Grabouw in the Elgin Valley is filled with flowers, fruit, fynbos and wine.
Grabouw lies in this green paradise, sandwiched between the Groenland and Kogelberg Mountains, with enchanting stretches of forest, vineyard and orchard as far as the eye can see. This is apple country - 65% of South Africa’s export apples are produced in the fertile valley and this has earned it the international reputation as the ‘valley of apples’. The valley is also home to the now famous farm, Applethwaite, on which Edmond Lombardi created the pure apple-juice drink that became known as Appletiser in 1966.
The locals refer to Grabouw as Elgin-Grabouw, probably because the local railway station, called Elgin, is better known than the town renowned not only for its apples and fruit but also for its wine and roses. Grabouw was named after the village in Germany, Grabau, by Willem Langschmidt who created the town on the farm Grietjiesgat in 1856. The father of some 23 children, Langschmidt and his wife - who also managed, between giving birth - to run a little trading store, Willem was to sell off parts of his farm, which later led to the little farming community of Grabouw. Today the town has become a commuter town for those wanting to live the country lifestyle and a perfect day trip from Cape Town, particularly as it is only 70 km outside of the mother city.
Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, known as the ‘heart of the fynbos’, borders on Grabouw and the Groenland Mountain on its inland boundary and stretches the entire coastal area from Gordon’s Bay to the Bot River vlei. An incredible range of 1 600 different plant species, of which 150 are endemic, make this their home and the reserve encompasses one of the richest displays of diversity in the world. There are also a number of animals that live in the reserve, including antelope, a prolific number of birds and leopards.
Grabouw holds its annual festival at the country club with some of the most incredible views over the Eikenhof dam at the foot of the Nuweberg. Thousands of visitors descend on the town at this time of year to sample the flowers, fruit, wines and local products.