The Constantia Wine Route in Cape Town
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a tour of the Constantia Wine Route, a rich and diverse wine-making destination with many wonderful attractions. The structures on the estates here are grand and historic, the world-class wines are delightful and the astounding landscapes will take your breath away!
Constantia’s Wine Route hums with the sweet serenity of the Western Cape countryside. Its natural unspoilt beauty makes it the perfect escape from any bustling city. Conveniently, though, the wine farm gems of Constantia are just a short drive away from the Cape Town city centre. Less than 20 minutes.
A brief look at Constantia’s history and offerings…
Constantia Wine Route history
Simon van der Stel, VOC Governor of the Cape of Good Hope built a Cape Dutch-style manor house and began to produce wine on the grounds of Groot Constantia. The land was granted to him in 1685. In addition to wine production, Van der Stel used the grounds to grow vegetables and begin cattle farming. After his death in 1712, the estate was divided into three – Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Bergvliet – and sold.
The part of the estate with Van der Stel’s manor house was sold to the Cloete family in 1779. Cloete upgraded the mansion. In addition, he planted extensive vineyards and added a wine cellar. In 1885, the estate, which had come to be known for its production of Constantia dessert wine, was sold to the government of the Cape of Good Hope. However, the house had to be restored following a devastating fire in 1925.
After becoming part of the South African Cultural History Museum in 1969 (the old manor house, that is), the Groot Constantia Trust took possession of the estate in 1993. Since then, several other Cape Town estates have joined Groot Constantia to form the lovely Constantia Wine Route. The original manor house now features an exhibition focusing on rural slavery and slave life during the Cape colonial period.
Wine tasting and food
Estates that joined Groot Constantia include Klein Constantia, Constantia Uitsig, Buitenverwachting, Steenberg and Constantia Glen. These are some of the best wine farms in Cape Town, each with their signature wines and unique history and tourist attractions in the Constantia Wine Region of the Cape Winelands. Eagles’ Nest, Silvermist Vineyards and Beau Constantia are other estates forming part of the scenic wine route.
As you might expect, wine tasting is a major reason why people visit the Constantia Wine Route in Cape Town. And with so many fertile wine estates to explore, visitors are spoilt for choice. From award-winning dessert wines to full-bodied whites and premium red wine blends, Constantia has it all. Furthermore, one can enjoy delicious food and wine pairings and there are some fantastic restaurants on the estates.
Restaurants that serve mouth-watering foods in Constantia include Jonkershuis Constantia, Green Vine Eatery, Bistro Sixteen82, the Greenhouse at Cellars Hohenort, Tryn, La Colombe and Beyond Restaurant. The Bistro @ Klein Constantia, Chardonnay Deli and Blockhouse Kitchen are other food establishments that are well worth visiting. Eating and drinking isn’t all that there is to do on the Constantia Wine Route, though.
Constantia Wine Tour and wines
On a Hike Addicts Constantia Wine Tour, you get to explore five-star wine estates with lush sweeping vineyards and beautiful buildings steeped in history. You’ll learn about the wineries and get personal insights into how winemakers produce wines, as you sample them in the process. These are world-famous wines that you commonly find on public ‘best wine’ lists. As a tour bonus, you get to sample delectable foods.
Groot Constantia produces wine greats such as Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon, Gouverneurs Reserve Red and, of course, Grand Constance. Klein Constantia continues its tradition of producing the naturally sweet Vin de Constance. It also manufactures red blends like Anwilka and Petit Frère and various white and red “Estate” wines. Additionally, they offer an affordable “KC Range” on the Constantia Wine Route.
The Constantia Uitsig estate specialises in the production of the white wine favourites Sémillon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. They also make a selection of blends, namely Natura Vista, Red Horizon and Méthod Cap Classique. Buitenverwachting, which has a unique cool climate, produces rich Sauvignon Blancs and reds. Moreover, it has a “Vintage” range. These are just some of the wines available on a few estates.
Ready to discover the Constantia Wine Route in Cape Town? Book a wine tour of Constantia through our website now. Alternatively, contact us if you have questions about the tour or would like to learn more.