Constantia vineyards

Constantia's vineyards are the oldest in South Africa, and date back to the 1600s. Photo courtesy Ian Junor

The elegant suburb of Constantia is situated in the Cape’s oldest winelands and is home to renowned wine estates and numerous award-winning restaurants.

Lined with oak trees and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads, Constantia is a pretty suburb situated on the lower slopes of

Table Mountain. The winelands began in 1685 on the farm of the governor of the Cape Colony at the time, Simon van der Stel.

Having chosen an enormous tract of farmland for himself and his family, Van der Stel named his estate Constantia after his daughter. Today, Constantia is one of Cape Town’s most prestigious suburbs. After Van der Stel’s death in 1712, his estate was divided and sold off as the wine estates which still exist today.

Eight producers make up the Constantia Wine Valley. They are Groot Constantia, High Constantia, Constantia Uitsig, Steenberg Vineyards, Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Glen and Eagle’s Nest Wines.

Groot Constantia (+27 21 794 5128; www.grootconstantia.co.za) is the largest estate in Constantia and consists of many of Van der Stel’s original buildings, including the famous manor house. It’s known as “the birthplace of South African wine”. A visit to the Groot Constantia Museum (+27 21 795 5140/9; www.iziko.org.za) will give you an idea of life in the Cape of Good Hope during the 18th and 19th centuries. There are cellar tours and wine tastings open to the general public. Don’t miss out on a visit to either of the two excellent restaurants, Simon’s Restaurant and Jonkershuis. They are both very popular so you will need to book.

High Constantia (+27 21 794 7171; www.highconstantia.co.za) is a boutique winery situated just before the gates of Groot Constantia. The energetic and dynamic wine maker, David Van Niekerk, is restoring a small corner of land to its former wine-making glory. Don’t miss out on tasting some of the sparkling wine, touted by some as the best in the country.

Nearby is the excellent Constantia Uitsig estate (www.constantia-uitsig.com which is home to a winery, superb hotel, three fabulous restaurants, a safari camp and spa. One of the restaurants, La Colombe, is generally considered one of South Africa’s top restaurants and is a must visit for any foodie. (+ 27 21 794 2390)

Steenberg Vineyards (+27 21 713-2211, Steenberg Hotel) boasts a state-of-the-art cellar, completed in 1996, with the capacity to produce around 70 000 cases per year. Steenberg’s flagship wines include Magna Carta, a white Bordeaux-style blend, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon. In addition, Steenberg Estate is host to the five star Steenberg Hotel, a luxury spa, two restaurants and a superb 18-hole gof course.

The beautiful estate of Klein Constantia (+27 21 794 5188) also produces excellent wines – and you can enjoy a free tasting in a lovely setting.

Close by, you’ll find the estate of Buitenverwachting (+27 21 794 5190), also renowned for its world-class wines. Spoil yourself and book a space at Buitenverwachting’s award-winning restaurant. For a less formal occasion, organise a picnic lunch and enjoy a feast out on the lawns.

Constantia Glen (+27 21 795 6100), which lies between the slopes of the Constantiaberg overlooking False Bay, is a pristine 60ha rural landscape that has evolved from forested hills, to a cattle stud and back to wine production.

Eagle’s Nest Wines (+27 21 794 4095) is hidden high in a secluded valley on the slopes of the Constantiaberg. The farm dates back to 1836, when it was used as a refreshment station. Viognier, Merlot and Shiraz are some of the superior wines created on the farm’s unique terroir.

There are numerous farm stalls, delis and restaurants throughout the Constantia suburb and the area is renowned for its gourmet offerings. Request a free wine and food map from any of Cape Town Tourism’s Visitor Information Centres or ask us for details on the best food and wine experiences in the area. Call +27 21 787 9140 for the best local advice or email muizenberg@capetown.travel.

If you’re feeling energetic, the Constantia greenbelt offers a variety of scenic walks on the slopes of Table Mountain (+27 21 701 8692; www.sanparks.org). Constantia Nek is the starting point for many of these walks. For bird-watchers, Cecelia Forest is a good place to twitch.

Ask a friendly Cape Town Tourism consultant to assist you with more local information.

  • Phone: +27 21 762 0687

Southern Suburbs

The Southern Suburbs are a tourist’s delight. The area, which stretches from the slopes of the Table Mountain range to the False Bay coast, offers natural attractions and a vibrant nightlife.

St James

Just a little further on from Cape Town’s well-known Muizenberg beach is St James. Home to a cluster of well-known and oft-photographed bathing boxes on the beach, St James is a picturesque area that offers beachgoers respite from the westerly wind.

Llandudno and Sandy Bay

Only 18km from the Cape Town city centre, an arc of fine white sand gives away the secluded location of one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, Llandudno.

Macassar Dunes Project

The Macassar Dunes Project is located on the Cape Town coast adjacent to Macassar and Khayelitsha and is bounded by the Eerste River, Baden Powell Drive and False Bay.

West Coast Ostrich Show Ranch

For a tourism experience with a difference, visit the West Coast Ostrich Show Ranch. This family-owned ostrich business includes informative tours.

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