Durbanville, Northern Suburbs – Cape Town

by Kojo Pocu
Durbanville

Durbanville, one of the oldest municipalities in the Western Cape Province, is located 20 minutes to the north of Cape Town. It was originally known as Pampoenkraal (pumpkin fold), after a gathering place for local farmers near several freshwater springs just beyond the Durbanville Hills. Later known as Durbanville in honour of Sir Benjamin D’Urban, the Cape’s governor This region of the world was located between 1834 and 1838 in a stunning valley that is home to one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets: the Durbanville wine trail.

The first farms in the area were allotted and vineyards were planted with Cape Madeira, the most well-liked white grape at the time, in Durbanville as early as the 17th century. Many of these farms are now included in the Durbanville Route, and during the week, award-winning wines that span red and white cultivars and individual cellar blends, grown by generations of winemakers, can be tasted.

The National Council of Women, which uses the natural reserve to promote, protect, and advance interest in the distinctive fynbos that grows here, deserves recognition for clearing Port Jackson from the region and laying out routes for picnicking.

Every first Saturday of the month, the neighbourhood artisan market is held on Wellington Road at the cultural centre’s Rust-en-Vrede, a Cape Dutch building dating to 1850. The structure, which is worth seeing in and of itself, has served as a prison, a courtroom, a school, and lastly a private dwelling. Today, it houses a coffee shop, a clay museum filled with the creations of well-known South African potters, and a gallery showcasing modern artists.