Rare wine relics on exhibit at Groot Constantia

A selection of historical wine artifacts are on exhibit at Groot Constantia until 21 June and visitors are being offered a rare chance to view these relics, which unveil the history of the wine that Napoleon drank while in exile on St Helena Island.

              

This unique exhibition, entitled “Wine of Exile: The wine of Napoleon on St Helena” has been organised to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Napoleon and is a collaboration between the French Embassy in South Africa, Groot Constantia, Iziko Museums of South Africa, the Napoleon Foundation, the Government of St Helena, and the French National Domains of St Helena.

Items from the selected collections that will be on display include cut glass crystal wine goblets and glasses used by Napoleon whilst on St Helena; wine decanters; wine coolers; a ship decanter with outward sloping side and wide base for greater stability at sea; and the memoirs of Napoleons chamberlain that document details of Napoleons daily life on St Helena and his love for Constantia wine.

Groot Constantia is a centuries-old brand that received international acclaim for its superior quality and began to fetch extremely high prices at well-attended auctions in many European cities.

The Wine of Exile exhibition is taking place in the historical Cloete Cellar at Groot Constantia, the original birthplace of the famous Constantia wyn (Constantia wine). The launch of the exhibition was officially opened by His Excellency the Ambassador of France to South Africa, Mr Christophe Farnaud, Her Excellency Ms Lisa Honan the Governor of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha, Ms Rooksana Omar, Chief Executive Officer of Iziko Museums of South Africa and Dr Ernest Messina, Chairperson of the Board of Groot Constantia Wine Estate.

Groot Constantia is South Africa’s oldest wine producing farm – in existence for 334 years this year – and a National Monument, Groot Constantia, and the wines produced on the estate have historic importance and represent the Cape’s rich cultural and wine heritage, as well as occupying an important position in global wine history.

Visitors to the estate can look forward to admiring the items on the exhibition as part of the full Visitors Route Experience.