Located in the Coastal Region, near the district of Tygerberg, near Cape Town, one of the capitals of South Africa, the ward of Durbanville is on the very edge of the coast. The area is heavily planted by wine farms and vineyards, and it is preferred because of this very cold climate. The hills which surround the ward are in part responsible for the distinct chill in the air, since it prevents sunlight from hitting the area directly, but allows cold winds to blow directly through the area. This keeps the vines cool, although ripening without direct sunlight can be a problem.
The Durbanville area was once a completely separate town along the coast from Cape Town, but it has not been absorbed by the capital into an urban area. Many of the farms around the edge of the town are growing wine, and it is an important source of income for the ward. The vineyards, which are often planted on the nearby Tygerberg Hills, often receive morning mists, rainfall on the mountain top, and chill winds coming in from False Bay, particularly during the season when grapes are ripening. This is considered to be a good thing, since many of the grapes need to be cool before they ripen fully.
There are a number of vineyards in the area producing a wide mix of wines. The most common are red blends, mainly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage and Merlot. There are a few white wine farms, growing Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, although this may be an economic consequence, rather than anything caused by the ward itself. These effects have forced many who would like to grow red wines into planting white instead, as this is a more cost-effective grape to grow and then turn into wine.
The reason that many vine farmers have chosen to settle in the Durbanville district is the soil. Being close to the sea, the terroir is mostly comprised of red soil and sand, reaching shale as it ascends the mountain. There is less room for adaption in this ward, and most farmers are forced to plant their crops in any available space. A number of hectares of farmland are never turned into vineyards, but are instead left to return to nature. This is a beneficial thing for the local wildlife, but many of those who live and work in the area are not always sure that this is the most economic method of managing wine farms.
Durbanville, despite being a ward, actually has a range of different soil and altitudes, but it is the climate of the area that brings the wine farms together as one ward. The cold air which blows through the vineyards helps the wine growers to create rich, juicy grapes, and allows the vine to full the fruit full of character and flavour, which is appreciated by wine experts from all corners of South Africa, and from around the world. Durbanville stands as a ward by the very characteristic winds.