South Africa’s wine heritage starts here—in the lush valley of Constantia where vineyards slope gently up the Constantiaberg mountains and are fanned by sea breezes from False Bay. The climate, soil, and cooling winds have played their part in the production of fine quality wines since the 17th century and the region is now home to the Constantia Wine Route, boasting nine wine estates.
Each farm has its own unique selling point and charm, but what they all have in common is the excellent wine, beautiful surroundings, and easy access and proximity to the centre of Cape Town.
Following the Route from the M63 and heading southwards, here are the estates that make up the route.
Silvermist Organic Vineyards
At the top of the Constantia Valley, this certified organic wine estate falls within the Table Mountain National Park and is surrounded by fynbos and forests. Fynbos growth amongst the vines is encouraged and the effective pest control is left to the ducks and chickens who contribute their fair share of fertilizer as well. The altitude, soils and cooling breezes are a perfect recipe for fine wines. As a small boutique estate, tastings are subject to the availability of stock, so it is a good idea to call ahead. The estate is home to the award-winning restaurant La Colombe where a lunch-time tasting menu comes highly recommended.
This modern boutique estate planted its first vines in 2003. It has fantastic views over False Bay from its elevated position, and it is no wonder that visitors find the tasting experience in its “giant glass box” tasting room unique and memorable. An outdoor terrace, sushi bar, and the signature tapas for two from the Chef’s Warehouse ensure that all tastes are catered for, from glass to plate.
A perfect setting for enjoying fine wines in a relaxed and graceful setting while the afternoon sun bathes the vineyards below Constantia Nek. This boutique estate is a favourite with locals and visitors who enjoy a variety of pairing options—from their popular cheese and charcuterie platters to a selection of Flammkuchen, a delicious pizza-style treat—to savour with your fine Constantia Glen tasting. Other light meals can be enjoyed while taking in the sweeping views of False Bay and the Helderberg.
Joining the other newer wine estates on the upper slopes of the Constantiaberg mountains, the farm’s origins go back to 1836 when it was a perfectly located refreshment station for those travelling over Constantia Nek between Hout Bay and Wynberg. Today, visitors can enjoy an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc with an Eagles’ Nest platter in the tasting room or on the lawns. High on the agenda of this wine estate is their support of eagle conservation, so do find out more while visiting them.
This iconic estate is world-renowned for its role in the birth of the South African wine industry, and for its fine wines. As SA’s oldest producing wine estate, its colourful history is a window into life at the Cape in the 17th century. A visit to the estate, one of Cape Town’s BIG 7 attractions, is a must on the Constantia Wine Route. Cellar tours, tastings and wine pairings, together with exhibitions, art, and the homestead tours, will ensure a holistic experience. Breakfast or lunch at the two on-site restaurants will have you lunching al fresco or savouring Cape Malay cuisine.
Where “Groot Constantia” translates to Big Constantia, “Klein” means small and the estate was originally part of Simon van der Stel’s Constantia Estate. The estate was divided into three and auctioned off in 1716 with Bergvliet, the largest portion, being retained for livestock. Smaller it may be, but its beauty is unsurpassed and in addition to producing a range of elegant wines, the estate is home to the famous Constantia sweet wine, Vin de Constance.
“Beyond Expectation” is the perfect name for this beautiful estate. Established in 1796, it also formed an intrinsic part of the valley’s colourful history. Having fallen into a state of neglect during the ensuing years, it underwent a loving restoration in the 1980’s. It is now a highly successful farm that continues to produce excellent wines while preserving the rich history of the area. The award-winning restaurant is housed in an original Cape Dutch building on the estate, and coffee and cake at Coffee BloC will keep you there well into the afternoon.
This estate is as much about wine as it is about people. Visitors are drawn to this estate not only for the opportunity to taste and purchase fine wines, but also to enjoy its warm hospitality and new additions to the farm and its activities. Cyclists love the bike park that offers lap after lap of tracks for all skill levels, while the Open Door Restaurant is a firm favourite with families—their kiddies playpark makes the venue ideal for a long brunch and the rustic charm of the old school house is still evident in the re-purposed building. Keep an eye on their website for festivals and seasonal activities.
Steenberg Farm & Vineyards
Established in 1682, the Cape’s first farm is now the epitome of luxury and discernment—from the fine Steenberg wines to the exceptional cuisine from its two signature restaurants, Catharina’s and Bistro Sixteen82. Guests can enjoy wine tastings in all seasons, indoor or out, at the Wine Tasting Bar, Tasting Lounge, or Outdoor Terrace. The luxury boutique hotel & spa and the golf course make Steenberg a stand-alone holiday destination and a superb base from which to enjoy the surroundings and the rest of Cape Town.
It is recommended that you inquire about bookings for tastings and restaurants when you plan your Constantia Wine Route itinerary.
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