Since moving to the Northern Suburbs in 2017, I have been fortunate enough to visit several of the Durbanville Wine Valley’s most well-loved and popular estates.
Some are new and upcoming, while others are longstanding favourites, littered with awards or which have glowingly stood the test of time. But, regardless of status or age, their incredible beauty, top class wines and fun atmospheres and experiences unify them in their specialness.
I have not visited all the Durbanville Wine Valley estates as yet – but here are some of the lovely estates I have been to, with a focus on what makes each unique and special:
Klein Roosboom: Candlelit Wine Tasting in a Cave
Klein Roosboom Boutique Winery is a beautiful boutique wine estate, passionately run by Karin de Villiers, her family and an efficient team of close-knit staff.
Together, they ensure a memorable experience – whether you visit for a unique wine tasting in a candlelit cave (one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets!) or to tuck into a delicious platter.
The estate produces some truly gorgeous wines, including the likes of Marianna Rose 2017, Nicol Merlot 2016 and Janet Shiraz 2016… And with both lovely whites and reds – and the beautiful rose – it is sure to prove a hit among every kind of wine fan.
Klein Roosboom itself is small but offers plenty. This includes: child-friendly play facilities, a selection of interesting wine tasting settings (like a lovely, sheltered outdoor lounge area and an impressive long table in the wine tasting venue) and above all, a quaint but welcoming wine farm atmosphere.
What makes it special: It’s undoubtedly the cosy, beautifully decked out ‘caves’, which offer a romantic glimpse into the past, while still keeping things modern.
Contact: +27 (060) 877 2678, email@example.com
Durbanville Hills: Award-winning Wines and Views for Days
Durbanville Hills needs very little introduction… Not only is it one of the best wine estates in South Africa but it is a consistent award-winning wine estate, which draws foreign and local visitors by the droves.
This quality estate offers a unique, high vantage setting and is complete with a stunning restaurant, delightful wine tasting centre, unique experiences (like the Table Mountain wine safari or cellar visit) and best of all, beautiful wines to enjoy!
What makes it special: It’s undoubtedly the incredible wine pairing options combined with the beautiful, plush wine tasting centre (which offers impressive indoor and outdoor seating). The views from here are absolutely amazing – and it is definitely one of my most memorable overall wine tasting experiences to date!
I really love that they offer a wide selection of wine tasting options, including the Crystal Tasting, Cheese and Wine Pairing (five cheeses and five wines; I had this and loved it!), Chocolate and Wine Pairing and even a fun and interesting Biltong, Dried Fruit and Wine Pairing (another winner).
Contact: +27 (021) 558 1300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Canto Wines: The Home of MCC and Macaroon Magic
Canto Wines, a relatively young estate, is definitely one of the valley’s most exciting new additions. This lovely boutique wine farm makes for a pleasant outing no matter the reason for your visit.
It’s a small space, it must be said, but is very tastefully done out and the wine tasting venue is as chic and classy as you would find on even the biggest, most commercial of wine estates.
Not only does this estate produce quality wines, host great functions and weddings, offer its own well-stocked deli, yoga and wine sessions and relaxing picnics too – but my standout aspect is the fun, oh-so-delicious MCC and Macaroon wine pairing.
What makes it special: While yoga and MCC and delightful build-your-own picnics are definitely major drawcards – for me, one of the best parts about Canto Wines is the excellent MCC and Macaroon wine pairing they offer, as I mentioned earlier.
The macaroon flavours are playful and interesting, with the likes of Red Velvet, Turkish Delight and more to tantalise your tastebuds. While the MCC wines are sublime and offer an interesting range, including Chardonnay MCC Brut 2015, Shiraz Rose MCC Brut 2013 and Pinot Noir MCC Brut 2013 to name a few.
Contact: +27 (021) 492 2821, email@example.com
Meerendal Wine Estate: Sophisticated and Fun Estate Experiences
This historic estate is one of the most popular wine farms in the Cape Winelands as a whole. They offer two great restaurants (namely, Crown and Carlucci’s), an art gallery, wine tasting room, mountain biking and running trails and more.
While I have not yet had the pleasure of trying any of their wines, the estate is definitely one of my favourites in terms of settings and all-round offerings. The Cape Dutch homestead (which doubles as a five-star, luxury boutique hotel) is as gracious and beautiful as they come – and the farm permeates a blissful, family-friendly vibe.
Carlucci’s is a lovely restaurant-deli and offers some farm-style food and a soothing, laid-back environment; like Crown Restaurant, it’s very popular in the valley and is almost always busy.
What makes it special: The incredible Cape Dutch architecture and varied, beautiful venues. The estate’s setting is unique and memorable and offers a sophisticated wine estate experience, without a drop of pretentiousness.
Plus, with its various events and activities throughout the year, Meerendal offers plenty for everyone to enjoy!
Contact: +27 (021) 975 1655, firstname.lastname@example.org
D’Aria Winery: Delicious Wines on the Deck
For me, D’Aria is the grand dame in the Durbanville Wine Valley… With a longstanding history, a beautiful farm setting and a wide range of offerings – everything from function catering to Poplars Restaurant and lovely guest cottages – it is certainly a well-rounded, popular choice.
What makes it special: It has got to be its delightful wines (all of which, from what I have sampled to date, taste great) and unique wine tasting setting. This offers a choice between a chilled indoor lounge, spacious lawn area or even the fun deck section.
While the wine tasting is self-service (you choose an option and then pay before enjoying the tasting) – in my experience, the staff on hand are helpful and provide good insight into the different wines available to you.
The sparkling wines are particularly excellent and the Music Range (my favourite) gives a nod to the more whimsical and musical things in life, with names like Soprano, Pop Song and Rock Song.
The setting is memorable and soothing and on weekends, D’Aria pumps with people, showing how popular its wine tasting facility and wines really are.
Contact: +27 (021) 801 6772, email@example.com
These are but a few of the local Durbanville wine estates I have had the pleasure of visiting to date – I rate each of them highly and can certainly recommend them for their different qualities and great wines… I look forward to adding more Durbanville Wine Valley gems to this list as I go!
Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.