Winery in Cape Town at The De Grendel cellar sits majestically elevated on the fynbos-covered slopes of the Tygerberg with a postcard-perfect Panorama of Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town. It was built in accord with its surroundings, with tons of sand and slate combining both traditional and contemporary materials. Although modern in design, it references the colonial architecture of the main house, with its deep shaded stoep and big arched windows to take in the views, sea breezes and the views of the dam below. The late Sir David Graaff consulted with renowned Johannesburg-based geomancer, Ying-Chung Tsai, to ensure that the building was in an auspicious position. The building is designed around the practical considerations of both the process of winemaking and the experience of wine tasting. A ramp leads you from the tasting room into the belly of the building, through different layers and levels and to the glass-roomed restaurant on the floor below where the breath-taking Table Mountain vistas open.
De Grendel Restaurant rests on a ridge overlooking Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain on the majestic De Grendel Estate in the Durbanville Wine Valley, a property steeped in heritage and renowned for its award-winning wines.
The Graaff family’s passion for winemaking extends to the philosophy they employ at the estate’s restaurant: the use of in-season and locally sourced fresh produce and a menu that is updated regularly, reflecting the unique culinary heritage of the Cape and created with complementary.
Winemaking at De Grendel is a careful balance between science and art
The meticulous care of the vineyards allows the grapes to express the environment in which they are grown and their distinctive varietal character. Careful harvesting and gentle handling in the cellar, combined with the winemaker’s passionate practice of their craft, carry the wines throughout the journey from the fruit into wine. The state-of-the-art winery is respectful of the age-old traditions of winemaking yet firmly and uncompromisingly modern in technological advancements, a perfect marriage of old and new.
Charles Hopkins has been at De Grendel for more than 10 years since the first wines were produced on the Estate. He was lured to De Grendel from Graham Beck Wines in Franschhoek when Sir David Graaff offered him the opportunity to not only head up winemaking at the new estate, but also to design and build his own cellar. Modest and unassuming, Charles studied at Elsenburg, and in the year 1990 was appointed winemaker for Bellingham Wines. He is one of South Africa’s most highly regarded winemakers, a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild and former Chairman of the South African Wine Show Association. Charles is passionate about his craft, often going abroad to study winemaking. He has spent harvest seasons in the Sonoma Valley, California, and in Bordeaux, France. Over the last ten years, he has also conducted study tours in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and France.