De Grendel’s heritage – three centuries and four generations

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DE GRENDEL celebrates its 300thanniversary this year, marking three centuries of a Cape landmark whose story – and that of its fourth-generation owners, the Graaff family – is deeply woven into South Africa’s history.

Renowned for its award-winning wines and its restaurant rated among the best for fine dining in South Africa and Africa, De Grendel has been a working farm since the land on the Tygerberg hills outside Cape Town was granted in 1720. De Grendel today is a leader in sustainable farming and conservation, home to vineyards, a prized Holstein cattle stud, dairy, sheep, horses, fruit, grain, and a conservancy of indigenous renosterveld and game.

De Grendel is marking its tricentennial with a distinctive 300thanniversary seal on all its 2020 vintage wines. Current owner, the 4thBaronet Sir De Villiers Graaff, said the milestone anniversary was a time for both celebration and reflection.

Sir De Villiers 4th Baronet

“De Grendel as a farm is 300 years old and as a family we have been responsible for stewardship of this unique piece of South Africa’s agricultural history for more than a century. Each generation has made its own mark and brought something new to the farm, as we strive to conserve the legacy and the environment while also looking to the future.

“Our vision and our responsibility is to continue building De Grendel as a sustainable and successful enterprise at the centre of a community of all who live and work here, with some of the staff having roots on De Grendel stretching back five generations,” he said.

The name De Grendel, originally De Grendel van de Tijgerberg, means “latch” or “lock” in old Dutch, signifies its position as the gateway for farmers and traders from Cape Town over the Tygerberg hills to the inland settlements of Durbanville and Stellenbosch.

De Grendel Restaurant opened in 2012, a fine dining experience showcasing the farm and family heritage and framing the magnificent Table Mountain view in a cool, contemporary setting. Head chef Ian Bergh has attracted international acclaim and awards for luxury fine dining with his menu drawing on farm produce and ingredients from local artisan suppliers to present an inventive, modern take on classic Cape cuisine.

De Grendel Restaurant was placed in the Top 10 for fine dining in Africa in the 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

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