recipe here. The very berry characteristics that you are presented with on the nose of the De Grendel Pinot Noir, followed by the fruit forward characteristics, really accentuate the earthy tones of the mushrooms while enhance the freshness of the carpaccio.
The Graaff farm De Grendel has a rich history of breeding award-winning cattle, sheep and horses which stretches far back. In 1892 Sir David Graaff, the first baronet in the Graaff family, bought Friesian stud cows and a prize stud bull in Friesland, Holland. The animals were transported to De Grendel by sea. The beautiful beasts on the farm are in part descendents of the original herd.
Rob Slater, the stud and dairy manager at De Grendel, tells us everything about the oldest Holstein herd in the country.
What is your job at De Grendel?
I am the stud/dairy manager at De Grendel, which means I look after all the cattle on the farm, manage the milking process, the feeding, the rearing of calves, the inseminating and then the admin side; recording all the data, so like each cow has a milking record, and an insemination record etc which is important to log in order to manage De Grendel’s ethics and quality. There are over 700 cows on the farm, including those reared for beef, so yes, I’m always busy.
Do the De Grendel cows produce milk?
Yes, and they are free range, which basically means that they are not forced to live inside, they can lie outside, they have free access to water, they get fed high quality food and they have comfortable sand beds. They do have to be in housing sometimes though to guarantee that they will be high producing, because otherwise they can get heat stress, which not only affects their livelihood but also their milk.
How many pregnancies does one cow go though in a year?
The cows do have to be pregnant in order to produce milk so their gestation period usually lasts a year, which means the cows give birth to one calf a year. The milking process lasts 305 days of the year in which they are expected to produce milk, after which they rest for 60 days in order to recover for their next period of milking. Usually on their 40th day of milking we have to get her pregnant again to account for their resting period.
Who is your highest producing cow at the moment?
Sandy and Sherbet are our highest producing cows. We know this because all the cows have respondents on their neck which is updated at every milking session to record the amount of milk produced. We also keep records of the cow’s lactation cycles, and insemination data which helps us manage the quality and efficiency of production.
Our Holstein cows are the oldest herd in the country, their lineage was started in 1912/13. We do however use semen from US bulls as they have the better genetics and it is important to us to have top class genetics. In the whole of South Africa there are only 20 top class genetic cows, and of those 20, we at De Grendel have 19.
What, besides breed, makes a cow high producing?
Well, the environment is important, what you feed them, their genetics because one can be less genetically superior to another. It’s also important to continue breeding high producing cows by being picky about whose genetics are being used, and then of course to house them comfortably, to establish a temperature controlled environment so that they don’t get heat stress or get too cold, and you have to feed them properly with the right combination of nutrients and fibres.
What is the process of looking after them?
They get fed twice a day and they end up eating around 52kg of food, they have free access to water and drink 120 litres of water a day, they have sand beds to lie on for comfort, they can go inside or outside. They are milked three times a day, at 5.30am, 2pm and again at 9pm. After the milking they go through a water sprayer to wash, but otherwise the show cows are shampooed and all that when they are going to a show.
Can you tell the difference between the cows?
The cows do have names and numbers attached to them based on their year of birth, but besides that the Holstein cows are unique because they all have different colour patterns. Obviously there are too many to know, but you get to know the good, the bad the ugly quite well!
Are you able to bond with them individually?
We get to know our show cows quite well because we attend two or three shows or competitions a year, so we bond with them a lot more. And then sometimes you have to be careful, because a cow can head-butt you when you are walking past, just for attention, but they don’t know their strength so they can actually hurt you. They are social like that sometimes.
Can you see the personalities of the cows interacting with each other?
A group of cows always has a pecking order, so you can see who the leader in the pack is and then the rest of the cows follow her. You can see the lead cow when they walk and when they are going into the milking house, she will always be the first on the left or on the right. There are some cows that are bossier than others, who bully the others, but generally they are quite placid.
Cows are pretty inquisitive animals and they often get up to mischief. Opening gates is their forte. A cow’s tongue can do wondrous things, anything from opening gates, opening taps to licking the mirrors on my bakkie! The most fun is had when they get a gate open and escape into the vineyards or open fields. Just imagine a running, frolicking cow with tail up and udder bouncing up and down. It's a scene often seen with our escapees.
We can barely believe it’s been a year since we bid farewell to our beloved Sir David Graaff(3rd Baronet), who passed away on the De Grendel family farm on Saturday, 24 January 2015, after a short illness. To mark the day, we thought we’d share with you some facts about Sir David that you may not know.
- He only met his father when he was 5.
Sir David, the third baronet, was born in 1940. He only saw his father for the first time when he was five years old, because before his birth Sir Div (2nd Baronet) had left to go and fight in World War II and was then taken prisoner of war.
- He farmed grapes before wine.
Sir David farmed with export grapes in the Hex River Valley after studying at the universities of Stellenbosch, Grenoble and Oxford.
- He made a mark in politics.
Sir David also entered politics and represented the third generation of Graaffs in Parliament. In the 1987 election he was elected MP for Wynberg and then served as deputy minister of trade and industry.
Our love and warm wishes to Lady Sally Graaff, Sir De Villiers (4th Baronet) & Gaedry Lady Graaff, Robert, Leeza and David John, and his grandchildren on this reflective day.
Want a private tasting of De Grendel wines? You can now do it in an intimate or private setting, such as your office, home or a restaurant in the whole Gauteng area. De Grendel Loyalty Club Manager Christelle van Niekerk tells us about her move to Gauteng and how you can now experience De Grendel wines more regularly without visiting the Cape.
Why the move to Gauteng?
We have experienced a big demand from our De Grendel Loyalty Club members to host private wine tasting events at offices, their homes or restaurants. I was spending so much time up here it eventually made sense to move up here permanently to offer this as a regular services to our members, friends and family. I offer wine tastings that range from informal and light, to very technical and informative wine tastings together with our Cellar Master Charles Hopkins.
Why the increased demand?
People are looking for new ways of entertaining clients and friends in an exclusive way. In the past I've done year-end functions and client dinners – I can literally bring De Grendel and the whole experience to you. All our events are flexible and I can adjust them to suit your needs and make them a success.
Do Gauteng wine lovers differ to the Cape?
Capetonians are quite spoilt for options because they have so many wineries on their doorstep. In Gauteng people are hungry for knowledge and very open to learning about wine and new experiences.
What are the benefits of joining the De Grendel Loyalty Club?
You get a 10% discount on all wines when you order 12 bottles or more from De Grendel. You also get free delivery door-to-door anywhere in South Africa when you order 12 bottles or more, and you get a 10% discount at De Grendel Restaurant on your entire bill. We also offer discounts to events and spot prizes to our top members. To join, all you need to do is order 12 bottles of wine through me at firstname.lastname@example.org, via the website at www.degrendel.co.za, or by signing up at the Tasting Lounge when you buy 12 bottles of wine.
Which is your favourite De Grendel wine?
The Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc. It’s so fresh and zesty and a fuller style Sauvignon Blanc, which I enjoy. I also love the MCC Brut because every day is a good day for bubbly! I’m also very excited about the relaunch of the Winifred White blend. We will be reintroducing this exclusively to Loyalty Club members, so that's another great benefit of signing up.
We recommend that you drink the De Grendel Viognier 2015 this month. This is a wine with rich, intense aromas and tastes of white flowers, ripe fleshy peaches, apricots and desiccated pineapple followed through on the palate with an undertow of soft, buttery oak barrel flavours.
It generally pairs well with the sort of ingredients and dishes that match well with chardonnay and oaked chenin blancs but with a spicier twist.
What to do with Christmas leftovers:
This dish is the very best food partner for Viognier and it's so versatile and easy to make. The lovely toasted spicy notes of the Madras curry powder are beautifully toned down by the creaminess of the mayonnaise and the mango chutney just enhances the fruitiness of the Viognier.
Use leftover turkey meat or chicken from a roast chicken but you can easily poach a few chicken breasts to make the salad. You can mix the cooked meat with the dressing in the link below and serve on a bed of crispy fresh lettuce or serve in a wrap.