Tucked away in the scenic Durbanville hills, Meerendal Wine Estate is a short 20-minute drive from Cape Town. If you’re up for a day trip, this place has it all – two great restaurants, a chocolatier & deli, hotel accommodation, wine tasting, and outdoor fun like biking and running trails. In this blog post, I’ll be talking about my day at Meerendal, highlighting why it’s such a wonderful estate to explore.
A Stroll Through History: Meerendal’s Past
Originally granted to Jan Meerland as a wheat farm in 1702, Meerendal’s transformation into a renowned wine estate unfolded in the 20th century under the stewardship of the Starke family. In 1936, William Starke built the manor house at Meerendal, embelisshing it with two distinct Cape Dutch gables. The restored manor house now operates as the Meerendal Boutique Hotel. The estate’s prominence in winemaking, particularly during the 1970s under ‘Oom Kosie,’ continued to flourish. In 2004, under new ownership led by Herman Coertze, Meerendal underwent a revitalization, while still preserving the farm’s historical connections and establishing the Estate as a distinguished wine and food destination.
Wandering Around Meerendal: Kids’ Play Areas and Pretty Views
Before diving into wine, we checked out Meerendal. The kiddos can have a great time at the play area, and there’s a lovely green lawn with a view of a dam. Of course, we had to stop and snap some pics at the Meerendal sign before heading to the tasting room.
Wine Tasting at Meerendal
You can have tastings in either the indoor or outdoor areas of the tasting room. The outside tasting room has gorgeous views across the lawns, vineyards and dam.
When you walk into the indoor tasting room at Meerendal Estate, you’ll notice the cozy vibe with wooden furniture and soft lighting. It’s a chill spot to kick back and enjoy tasting some really good wines.
There are three wine tasting options and three pairings, including a kids pairing. If you prefer, you can also just order wine by the glass, too. The tasting menu is as listed below:
- Estate Option 1: Sauvignon blanc, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage Rose. R60pp
- Estate Option 2: Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage. R60pp
- Collection Range: The Chapel, The Loft Cape Blend, Natural Sweet. R85pp
If you opt for a pairing, the way it works is that you choose either option 1 or 2, as above + your pairings.
- Savoury Pairing: Sourdough Croute, Chutney Chicken Bun, Bric Grougere
- Sweet Pairing: White Chocolate Truffles, Financier Beurra, Thyme flavored Nougat
We opted for both the savory pairing and the Estate Option 2 tasting. Experimenting with the savory pairing was a great experience, and the wine was really exceptional. However, my top choice had to be the Sourdough Croute and Sauvignon Blanc pairing. The pickled lemon spread on the croute paired beautifully with the zesty wine.
The kiddies pairing is also very cute! It includes apple and strawberry juice, paired with cake pops, gummy worms and chocolate pizza.
Good eats at Meerendal
Right next door to the tasting room is the Cocoafair Chocolatier. Here, you can buy individual hand-crafted chocolates or chocolate products, from slabs to hot chocolate drinks.
By now, we had worked up a bit of an appetite so we made our way to the restaurant at Meerendal. The Estate actually has two restaurants, Bossa Winelands and LaRomantica. We opted to go to LaRomantica, where the menu brings together the best flavors from Italy and South Africa. The baked camembert with pecans and fig preserve was delicious!
Outdoor fun at Meerendal
If you’re still looking for something to do, there are also fantastic running trails of 5, 7 and 9km. Mountain bikers will also love the mountain biking trails, with a route made up of inter-leading 5 km, 10.5 km and 17.8 km trails.
Wrapping up a wonderful day
As our time at Meerendal came to an end, we felt like we were leaving a little piece of paradise in the city. All in all, Meerendal Wine Estate captures the spirit of the Cape Winelands, effortlessly combining history, wine, good food, and outdoor activities.