The Durbanville Wine Valley, right on Cape Town’s doorstep, is a world away from the stress and bustle of the city. In-the-know wine lovers are content to let others programme their GPS systems for a winelands road trip elsewhere, while they nip next door to Durbanville for good food, ocean views, benchmark Sauvignons, and picturesque vineyards.

Did you know?

Durbanville has a thriving community of garagistes - hobbyists that make low volumes of hand-crafted, highly individualistic wines.

The Durbanville Wine Valley was established in 2004, but some families on this Cape Town north wine route have been making wine for six generations.

Durbanville, a ward of the Tygerberg wine district, was awarded Wine of Origin status in 1989. Wineries range from boutique, small-yield estates to large-scale farms harvesting 6000 tons per annum. With its vineyards on average just 12km from the cold Atlantic Ocean, Durbanville is one of the Cape’s coolest coastal wine areas.

Vines are exposed to moisturising seasonal coastal mists that combine with cooling southeaster breezes from False Bay on the Indian Ocean side, slowing the pace at which the grapes ripen in the hot summers of this Mediterranean climate region. Shale-derived, deep and well-drained soils capture generous winter rainfall. This climate and geology give Durbanville’s winegrowers the flexibility to produce an array of cool-climate New World wines.

Durbanville’s most planted cultivars are Sauvignon Blanc followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Chardonnay. Winemakers at Durbanville wine farms are also experimenting with lesser-known cultivars like Pinot Gris, Barbera, Pinot Noir and Semillon.

Sauvignon Blanc, Durbanville’s signature wine, is produced in a variety of styles, both wooded and unwooded, and is made by all 12-member wineries of the Durbanville Wine Valley.

If you’ve only a day to explore, head up or down the M13 Tygerbergvalley Road, where you’ll find several Durbanville wine estates including Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Nitida, Bloemendal, D’Aria, and Altydgedacht, within easy reach.

If you’ve a little more time, discover Durbanville’s scenic back roads. Visit De Grendel on the M14, follow the Vissershoek Road (M48) to the historic cellars of Meerendal, and don’t miss Diemersdal, off the M58, on the Koeberg/Adderley Road.

For oenophiles looking for award-winning wines with serious cellar potential, and families seeking a country escape, nearby Durbanville Wine Valley is one of the Cape’s coolest wine routes in every sense.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Durbanville Wine Valley Association
E-mail: info@durbanvillewine.co.za
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 310 1228

How to get here

From Cape Town, head north towards Paarl on the N1. Take exit 23 and drive along Durban Road (R302) past Tygervalley Centre until you reach the centre of Durbanville. Drive through town until you reach the first traffic circle. Take the third road leading out of the circle onto Wellington Rd (R302) and continue through town following the Klipheuwels Rd (R302). The first Durbanville Wine estate, Groot Phesantekraal, will be on your left.

Best time to visit

The Durbanville Wine Valley is most picturesque in summer, from late October to February.

Around the area

Bird-watch at the Durbanville Nature Reserve; take a stroll in the Durbanville Rose Garden; play a round at the Durbanville Golf Course; place a bet at the Durbanville Racecourse; spot some game at the Clara Anna Fontein Game Reserve, fish and hike at Hillcrest, ride a mountain bike along one of the many trails in this area.

Get around

Hire your own car in Cape Town. Tour operator services may be booked from Cape Town or Durbanville. Alternatively, reach Durbanville by helicopter.

Length of stay

Spend from 1 day to a weekend.

Where to stay

Cape Town, Tyger Valley, and Durbanville central. Along the wine route, there are Cape Dutch cottages at Welbeloond, and 4-star cottages at D’Aria, among others. The Protea Hotel Vineyards Estate is Durbanville's newest hotel.

What to eat

Several wine estates have restaurants offering a range of options from contemporary Cape cuisine, to country comfort food and fine dining. @ the Hills Restaurant, at Durbanville Hills Cellars, and Cassia Restaurant, on Nitida Wine Estate, have superb food, wine and views.

What's happening

The Feast of the Grape harvest festival is in March, the ‘Soup, Sip and Bread’ winter weekend is in June, and the Season of Sauvignon showcase is in October.

Best buys

Wines, fresh produce from Nitida’s Farmers' Market (the last Saturday of every month), olive oil from Hillcrest, and deli products from Meerendal.