Donkiesbaai is on the West Coast, the name an eternal snub to the Englishman Sir Rufane Donkin, one-time Governor of the Cape Colony, and the motivation behind the name Donkin Bay. Which the Afrikaners nicknamed Donkiesbaai (Donkey’s Bay) after the Anglo-Boer War. Donkiesbaai has been the holiday home to four generations of the Rust en Vrede Engelbrecht’s since 1873.
The grapes for the Pinot Noir come from the highest block of Pinot in the country – right at the top of the Witzenberg Mountain range, while those for the Steen and Hooiwijn come from the DE Tol farm situated on the top of the Piekenierskloof Pass.
Meet the Winemaker - Duran Cornhill
Hailing from the Eastern Cape, Duran’s heart has been in agriculture since his grandfather ran a cattle farm in Cathcart when he was growing up. His journey to winemaking was not quite so farm-to-table. He started out studying Marketing at Nelson Mandela University, before taking a gap year in the UK. During a stint in the hospitality industry, Duran met a Swedish sommelier who truly sparked his interest in wine. After completing a few short courses in wine, he knew that nothing short of making wine would quench his thirst for wine knowledge. He returned to South Africa to study a BSc in Winemaking and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch. His journey then took him to harvest both at home and abroad, gaining experience at Klein Constantia, Waterford, Villa Maria in New Zealand, and the lauded Chateau Angelus in Bordeaux, before returning home to take the position of assistant winemaker at Klein Constantia. His career growth led him to the role of winemaker at Eagle’s Nest for two years before immigrating to Germany at the end of 2020. He soon discovered that as a true South African at heart, the grass is not greener in the cold climes of the Northern Hemisphere. He returned to South Africa in 2022, to join the Guardian Peak team as winemaker. With a special place in his heart for Merlot and a passion for Shiraz, he picks up the reigns from Danielle le Roux, and we look forward to tasting his wines.