Cultivating a new legacy on historic farm

Wednesday, 22 November, 2006
HWB Communications Pty Ltd
One man's vision has given an historic old farm new life. Sir David Graaff, custodian of De Grendel farm in Tygerberg, has introduced an exclusive range of wines under the classic and stylish De Grendel label.
The historic farm, seat of the Graaff family for well over a century, is situated on the sea facing slopes of the Tygerberg in South Africa’s picturesque Western Cape. It overlooks Table Bay where its views sweep over the bustling metropolis of Cape Town, Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Graaff family's famous entrepreneurial spirit has been handed down to its 21st Century incumbent, David Graaff who, when KWV deregulated the wine industry in the mid 1990s, saw an opportunity to expand the farm's agricultural reach by putting a portion of it under vine.

The first distinctive bottles of De Grendel wines were awarded two gold and two silver medals at the prestigious Young Wine Show 2004.

'Winning those medals confirmed our belief that De Grendel wines have class and quality. They are enjoyed by people who buy wines at the top end of the market,' says Graaff.

Graaff, who successfully farmed table grapes in the Hex River Valley, put years of research into the cultivation of wine, returning to France - where as a student he studied at the University of Grenoble - before putting his knowledge into practice. There are now 104 hectares of vineyards on De Grendel.

The location of the farm makes it perfect for growing noble cultivars. Its proximity to the cold West Coast currents, elevation and misty nights make it one of the coolest wine regions in the Cape.

'I did an in depth study of the terroir - the soil, water, the climate, the general suitability of De Grendel as a vine growing area - before planting the first 10 hectares,' says Graaff.

The success of De Grendel Wines doesn't mean that the farm is only a wine farm. Quite the opposite, says Graaff, who stresses that while De Grendel is strategically expanding into the wine business, the Friesland/Holstein cattle and SA Mutton Merino sheep introduced by the Graaff family are still very much a feature of the working farm.

Like his forefathers, Graaff is pioneering new agricultural direction for De Grendel, one that will ensure that the historic farm is sustainable well into the 21st Century.

De Grendel Wines
Tel: +27 21 558-6280
Fax: +27 21 558-7083