The Constantia valley is only 15kms from Cape Town's CBD and can be reached via the hop on, hop off bus service which is a great idea so you can enjoy a few wines at the several wineries along the valley. The valley is in an affluent suburb and is quite beautiful with a sunny little micro climate set behind Table Mountain.
We stopped at Groot Constantia which was established in 1684 and is the oldest of the wineries in the area. It has a number of attractions including two excellent restaurants. I had an absolutely superb Cape Malay Curry washed down with excellent Groot Constantia wine and had a splendidly relaxing afternoon at the winery. Groot Constantia's attractions include:
- Groot Constantia Wine Tasting
- Groot Constantia Wine Cellar Tours
- Iziko Museums of Cape Town (Orientation Centre, Manorhouse, Cloete Cellar)
- Simon's Restaurant at Groot Constantia
- Jonkershuis Restaurant
- Groot Constantia Venue Hire
- Photoshoots & Filming at Groot Constantia
Its open 7 days a week and has tasting from 9am until 5.30pm.
This is South Africas first wineyard, established in 1685 by Simon Van der Stel who was Governor of Cape Town on land given him by the Dutch East India Company
His house is now a museum, it was gutted by a fire in 1925 but has been restored and furnished with period pieces, admittance costs R10 in one building is a display showing a time line of the estate and housing a few pieces of antiqe wine prodition equipment, there is also a museum in the cellar. this is a lovely place and we found our visit very interesting
there are two restaurants on the site neither of which we tried, we also missed the cellar tour which costs R25 by just 5 minutes, if you want to do one they start on the hour
we visited Groot Constantia at the request of our youngest son who is a wine salesman especially to buy him some of the world famous wine, we are hoping he will share it with us
Groot Constantia is not on the famous wine route but is in Cape Town`s Southern suburbs
This is, bar none, my personal favourite wine estate in Cape Town, including those in nearby Stellenbosch etc.
Founded in 1685, it was once part of a much larger wine estate (spoken about in my Klein Constantia tip).
Its an historic wine estate with some delightfully old and well-preserved Cape Dutch-style buildings. Its splendidly laid out, and the whole estate has an air of calm and quiet serenity to it.
You can easily picture what it was like a hundred years ago. The estate has had an unbroken history of wine production since it was developed by Simon Van der Stel in 1685.
Some of their attractions include:
- Antique Market
- Wine Tasting
- Wine Cellar and Cellar Tours
- Historic Farmyard and Buildings
- Photoshoots & Filming
- Venue Hire
- Simon's Restaurant
Jonkershuis restaurant is the perfect venue to have lunch or a high/afternoon tea. The ambiance is amazing (I must write a tip on it!) and the waitresses are dressed in old fashioned dress of the era. Their pumpkin soup is just delicious!
They are a top venue for weddings too... providing stunning service, facilities and background for the photos. You can have your church service and reception here.
We looked here when we were looking for wedding venues, but it was above our rather small budget. Had we had a bigger budget though, this would have been our first choice!
Groot Constantia is the oldest vine-growing estate in South Africa. The buildings here are a great example of Cape-dutch style architecture with reed-thatched roofs. When the weather is good you can sit in their beautiful garden and drink some wine, or taste one of their delicious cakes. I only pitied the poor waiters who had to wear 17th century slave outfits (both the Blacks and the Whites fortunately).
Off Constantia Road, past the village and towards Constantia Neck. This is the oldest homestead in the Cape. The Manor House, originally allocated to Governor Simon van der Stel, portrays life on the farm in the 1800's. On display you can see Cape furniture from the mid 1700's and period porcelain. See wine drinking and storage vessels in glass, silver, copper and stoneware from 500 BC tot he 19th Century. Enjoy the restaurants, tea gardens and curio shop. Wine tasting and sales too
See wonderful gabled cape dutch thatch style houses - which is why we kappies love Holland so much!!
If you want a taste of the Winelands but don't have the time, you should go to GROOT CONSTANTIA the oldest estate in the Cape, where you can taste great wine in a beautiful setting.
The cellar tours are only R25 so well worth doing. They run every hour and last about 45 minutes including the wine tasting at the end.
In 1685, Simon van der Stel acquired about 2400 hectares situated behind Table Mountain. Since 1812 the Constantia area has been associated with world renowned wines.