A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

Let me start of by saying, yesterday was a highlight for me as a food and wine lover.  By now you know me for my love and interest in history. At De Grendel I got both an award-winning wine estate with a rich history behind it and an iconic winemaker Charles Hopkins. He is so passionate about wine, his family and to educate and help young upcoming winemakers.

This wonderful wine estate is only a 15 minute drive from the city, which stretches out over almost 220 hectares on the slopes of Tygerberg Hill.  The estate got the most breathtaking views, you can admire Cape Town’s beauty from there, and the tasting room is at 180m above sea level.  You will find the “kliphuis” at 355m above sea level, the views from up there takes your breath away. This is where my day started with an apple driven MCC Brut, the iconic Charles Hopkins and Cape Town in front of me.

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

Durbanville region is well suited to producing some of the best Sauvignon Blanc, this cultivar is a core focus of the winery. Die Koetshuis is one of the wines Charles is very passionate about. While telling us about this Sauvignon Blanc and the tin peach flavours in the wine he couldn’t help but giggle while talking about it.

What also stood out for me was how Charles told us about the sustainability of the farm, they have a solar plant on the farm to reduce their carbon footprint and also makes use of desalination of water.

The Estate’s got from wild life, sheep, cows and blueberries, can you believe that!

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

Ok back to the wine………. We did a cellar tour and witnessed the grape harvesting and pressing.  My mouth hung open to see all the technology in that cellar. We had the pleasure of tasting the juice of the Sauvignon Blanc, and the second stage of fermentation, and the final product of the Sauvignon Blanc as a wine.

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

After the cellar we had the most amazing lunch at De Grendel Restaurant.

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

The sous-chef Conrad van den Heever  has years of experience working at Michelin-starred restaurants in London such as Pollen Street Social and Odette’s, as well as some of South Africa’s award-winning fine dining restaurants.

He brings his energy, innovation and creativity to the team at De Grendel Restaurant, most notably his fresh ideas for updating traditional South African dishes with new techniques and presentation and his passion for locally sourced ingredients.

He runs the kitchen on a daily basis and is involved in all areas of kitchen management.

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

He took us through our 5 course meal.  It was incredible.

We started by having their new apple cider paired with scallops, made to perfection.

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

The second course was Langoustine, honey miso corn, pancetta, tom yum, smoked aubergine, tahini, rice cracker paired with De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2013

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

The third course was organic pork belly, char siu, sesame, pear, sauerkraut, balsamic paired with De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2013

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

The fourth course was Pepe’s bûche affinée roulade, squash, red pepper, basil, potato paired with De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2013

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

The fifth and last course was grass-fed fillet, short rib, smoked veal tongue, beef tendon, bone marrow, burnt onion jam, potato dauphinoise, black pepper-brandy sauce paired with Sir David Graaff 1st  Baronet of Cape Town 2013.

A Very Special Day Spent At De Grendel With Charles Hopkins

RESERVATIONS

To make a reservation call us on +27 (0)21 558 7035 or email restaurant@degrendel.co.za

Opening Hours

Monday – Closed

Tuesday – Saturday

Lunch: 12:00 to 14:30

Dinner: 19:00 to 21:30

Sunday: Lunch: 12:00 to 14:30

More about the history of the farm:

Sir David Graaff first planted vines on De Grendel in 1999, almost 200 years after the last vines were destroyed.

Since then De Grendel has become synonymous with exquisite wines, borne of the Graaff’s love of the soil and scientific approach to winemaking.

De Grendel, meaning latch or lock in Dutch, is one of Cape Town’s oldest farms, stretching out over almost 330 hectares on the fynbos-covered slopes of Tygerberg Hill.

The breathtaking view of Table Mountain from the farm, 350 meters above sea level, is arguably the best in the Cape winelands. On a clear day, you can see all the way from Table Bay to False Bay, and sometimes even on to Cape Point.

First awarded to the Danish settler Claas Mayboom by Governor van der Stel all the way back in 1720, De Grendel van de Tijgerberg was bought by the iconic South African businessman and politician Sir David De Villiers Graaff in 1890 to be used as a breeding and resting ground for the prized purebred Arab horses that he bought while travelling in Argentina.

When he returned to his then-home Fernwood, the horses’ health deteriorated in the wet climate of Newlands, and on the advice of his veterinarian, he was told to find more suitable stabling.

As the story goes, he undertook a trip by ox wagon to Muizenburg.  Arriving, the South Easter was blowing and the beach was filled with blue bottles and smelly sea grass.  He immediately turned north and arrived at the farm, on the slopes of the Tygerberg.  He loved the site and bought it to house his horses.

You can read more about the history HERE:

Visit their Website HERE:

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