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… So 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.
It is passionately run by Karin de Villiers, along with the help of her family and an efficient, close-knit team of 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. These include the likes of Marianna Rose 2017, Nicol Merlot 2016 and Janet Shiraz 2016… 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’. These offer a romantic glimpse into the past, while still keeping things modern.
Contact: +27 (060) 877 2678, firstname.lastname@example.org
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. (This 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 too. These include: 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, email@example.com
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 is a pleasant outing no matter why you visit.
It’s a small space, it must be said, but is very tastefully done out. Plus, 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 but it also hosts great functions and weddings, offers 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.
Meanwhile, the MCC wines are sublime. They 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meerendal Wine Estate: Sophisticated and Fun Estate Experiences
This historic estate is one of the most popular wine farms in the whole of Cape Winelands. They offer two great restaurants (namely, Crown and Carlucci’s), an art gallery, a 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. What’s more, the farm permeates a blissful, family-friendly vibe.
Carlucci’s is a lovely restaurant-deli. It 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.
It also offers a sophisticated wine estate experience, without a drop of pretentiousness.
And, with its various events and activities throughout the year, Meerendal offers plenty for everyone to enjoy!
Contact: +27 (021) 975 1655, email@example.com
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 (choose an option and pay before your tasting)… In my experience, the staff on hand are helpful. They also provide good insight into the different wines available to you.
The sparkling wines are particularly excellent. My favourite, the Music Range, 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. This goes to show just how popular its wine tasting facility and wines really are.
Contact: +27 (021) 801 6772, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diemersdal is one of the oldest, most beloved wine estates around… While it was established in 1698 when Simon van der Stel granted a burgher, Hendrik Sneewind some farmland… The estate of Diemersdal was formally born sometime later, when Captain Diemer married the Sneewind window.
An inventory – dating as far back as 1702 – proves that wine has been made on this beautiful estate for three centuries. Since 1885, six generations of Louw family have passionately maintained this glorious farm.
Over time, they have turned it into the multi-award-winning estate we know (and love) today.
Diemersdal is not the biggest estate to explore – although the farm itself covers plenty of vineyard and grazing land – but it is certainly one of the most lovely.
Diemersdal is littered with delightful flowers, oak trees, lawns and above all, incredible, well-restored Cape Dutch architecture. This includes their on-site restaurant, Diemersdal Farm Eatery.
This bistro-style eatery is located inside a restored stable. And I love how it beautifully blends new and old elements together new.
And the Farm Eatery comes very highly rated indeed. Chef Martin de Kock blends classical French training with Provencal, Spanish and Asian elements and the result is impressive every time…
To me, Diemersdal Farm Eatery is quite pricey but the food, drinks and service is of the highest quality.
While you dine, sit inside or out – or enjoy a wine tasting at the tasting room or on the spacious lawns. (Note: If you want a table on Saturdays for the Farm Eatery, advance booking. But it is essential for their famous Sunday Lunch.)
What makes it special: I think the fact that the estate has a sense of grandeur, preserved history and playful quirkiness makes it highly appealing.
The Diemersdal Farm Eatery is particularly fascinating to visit. Especially as, within its restored 1928 walls, it offers oh-so-cool decor and interior props.
What’s more, its outdoor picnic bench and umbrella seating is one of the most enjoyable I have encountered. (Happily, it is also a very child-friendly outdoor space with a wide lawn area and grass bank-embedded slides.)
To really enhance the experience, enjoy some Diemersdal wine, good coffee or a tasty, creatively laid out mini cheeseboard.
I must also give special mention to Diemersdal’s excellent, value-for-money Estate Tasting. Priced very affordably, this wine tasting allows visitors to enjoy any six wines from the Matys and Estate Ranges.
Contact: +27 (021) 976 3361, email@example.com (Farm Eatery)
De Grendel Wines and Restaurant
De Grendel Wine Estate is one of the most famous wine farms anywhere in South Africa… And it is a crowd favourite among tourists and locals alike.
What makes it special: This multi-award-winning estate offers the best in fine dining (De Grendel Restaurant is undoubtedly world-class in terms of setting and food offerings), quality wines, dairy farming and, perhaps most of all, impeccable views…The most famous of which are those of Table Mountain and even Cape Town Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean too.
After almost two years of waiting, I was thrilled to finally experience this gorgeous estate and try their oh-so-scenic wine tastings.
The tasting room and adjoining restaurant (situated below) could not be better positioned if they tried…
So wine tasting and dining here is a particularly special experience. Especially when every snap sneakily includes Table Mountain in the background… It’s pure magic.
De Grendel also weaves a fascinating tapestry of winemaking and farming history… Although first established in 1720 by Claas Mayboom, it was in 2000 – some 200 years since the first vineyards were planted here – that modern-day De Grendel Wines sprang to life.
There are some 110 hectares under vines but the estate sources grapes from far and wide. Most famously from chilly, fruitful Ceres, where the Graaff family have also been farming for generations.
Today, De Grendel offers some incredible wines. And you can enjoy their Flagship and Premium wine tastings at the estate, as you soak up the views. (They also offer an excellent Gourmet Selection platter. This ensures a taste of the fine food too).
On the day we visited, we split both tasting options between us. This meant sampling 12 top wines. I generally enjoyed all of them – but, for me, there were some clear standouts… Like the 2016 MCC Brut (so good), 2018 Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Shiraz and the 2015 Noble Late Harvest dessert wine.
It isn’t hard to see why De Grendel’s reputation proceeds it. After all, they are a quality estate through and through…with unquestionably, the best Cape Town views for miles around!
If you haven’t been to De Grendel, you should go.
Three Spades Cider: If you aren’t an out-and-out wine lover like me, it’s handy to know De Grendel also produces some beautiful, premium Three Spades Cider.
Made from quality apples grown in the rich Elgin Valley, this cider is almost too elegantly packaged to open (but I mamaged!).
It will appeal to a lot of people; I love that it feels like a cross between the very best apple juice and champagne. It’s perfect for drinking with whatever you please – I had mine with a slice of cake as a dessert treat and it was good.
Disclaimer: I received this apple cider as part of a lovely gift package. It was sent to me from Liquid Pulse Marketing and Communications on behalf of De Grendel Wines. However, views are entirely my own and were not influenced by this.
Contact: +27 (021) 558 6280, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, for their different qualities and great wines, I can certainly recommend them.
I look forward to adding more Durbanville Wine Valley gems to this list as I go!
Author: Tamlyn 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.