Wine producers in South Africa have been making wine since the first European vines arrived in the 1650s on Dutch settlers’ hands. Groot Constantia played a leading role in the country’s vinous history — it’s the oldest estate in South Africa.
Simon Van der Stel, governor of then the Cape of Good Hope, founded the Constantia Estate in 1679 and gained recognition as a source of fine wine in all the courts of Europe. The original estate was divided into Groot Constantia and Klein Constantia, and the two are well-respected wineries to this day.
The region of Constantia is 18 kilometres south of Cape Town. The wine country has immense historical importance, but it’s also blessed with the perfect climate to grow premium grapes. Creeping up the Constantiaberg Mountains to altitudes of up to 1300ft (400m). The stretch of land receives the cold breeze from False Bay, and the slopes can be pretty steep.
The elevation and the fresh Oceanic breeze guarantee ideal acidity levels in the grapes, which become refreshing wine beautifully balanced between alcoholic warmth and freshness. The soils are well-drained, which causes the vine’s roots to dig deep for nourishment — all the elements for quality winemaking are here.
The most memorable wine in Groot Constantia’s repertoire is the famous Grand Constance. A squat bottle of sweet Constantia wine made in the same style that made the region famous centuries ago.
Modern dry wines are superb, too. From bold and spicy Shiraz to round juicy Merlot, and from herbal, fruit-forward Sauvignon Blanc to the country’s flagship grape Pinotage, Groot Constantia makes wine for all palates and occasions. The quality is over-all high — Groot Constantia guarantees a good time.
Leading the way for an ever-growing South African winemaking community, Groot Constantia is the country’s past, present and future.