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{experience} #DineDurbanville Autumn Wine & Dine collaborations: De Grendel

June 14, 2022

Gathering the very best of the valley into one delicious celebration of abundance, the #DineDurbanville Wine & Dine collaborations are a must on anyone’s menu.  An incredible showcase of various culinary forces, the end-result is a sophisticated, luxurious evening of fine food and wine, held together by the best chefs and winemakers of Durbanville.

Introduction

Having recently moved across the peninsula from one ocean to the other, I now find myself on the doorstep of the Durbanville Valley Wine Route. Like a treasure trove full of glistening jewels, it lies mostly undiscovered, waiting, for my feet to find my way to one of our province’s most fertile valleys.

Recently, Tim and I were invited to join a very special dining experience at De Grendel Wines. A mid-week evening suddenly glistened with opportunity and excitement, and I simply couldn’t wait for this autumnal celebration of food and wine.

Background

Winemakers and chefs of the Durbanville Wine Valley have teamed up (again) for a roaring wine-and-dine collaboration where chefs from the region’s top restaurants will come together in designing and hosting a trio of dinners that shine the spotlight on local excellence and the best of local flavours inspired by autumn.

Wines from the region are naturally part of the experience having been paired with the dishes, and will be presented by winemakers themselves.

The programme included dinners at Klein Roosboom (featuring chefs from the kitchens of Jéan and Groot Phesantekraal, with a regional selection of wines presented by Maastricht), Durbanville Hills (featuring chefs from the kitchens of Jéan and Groot Phesantekraal, with a regional selection of wines presented by Maastricht) and of course De Grendel (featuring chefs from the kitchens of De Grendel and Diemersdal Farmer Eatery, with a regional selection of wines presented by Altydgedacht).

De Grendel x Diemersdal x Altydgedacht

Our excitement grew as we wound our way up the road that led to the bright beacon of De Grendel at the top of the hill, as the sun started its evening descent through gentle waves of rain.

Suitably hungry and thirsty, we were met with a stunning glass of De Grendel Cap Classique, as we took our seat on the stoep to watch the dark outline of Table Mountain fade into night. Even though it was drizzling outside, we were warm and cosy inside, filled with promises of a great evening in sterling company.

A trio of starters made the rounds, and we snacked on delicious morsels prepared by our duo of chefs for the evening. From the comfort of the stoep, we enjoyed bites of pork belly, halloumi and roast vegetables and lamb tacos.

After chats and a gentle introduction to the evening, we made our way down to the restaurant, where we were greeted with a setting fit for kings and queens. From rows of sparkly glasses to freshly pressed linen napkins and gorgeously oversized Delft-inspired underplates, the De Grendel restaurant was dressed in its finest attire.

With a prime seat at the winemakers’ table, we started our feast in great spirits. It was a lovely touch to have each winemaker say a few words between courses, and it gave us a priceless opportunity to interact with the faces behind the labels.

The main event

Starters were seared tuna, truffle, cauliflower, soy, obsiblue prawn ceviche & scallop ceviche, but because of my shellfish allergy, we instead had a picturesque dish of pumpkin, served with the Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2021.

For mains, we had salted lamb rib presse, served with two moody reds – the Altydgedacht Barbera 2020 and the De Grendel Pinotage 2020. Delicious down to the last crumb and sip, I simply had to marvel at the clever engineering of this experience.  Where chefs combine forces to showcase the best of the valley, where different wines compliment each other on the same table, where people come together for one purpose and one gorgeous purpose only: to celebrate and enjoy the precious bounty of Durbanville Wine Valley.

After a autumn-inspired berry palate cleanser, the dessert course was served in all its glory – Valrhona millot parfait, Jerusalem artichoke with hazelnut, treacle and pear, alongside the Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Noble Late 2020. A breath-taking construct of chocolate, nuts and fruit, it hummed in harmony with the Noble Late – the perfect come-down after a night of highs.

As a final hurrah, we were given the opportunity to taste the latest victory of the Durbanville Wine Valley – the Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc 2022. An inaugural vintage of a milestone Sauvignon Blanc wine, this special bottle has been released by the 13 wineries of the Durbanville Wine Valley that supplied the wine for its making.

In conclusion

With more #DineDurbanville collaborations planned for later this year, it is an absolute must for anyone who enjoys wine and dine experiences. These collaborations are so much more than just dinner – it’s a joyous celebration of successful harvests, of generous people, of the art of wine-making and of boundless culinary creativity.

A gorgeous smorgasbord of what the Durbanville Wine Valley has to offer, I’m excited to dig in even deeper as I hedonistically explore this new territory. Whilst I embark on this journey, be sure to keep your eyes open for the next set of #DineDurbanville collaborations, and become part of something truly magical!

Second photographer: The Tall Hedonist, aka Timothy P. Gibson

Disclaimer: I was invited to this event in my personal capacity. There was no expectation for platform coverage in the form of a blog, or social media posts. This is my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.

 

 

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