The Cape is a veritable treasure trove of natural attractions. But once you have tired of the mountain vistas, sublime ocean views and the colourful people who make up the rainbow nation, fear not, for there is an entire wine route in Cape Town to discover, located 20 minutes from the City, not far from our luxury Waterfront apartments.
Although the bulk of the wine estates are situated outside of the city itself – in Paarl, Wellington, Stellenbosch, Hermanus and Robertson – the first original vineyards were propagated in the fertile Constantia Valley, a valley that hugs the spine of the Table mountain chain but is often visited by the sea breezes of the Indian Ocean, a condition that has blessed the Constantia Wines with a very distinctive nose and flavour.
One of the foremost vintners of the early settlers of the Cape was Simon van der Stel, a man who would later become the first Governor of the fledgling colony. He earmarked a piece of land in the lush, fertile valley that had sufficiently good drainage to allow the vines to flourish without the threat of disease. This farm, Groot Constantia, remains in very much the same condition today as it was back in the 1600’s.
The farm is renowned for its high quality white and red wines and has tasting rooms dotted around the estate to seduce the visitors. Wine can be bought directly from the farm at very competitive prices and, should you feel a tad light-headed after quaffing the product, you can head for any one of the recommended eateries on site.
Once part of the original farm, Klein Constantia is now family-owned and run and produces its very own, distinctive wine under the Klein Constantia label.
Although several hundred years have flashed by, the wine still enjoys the same reputation it enjoyed when the aristocracy of Europe, including the ill-fated Napoleon Bonaparte, ordered it on a regular basis.
The Buitenverwachting wines have been claiming the top accolades both locally and abroad with unprecedented regularity but that is not all that surprising, if you translate the historical name of the Estate, it means ‘Beyond Expectations’ and all the Estate has to offer is indeed beyond all expectations.
It is not only the wine that continues to impress, but the famous restaurant too. However, if you would prefer to dine al fresco, why not head for the hills with a sumptuously prepared picnic basket?
Beau Constantia is a boutique wine farm situated at the top of Constantia Nek overlooking False Bay. Vines are planted to an elevation of 350 metres above sea-level on some of the steepest agricultural slopes in the Cape.
These lovingly nurtured vines are spoilt with panoramic views of the Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountain ranges and over False Bay as far as Hangklip.