When last did you discover Durbanville?
For a Southern Suburbs girl like me the answer is probably NEVER. Which it was, until a few months ago when I was invited to discover the delights of Durbanville for myself…
You see it’s probably because Durbanville is one of Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs that we don’t venture to this part of the world very often even when we live in the same city… but it is exactly for that very reason that we SHOULD visit Durbanville more often. Yes, it’s the same city but it feels like another world AND it’s so close (a mere 30mins away!) Not to mention the wine… this part of the world creates some of the very best Sauvignon Blanc wines in the world! As a white wine girl this really excites me!!
The Durbanville Wine Valley is composed of 12 prestigious wine farms, each with their own story… they are Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, D’Aria, Diemersdal, De Grendel, Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Meerendal, Nitida, Phizante Kraal wines and Signal Gun.
My day trip to the valley saw me visit 3 of these unique wine farms…
The day started with a brief visit to Nitida Wine Estate where I was lucky enough to spot a family of otters having some early morning fun in the lake…
Then it was on to Durbanville Hills Wine Estate where the media group I was with were divided into small groups and given free reign with wine… well, sort of! We were first introduced to the cellar master and wine maker who carefully explained the wine blending process he usually goes through to create a red wine blend.
And then we were given the chance to try our hand at it too!
Using the 5 red grape varietals grown on the farm we blended our very own wine amidst the wine barrels of the cellar.
It was great fun using our wine blending tools and taste buds to design our own wine… unfortunately our team didn’t come out victorious but the experience was the real prize!
The unique interactive blending and bottling experience with an expert winemaker is a great way to learn more about wine while spending time with a group of friends or co-workers. After the blending experience you can enjoy charcuterie and cheese platter, as well as a glass of Durbanville Hills wine or soft drink, followed by coffee and something sweet, before receiving you very own labled and corked bottle of wine to take home. Blending experiences take place every Thursday between May and November at 14:00. Min 8, Max 24 pax per event. Cost = R475 per person (includes welcome drink, a branded Durbanville Hills apron, wine blending experience, platters and drink, coffee and your own bottle of wine) Booking essential on 0215581300 or email email@example.com
The true highlight of the day was the last destination on our Durbanville itinerary…
A visit to a restaurant and wine farm I had never even heard of known as Phizante Kraal.
Originally known as Groot Phesantekraal when in 1698 Governor Simon van der Stel granted the farm to its first owner Captain Oloff Berg. The Brink family acquired the land in 1897 and has been running it as a working farm for four generations. Primarly run as a cattle, sheep and grain farm, they fulfilled their lifelong dream and launched the family flagship brand, Phizante Kraal Wine in 2005.
The boutique winery is a great spot to enjoy wine tasting and the farm’s favourable location, climate and soil, lend themselves to wines of superior quality. Cabernet, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc are the wines available to taste and the fist Pinotage will be bottled in 2016.
My favourite aspect of the wine tasting area was the larger than life wall of glass jars lined up laboratory-style featuring all the various scents one is inclined to “nose” on a wine. It was fascinating and educational at the same time. Pencil shavings anyone?
I loved this idea and am keen to take my husband back one day to show him. He has recently developed a big interest in wine himself so I’m quite keen to find a way to emulate this clever idea… albeit on a small scale!
I was lucky enough to enjoy a delicious lunch in the intimate restaurant located in a converted barn. The gorgeous space is an effortless fusion of old Cape Dutch architecture of white washed walls, stone floors and open beam thatched roof with modern lighting, glass doors and wooden furniture.
Our lunch consisted of delicious salads and other dishes and platters that were shared amongst us all. The menu is seasonal and offers contemporary country style fare with traditional, wholesome meals that reflect the Cape. The warm “mosbolletjie” bread laden with salted butter being a delicious example!
This is a great spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch and I would really recommend it for locals who live down the road as well as those who might need to travel a bit further. I also think it would make a great option for those looking to take their overseas guests somewhere with a uniquely Cape flavour!
Groot Phesantekraal Farm
Klipheuwel Way (R302)
GPS: 33° 48″ 20S / 18° 40″41 E
Tel: 021 825 0060
Images: Kathryn Rossiter