June 15, 2009
A taste of history on the Constantia Wine Route
Photo courtesy Ian Junor aka ifijay
Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape, could hardly have known what incredible wine estates would emerge from the farm he envisioned when he occupied Constantia, today South Africa’s oldest winelands.
Constantia Vineyards is a wine route consisting of five vineyards, restaurants, hotels and a golf course.
Steenberg Estate includes a country hotel, restaurant and championship 18-hole golf-course. Visit the Steenberg Estate for tasting, Monday to Friday, from 09h00 to 16h30 and Saturday from 09h00 to 13h00, when in season.
Constantia Uitsig Estate, meaning “Constantia View”, has two award-winning restaurants, the Constantia Uitsig and La Colombe, where meals can be enjoyed along with the mountain scenery. All this is only 20 minutes away from Cape Town’s centre. Make sure you make reservations for the restaurants or for wine-tasting from Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 16h00 and on Saturday from 09h00 to 17h00.
Klein Constantia Estate, meaning “Small Constantia”, has beautiful views of False Bay and was once part of the original Constantia Estate. It is now family-owned but you are still welcome to drop by for some wine-tasting and tours of the cellars by appointment. It is open Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 19h00 and Saturday from 09h00 to 13h00.
Buitenverwachting, which means “Beyond Expectations”, lives up to its name by being in the list of top 10 restaurants in South Africa. It was also part of the original Constantia Estate and although it has had many different owners it still produces award-winning wines.
Groot Constantia Estate, meaning “Big Constantia”, has been a wine estate since 1685. It produces excellent red and white wines and guests can head to the cellar for tasting, open Monday to Sunday from 10h00 to 17h00 this winter. Wine sales and tasting is open Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00 and Saturday from 09h00 to 13h00.