Hillcrest Estate is a boutique winery, nestled in the Tygerberg Hills on the outskirts of Durbanville. Only a 30-minute drive from Cape Town, this unique estate offers visitors a host of activities, a casual style restaurant, delicious olives and award winning wines.
It is the terroir of the farm’s vineyards, cooled by afternoon sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, which sets it apart in one of the prime growing grape regions of the Western Cape. Hillcrest’s well-drained slopes are differentiated into Oakleaf, Hutton and Clovelly types soils, yielding distinctive fruit and great wines. The vineyards are overlain and strewn with “Hornfels”, a metamorphic rock generated by the geological compression of sands millions of years ago, imparting a distinct minerality to the wines . The Flagship “Hornfels” Bordeaux Blend , is a rich blend of several cultivars.
Our vineyards are planted on Northwest facing slopes between 200 & 380 meters ASL. Hillcrest’s undulating landscape offers a range of micro-climates which allows different grape varietals to be planted. Thus Sauvignon Blanc which requires cool ripening conditions, is planted on the higher slopes. The cooler conditions extend the ripening period, enhancing the accumulation and concentration of typical sauvignon lime and passion fruit flavors. The five Bordeaux varietals are planted on lower slopes, with Cabernet Sauvignon & Petit Verdot planted on the lowest slopes . These are late ripeners which require warmer conditions to ensure that the grapes are optimally ripe at harvest. Year round vineyard management and green harvesting are employed to optimize sunlight penetration, and to attain uniform ripeness at harvest.
Hillcrest Estate was purchased in 1984 to accommodate the head office and workshop of Haw & Inglis, a Cape based Construction Company. The potential for growth of quality wine and olives was soon recognized, and the owners decided to plant Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The Durbanville Hills winery was established during that time, so a contact to sell the fruit to that winery was signed.
In 2001 the owners or Hillcrest Estate were approached by Dr Graeme Read, nickname Curly, who with the dream of a micro-cellar in mind, persuaded the owners to start their own cellar to make wine using the estate’s grapes. They liked the idea, and soon a farm shed was converted into a rudimentary cellar. The following season 8 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes were pressed & vinified making 2002 the maiden vintage for both Hillcrest and Graeme Read.
Subsequently after shadowing Graeme for a few years Arno Smith has taken over the reigns as wine maker, and harvested his first official crop in 2016.