The deeds to the farm De Grendel are given to prosperous businessman Claas Meyboom (he also owns the upper side of Greenmarket Square). Since back then it was easier for ox-wagons to go across the Tygerberg than over the sandy plains of Bellville, the farm gets its Dutch name as the ‘grendel’ (or ‘bolt’) between Cape Town and Tygerberg as the road from Cape Town runs past it.
On his passing, his son Floris Meyboom, blind since the age of fifteen, inherits the farm, along with its neighbor Plattekloof.
Joseph Heyns puts De Grendel up for sale, with 10 000 grapevines among the movables. These grapes are wiped out by the philoxera plague of the 1890’s.
Daniel van Reenen receives the deed for De Grendel under the British quitrent land system and the farm is increased to 311.4 hectares.
Young Dawie Graaff, aged 11, leaves for Cape Town to work in the butchery of his uncle, J A Combrinck. By the time he is 18, he and his two brothers will own the butchery and go on to grow Combrink & Co into Imperial Cold Storage, the largest cold storage business in the southern hemisphere.
On a study tour in Argentina Graaff buys Arab horses which he stables at Fernwood, the later parliamentary sportgrounds in Cape Town, where the climate soon proves to be too damp for such horses.
At the age of 31, Graaff becomes Mayor of Cape Town. He embarks on a major modernisation of the city, including electrification. The first power station, Graaff Electrical Lighting Works, next to the Molteno Reservoir in Oranjezicht, is named after him.
Graaff buys De Grendel, the farm on the Tygerberg hill, which has a better climate for his Arab horses. Magnificent stables, called Koetshuis, are built for the stud horses, which are used for riding and as carthorses. He proceeds to buy up adjoining land, which at one stage stretch from De Grendel and surrounding farms to Tijgerhof, Wingfield, the Ysterplaat Airfield and Montague Gardens to Paarden Eiland and the Ascot racecourse in Milnerton.
Graaff buys Friesian stud cows and a prize stud bull called Pieter in Friesland, Holland. The animals are transported to De Grendel by sea.
The manor house is built at De Grendel. The Victorian mansion is in the style of architect Herbert Baker’s unique approach to the Cape-Dutch gable style. A third gable is later added asymmetrically to the imposing double-storey homestead with its eight bedrooms and panoramic seaward view across the plain to Table Mountain.
The Anglo-Boer War breaks out. Graaff makes his fortune selling meat to the invading British forces.
In the first cabinet of General Louis Botha after the formation of the Union of South Africa, Graaff becomes Minister of Public Works, Post and Telegraphs.
Graaff is knighted as a baronet by King George V, becoming Sir David Graaff, first Baronet of De Grendel. The baronetcy, a hereditary title, was one of fourteen conferred on South Africans between 1840 and 1925, when the honorary titles were done away with in South Africa.
Graaff brings the first Holstein-Friesland cattle to De Grendel.
At the age of 54, Graaff marries Eileen, the daughter of the Rev J P van Heerden of the Groote Kerk in Cape Town. Three sons are born out of the marriage. The eldest is baptised with the ancestral name De Villiers.
At the end of the First World War General Botha, requests Graaff to accompany him as co-delegateo to attend the peace summit at Versailles. While visiting the war graves on the battlefields near Rheims General Jan Smuts, who like Botha opposed the severe treatment of Germany, tells Lady Graaff: “Eileen, I have signed away the blood of the next generation.”
Sir David Graaff passes away and is succeeded by his eldest son, De Villiers, the second baronet. The next year Div plays two first-class cricket matches for Western Province.
David de Villiers Graaff, eldest son of Sir De Villiers and Lady Ena’s three children is born after his father has left for the North African campaign in the Second World War. Sir De Villiers is captured at Tobruk, and becomes a prisoner-of-war, and will not meet his son until 1945.
German merino sheep are brought by Div to De Grendel after he had seen similar flocks while a prisoner-of-war in Germany.
Div enters politics, becoming the sole United Party member of Parliament in the election won by the National Party. He leads the opposition to the apartheid governments of three prime ministers, becoming the longest-serving leader of the opposition in South Africa.
De Villiers, heir apparent to the baronetcy and eldest son of four children of Sir David Graaff, the third baronet, and Lady Sally is born.
Sir De Villiers Graaff passes away and is succeeded by his eldest son, David, the third baronet.
New vines are planted at De Grendel after Sir David, having retired from politics, decides to experiment with viniculture and winemaking. The new vineyards cover 100 hectares, while 200 hectares of renosterveld are under conservancy.
Indigenous Nguni cows are brought to De Grendel.
1800 cases of the first De Grendel wines, a Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, are made by Charles Hopkins at Graham Beck’s cellar.
The De Grendel wine cellar is opened. It is designed using Feng Shui principles by Linda Graaff, daughter of Dr. Jannie Graaff, the economist who was Div’s youngest brother. David Peter Berkeley de Villiers Graaff, eldest son of the four children of De Villiers and Gaedry Graaff is born, ensuring that the baronetcy will pass to a fifth generation of Graaffs.
Charles Hopkins moves from Graham Beck to De Grendel as Cellar Master to make wine in the cellar he designed for the farm.
8000 cases of the first wines to be produced at the De Grendel wine cellar are released. The Rubaiyat, Rose and Winifred are added to the selection.
The first bottles of Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc, MCC and Pinot Noir are released.
De Villiers his family move from De Doorns to the manor house at De Grendel, while Sir David and Lady Sally settle at Tarentaalbos, the other homestead on the farm.
De Villiers meets Michelin-starred restauranteur, Jonathan Davies and the restaurant is opened on the farm. De Grendel Restaurant not only serves wine from the estate, but.serves 100 percent South African food with farm produce and ingredients sourced from local suppliers and given an inventive, modern edge.
Boran cattle brought to De Grendel. Blueberries for commercial use planted on the farm. De Grendel is awarded no less than 3 Veritas Double Gold awards – for the Shiraz, Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. 220 cases of the yet-to-be-released Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon blend are bottled.
Sir David Graaff passes away and De Grendel is taken over by his eldest son De Villiers.