Viticulture meets city culture

The Cape Winelands have always fascinated me: their rolling hills and wine farms, the food. Cosy, yet for many people it’s still quite a drive to the different wineries. There is an exception, though: Durbanville Hills is close enough to not feel the travelling time. Just a deep-felt sigh for a repeat experience as you head back to the city.

The estate itself, thanks to its location, is a connecting point between the Cape Winelands and Cape Town. Just 20 minutes from the city centre, it not only offers a spectacular view of Table Mountain and Table Bay, but also has an extraordinary terroir where stable temperatures help to nurture the best wines.

Being able to see Table Mountain so clearly makes you feel close enough to the energy of the city while enjoying the prestige of the restaurant. An experience of this nature and the unique appeal of the vantage point easily explain the business opportunity that South Africa’s premier producer and marketer Distell saw in Durbanville Hills, a wine farm that serves the right combination of practicality and perfection. The estate’s winemaking tradition is sure to continue with this optimal mix at play.

Situated up on the hill with views over Table Bay, The cellar’s tranquil setting is a welcome escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

I encourage you to travel this short distance for good food, wine and a great vibe in Durbanville, which today forms part of Cape Town’s northern suburbs. Having a comparative view from living in the Durbanville area and on the Atlantic seaboard, I can assure you that the views of the Winelands are worth the drive for any Millennial or Baby Boomer. Whether your sweet spot is the perfect selfie or a landscape photo, or even an appreciation of history when you discover the hills on which Durbanville lies aren’t actually called the ‘Durbanville Hills’ but are known as the Tygerberg, or ‘Leopard Mountain’ – there’s something for all generations.

The Durbanville Hills Collectors Reserve is made up of seven wines crafted from the finest grapes and inspired by the Fair Cape’s energy, creativity and history. Seven Cape Town landmarks are honoured in the names of the seven wines and feature on each one’s label. And here the sense of sight is added to the senses of taste and smell that are so important to wine appreciation: Durbanville Hills commissioned vibrant Capetonian artist Theo Vorster to apply his talents to the labels. Theo is known for creating unique artworks using hand-coloured linocuts and his designs bring a kaleidoscopic dimension to the Collectors Reserve bottles.

Cellar master Martin Moore

The range comprises The Cape Mist (Sauvignon Blanc), The Cape Garden (Chenin Blanc), The Cableway (Chardonnay), The Lighthouse (Merlot), The Promenade (Pinotage), The Castle of Good Hope (Cabernet Sauvignon) and The High Noon (Shiraz). Each has its own story, found on the back of the bottle. The Merlot cleverly showcases the Green Point lighthouse with its foghorn – the area’s misty, cool conditions are essential for developing this varietal’s unique character (see opposite). All seven wines can be tasted at Durbanville Hills.

The winemaking team is led by cellar master Martin Moore, who has been at Durbanville Hills for two decades. Having come on board while the cellar was still under construction, Martin has played a pivotal role in shaping its wines, with the help of Kobus Gerber and Wilhelm Coetzee, who specialise in making white and red wines respectively.

Durbanville Hills launched this collection of premium wines in Mayat the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) conference in Singapore. As the largest association of international duty-free and travel retailers, TFWA hosted more than 500 brand-owning companies anddistributors at the event, providing a global stage for these top wines from the Durbanville Hills.

 

THE CABLEWAY
The grapes for this Chardonnay were picked when they were translucent, with the seeds visible inside – a sign of ripeness. They have produced a full-bodied wine with sweet fruit and citrus flavours, bringing to the palate a rich, creamy texture with a long finish.

THE CAPE MIST
Durbanville Hills is renowned for producing refreshing Sauvignon Blancs and this one is no exception. Pale green in hue, it has passion fruit, gooseberry and citrus flavours on the nose and sweet summer fruits and a hint of minerality on the palate. It can be enjoyed on its own or with grilled white meat.

THE PROMENADE
The grapes for this Pinotage were selected from a 17-year-old vineyard and matured for 14 months in a combination of new and second-fill tight-grained and medium-toasted French oak barrels. With sweet red fruits on the nose progressing to prunes and cherries that linger on the palate, The Promenade is excellent with rich and robust dishes, slightly spicy fruits and Cheddar or matured Gouda cheeses.

THE LIGHTHOUSE
An 18-year-old north-facing vineyard on the open, western side of the valley is the source of this Merlot’s backbone. Its fairly deep, red Hutton soil retains water and ensures that the grapes ripen evenly to deliver strong mulberry flavours. Expect chocolate with cherry on the nose, soft, velvety tannins on the palate and an aftertaste of sweet red fruits and vanilla.