Groot Constantia, the oldest wine farm in Cape Town, opened a The Groot Constantia shop at the end of 2020 to celebrate the historic wine estate through South African design.

Groot Constantia has worked with Platform to introduce a highly bespoke retail offering, where visitors can buy exquisite pieces of local design. Many of the designs have been produced exclusively for the store.

Platform is an agency known for creating unique African brand experiences that drive sustainable business growth and social progress.

“We wanted to build on our customer experience and offer a range of beautifully handcrafted and curated products that support our award-winning quality wines,” says Groot Constantia Marketing Manager Lila Jutzen. “The products in the new store support local entrepreneurs and businesses, aligning to our objectives of aiding local communities and reducing unemployment.”

As the oldest wine farm in the country, Groot Constantia has delivered unparalleled cultural, social and historical experiences for more than three centuries. The new store feeds into this long-standing discourse, adding another sensory encounter to the farm’s already notable offerings of dining, wine-tasting, trail running, cellar tours, self-guided audio walks, art exhibitions and homestead-museum visits.

“Groot Constantia has such a rich history, with stories of changing ownership, appearances in various poems and literary novels such as Sense and Sensibility, and a notoriety for having been the wine of choice for emperors and kings, including Napoleon during his years of exile in St Helena. It is a brand that truly represents growth, transformation, agility, beauty, craftsmanship and a strong connection to nature,” says Platform Creative Director Cathy O’Clery, who was responsible for the store’s design and product development. “By commissioning South African designers to produce items that speak to this vibrant legacy, we have developed a range that contributes to the preservation of our culture and heritage, through creativity.”

What’s in store?

Expect a contemporary shopping experience that takes you on a journey of the Groot Constantia estate. Whimsical illustrations by Cape Town artist Michael Chandler are included on the products and packaging.

In addition to wine and wine-related gifts, the store stocks homeware, kitchenware, fashion items, accessories and edible treats made by artisanal producers.To give you an idea of the product range: a white dress by Helon Melon sports a dramatic bee on the front, referencing the emblem that Napoleon chose when he was Emperor of the French; Purely Porcelain’s ceramic jewellery features acorns, calling to mind the grand oak trees that have graced Groot Constantia since its beginnings; Evolution, a homeware brand known for translating nostalgic narratives into products, has used vine leaves from the estate to create a print for cushions that are dyed in the colours of wine and over-embroidered with leaf-like images.

Says Jutzen, “Groot Constantia is the oldest brand in South Africa. As we continue to be relevant nearly 350 years later, we are dedicated to supporting other local brands, presenting South Africans with more stories that they can be proud of.”

The Groot Constantia Shop is open seven days a week, from 09:00 to 18:00, and can be found inside the tasting room at the lower end of the estate, when entering the main gate.