First awarded to the Danish settler Claas Mayboom by Governor van der Stel all the way back in 1720, De Grendel van de Tijgerberg was bought by the iconic South African businessman and politician Sir David De Villiers Graaff in 1890 to be used as a breeding and resting ground for the prized purebred Arab horses that he bought while travelling in Argentina. When he returned to his then-home Fernwood, the horses’ health had deteriorated in the wet climate of Newlands, and on the advice of his veterinarian, he was told to find more suitable stabling. As the story goes, he undertook a trip by ox wagon to Muizenberg. Arriving, the South Easter was blowing and the beach was filled with blue bottles and smelly sea grass. He immediately turned north and arrived at the farm, on the slopes of the Tygerberg. He loved the site and bought it to house his horses. De Grendel means “the latch” in Dutch. This farm was historically the gateway on the route to the inland settlements of Durbanville and Stellenbosch which had to be opened to traverse the Tygerberg, which got its name from leopard-like spots of vegetation on the steep hill. The road from Cape Town ran past it because back then it was easier for ox-wagons to go across the Tygerberg than over the sandy plains of Bellville.
The Pinotage vineyards are planted in well-drained blue, broken shale at 250m above sea level on the Western slope of the Tygerberg 7km from, and in sight of, the Atlantic Ocean. Employing the VSP trellis system, a typical harvest produces seven to eight tons per hectare. Grapes were hand-picked just before dawn, then crushed and open-fermented while undergoing pneumatic punch-downs four times a day. The wine was basket-pressed and transferred to tanks for malolactic fermentation. On completion of which, the wine was racked and transferred to 225L barrels to mature for twelve months in a combination of French and American Oak of which 12% was new oak.