BREAK away to drink, dine and discover one of the Cape’s most exciting destinations – Cape Town’s northern vineyards in Durbanville, just 20 minutes from the CBD. This is the invitation from the revitalised Durbanville Wine Valley (DWV).
“Durbanville has always been popular with visitors, from day-trippers to travellers eager to experience a little more of the Cape. With spacious rural destinations being safer alternatives for near-home getaways, Durbanville is once again front of mind – and for good reason,” says newly appointed DWV manager Natasha de Villiers.
The region is well-known as a hub for outdoor enthusiasts; for offering the broadest range of wine-and-dine experiences; and for catering to diverse needs, from those of families to solo road-warriors. In addition, it offers all this year-round – irrespective of season.
“The root of its appeal lies in the valley’s legacy of hospitality,” says Natasha. “A fresh-water spring made Durbanville in its early days a rest-stop for explorers, transport riders and local farmers. Travellers between the coast and hinterland would spend some time here to replenish their supplies.”
The needs of these passers-by spawned opportunity and soon cattle farming was supplemented with wheat production. Vineyards followed too, as well as a town. The name Durbanville – in honour of a Governor of the Cape – was formally adopted in 1886.
The rolling hills and wide open spaces make the Durbanville landscape a magnet for lovers of the great outdoors. Among its many attractions are over 170km of MTB routes that run through vineyards and criss-cross wilderness areas. Local nature reserves cater for picnics and birdwatching too. Extraordinary views come standard with every visit.
Festivals and special events are a regular feature too, with many venues, including local wineries listing their programmes on the calendar of events.
“We’re planning a Dine Durbanville month that highlights the excellence of local wineries and restaurants,” says Natasha.
The region is awash with interesting and delicious dining excursions. Take a light lunch under the oaks or dine in the intimacy of luxuriously converted wine tanks. Explore contemporary cuisine with classic wines or enjoy your own picnic on a lawn under majestic skies.
Durbanville Wine Valley is home to some of South Africa’s most well-known wineries, which have a long history of producing champion wines thanks to the region’s cool climate, and diversity of soils and slopes. They include Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, Canto, D’Aria, Diemersdal, De Grendel, Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Loch Lynne, Maastricht, Meerendal, Nitida, Groot Phesantekraal and Signal Gun.
The tradition of winemaking has been practised here since the end of the 17th century. The oldest vineyard of the region – Pinotage – was planted in 1955 and continues to produce fruit for class-leading wines.
Durbanville is generally known for Sauvignon Blanc excellence, which has traditionally been highlighted by the annual Season of Sauvignon festival. Other varieties thrive here too. It is this region that produced a wine widely regarded as one of the finest ever made in SA – the iconic 1966 George Spies Cabernet Sauvignon.
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