For those of you who think that the Cape’s greatest wine estates are all off the beaten track in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, think again. Located just 20 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre on the southern slopes of the Table Mountain range, The Constantia Wine Valley is a scenic spot where centuries-old wine farms and new boutique wineries meet. We spent some time exploring the Constantia Wine Valley to bring you a few must-visit highlights.
Exploring the Constantia Wine Valley
Constantia Wine Valley, which has been dubbed ‘the spiritual home of winemaking in South Africa’, was first developed in 1682 when Swaaneweide Vineyards (‘the feeding place of swans’, now Steenberg) was established – making it the first farm in the Cape. Today, the area is made up of nine estates, all situated within driving distance along the Constantia Wine Route. Start at Steenberg, then work your way up to Constantia Uitsig, Buitenverwachting, Klein Constantia, Groot Constantia, Eagle’s Nest, Constantia Glen, Beau Constantia and end at Silvermist on Constantia Nek.
Reds, whites and blends
It is along this route where varietals ranging from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay to Merlot, Malbec and Pinot Noir are lovingly grown, with the average wines produced ranging between six and 15 years. But it’s not just about the wine: Constantia Wine Valley has a range of attractions for locals and international visitors alike, including magnificent Cape Dutch architecture, artisanal eateries, live acoustic concerts, world-class accommodation and luxury day spas.
Something for everyone
By maintaining its rich heritage and combining it with modern-day approaches and techniques, the Constantia Wine Valley offers the best of both worlds. Whether you want to sample its award-winning wines, explore its greenbelts, dine in one of its many restaurants, stay in one of its boutique hotels, or embrace local design, music and art, you’re guaranteed to have a one-of-a-kind experience in the Cape’s oldest wine valley.