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The fertile Constantia Valley with its moderate climate and rich soil, is home to the oldest wine estates in South Africa. This is the area that Simon van der Stel, first Govenor of the Cape, chose to cultivate and develop in 1685. Over the years, the original Constantia farm has been divided into a few smaller farms each of which have since forged their own unique heritage and all of which are to this day producing award winning wines.
The Constantia wine route is a mere 20 minutes from the city centre and within 5-10 minutes of the many exclusive guest houses and hotels located in Constantia and surrounds.
|The vineyards and homestead of Groot Constantia Estate set at the foot of the Constantiaberg mountain|
Nestled in the heart of the fertile Constantia valley and with sweeping views towards the False Bay coastline it is no wonder that this is the area that Simon van der Stel chose to call home. Groot Constantia is the oldest wine farm in South Africa and was developed by Simon van der Stel in 1685. Since then the estate has enjoyed an uninterrupted tradition of wine making - producing both excellent red and white wines.
The estate is well worth a leisurely visit. Wine tasting takes place in the Bertrams Cellar. The original Manor House and Cloete Cellar both display interesting items from the early years on Groot Constantia and the buildings themselves are beautiful examples of early Cape Dutch architecture. The estate offers two restaurants as well as a curio shop. Picnics can be arranged, or bring your own and relax on the beautiful lawns.
The estate is open Monday-Sunday, 10am-5pm in winter and 9am-6pm in summer.
|The original Manor House on the Groot Constantia Estate.|
Located at the foothills of the beautiful Constantiaberg mountains, Klein Constantia Estate also offers spectacular views across the valley and towards False Bay. The estate was once part of the original Constantia farm whose highly acclaimed wines were sought out by the 18th and 19th century aristocracy and requested by Napoleon. Today the estate is family owned and run and still produces some of South Africa's most notable wines.
Wine Sales and Tasting - Mon - Fri (09:00 - 17:00) Sat (09:00 - 13:00). Cellar Tours - By appointment.
|Klein Constantia Estate nestled at the foot of the Constantiaberg mountains|
Set on the eastern slopes of the Constantiaberg mountain, Buitenverwachting Estate was also once part of the original Constantia estate. Although it has changed hands many times in its history, the past 20 years have seen the estate restored and returned to its former glory. The estate now produces many of South Africa's top award winning wines and Buitenverwachting Restaurant is rated amongst the Top 10 in the country. Light meals and picnics are also offered on the lawns beneath the age-old oaks.
Wine Sales and Tasting - Mon - Fri (09:00 - 17:00), Sat (09:00 - 13:00).
|The rolling vineyards of Buitenverwachting Estate.|
The beautiftul Constantia Uitsig estate is home to fine wines as well as the luxurious Constantia Uitsig Country hotel and two-award winning restaurants namely Constantia Uitsig and La Colombe, as well as the relaxed Spaanschemat River Cafe. As with all of the Constantia Estates the setting is breathtaking with the Constantiaberg mountains as the backdrop and the fertile soil of the Constantia Valley underfoot.
If not for wine tasting, the estate is definitely worth a visit for a leisurely lunch or brunch at the Spaanschemat River Cafe or for dinner at either Constantia Uitsig or La Colombe. Reservations highly advisable.
Wine Sales and Tasting - Mon - Fri (09:00 - 18:00) and Sat (09:00 - 17:00)
The beautiful Steenberg Estate is now home to a luxurious country hotel, fine dining at 'Restaurant at Steenberg' and an 18-hole championship golf-course. The farmstead, including the manor house and the other buildings, has been declared a national monument. Since 1990 over 60ha of new vineyards have been planted and the wines have already received international recognition and awards.
As with all of the Constantia estates, Steenberg is worth a visit not only for its superb wines, but also for its beautiful setting and surroundings.
Wine Sales & Tasting - Mon - Fri (09:00 - 16:30). Saturdays - In season only (09:00 - 13:00).
|The Steenberg Country Hotel in its beautiful surroundings at Steenberg Estate.|
> The Constantia Wine Farms are all within close proximity to one another and it is possible to visit all of the farms in a day or 1/2 a day depending on how much time you spend at each estate.
> Most of the wine estates charge a fee for wine tasting - this usually entitles you to a complimentary souvenier wine glass.
> In peak season it is advisable to book ahead of time for lunch as the restaurants on the various farms are very popular. Visit Spaanschemat River Cafe at Constantia Uitsig for light salads and cafe style dishes and Jonkershuis restaurant at Groot Constantia for traditional Cape Malay style dishes, as well as delicious afternoon teas.
> Remember that drinking and driving is a heavily fined offense in South Africa. If you plan on tasting and drinking alot, rather opt for a guided tour with a driver.