The selected grapes to produce “Gouverneurs Reserve” Groot Constantia were harvested once they had reached the desired maturity levels and were picked at 24 to 25° Balling. The grapes were treated delicately in the cellar and during the first half of fermentation the wine was pumped over four times per day, in order to oxygenate the wine. Post- fermentation extended maceration lasted approximately four weeks. “Gouverneurs Reserve” Groot Constantia was matured for 14 months in 225 litre French oak barrels, of which 73% were new, 9% second fill, 18% third fill.
The vineyards are located on the steep valley on the eastern side of Table Mountain. The climate is Mediterranean with cooling breezes from the Atlantic Ocean encouraging balance and complexity in the grapes. The average rainfall is approximately 1,100mm per annum. The soils are predominantly Clovelly and Glenrosa- a gravelly soil with low fertility. The climate, combined with the cool southern slopes and deep mountain soils provide the ideal setting for the making of this top quality wine.
Groot Constantia is South Africa’s oldest estate and one of South Africa’s most visited tourist attractions. In 1685 Cape Governor Simon van der Stel built a farm in the foothills of Table Mountain, which he named Constantia. The winery received world acclaim from Napoleon, Bismarck and King Louis Philippe of France who was the biggest single buyer of Groot Constantia wines. They had to sell to the Cape government after phylloxera ravaged the vineyards. Now, the total estate covers 165 hectares of which 87 hectares are planted, at an altitude of 60 to 280 metres above sea level. The climate is generally cool resulting in complex and balanced wines.