This is a small wine region that is very close to Cape Town city and is technically part of Cape Town. The area is close to Table Bay and as such receives the cool sea breezes, as such, it is an excellent cool wine region. The varietals that shine the best in this area are the merlot and sauvignon blanc. Prior to 1994 most of this areas sold its grapes to the KWV who used the grapes in their premium ranges. As such this area was quite unknown to the general consumer. Since 1994 many of the estates have started making their own wines. In the case of Durbanville Hills, it is a partnership between Distell and the local farmers in the region – as such they are keeping some grapes for themselves and providing grapes to the Durbanville Hills company that they are part of.
Click here for the Durbanville wine valley map.
- Durbanville Hills – this estate boasts one of the most modern and high tech cellars – as such it is well worth booking for a cellar tour with them. The tasting room is ultra modern and beautiful. It is interesting to visit them and then to combine it with a rustic small farm like Nitida. The contrast between the large volume Durbanville Hills and the others is huge. www.durbanvillehills.co.za
- Nitida – this is one of my favourite estates in the Cape. It is really small and rustic. You usually find the winemaker or the assistant wine maker behind the tasting counter. Their sauvignon blanc is fantastic, as are their reds (especially Calligraphy) – in fact all of their wines are great! It is well worth the trip just to visit Nitida. This region is not really known to foreign tourists and as such you feel like you get undivided attention when you visit. On the estate is a fine dining restaurant Cassia – it has gorgeous décor and a lovely view.
- Bloemendal – this winery has been in transition since it was sold – so it will be interesting to see what happens to it in the future. At this stage the partnership that owns it still has the original owner and winemaker as part of the team – as such the sauvignon blanc should still be as delicious as it always was. At the wine tasting area is a delightful light restaurant that offers regional cheeses and meats with traditional home made bread. The menu now boasts many options – but I still love their cheese platters. Note that you will see signs saying Bloemendal Restaurant – this is NOT the same one as I am mentioning here. While it is on the same estate – the main restaurant is on top of a mountain and boasts the most amazing views. The restaurant itself is however very average. www.bloemendalwines.co.za
- Note you will spot the Hillcrest Estate with its roadside olive kiosk as you drive through this area – STOP! Their olives are excellent and so is their olive oil – so stock up if you can! Ps the oil is not such a good idea as it has leaked on former clients I had! However the olives are worth getting for snacking on holiday!
- Note also that you can do Durbanville in the morning and then head through to Stellenbosch for the afternoon.