By Greg Landman
One of the enduring symbols of the Cape wine scene has always been the magnificent estate at Groot Constantia.
Its chequered history has certainly seen its ups and downs and there were times when its wines were, shall we say, not the best that we have. However in recent times Groot Constantia has gone from strength to strength with its wines being among the best in the world. Its young winemaker, Boela Gerber, has kept close watch on the quality of the wines that come from his cellar. Much visited by all who come to the Cape, the estate has achieved the highest growth of all attractions in Cape Town.
The newly launched Visitors Route Experience here starts off, fittingly, in the magnificent Manor House which is like stepping back in time to an era when things were gentler and slower paced.
Visitors then are taken to the famous Cloete Cellar where wine production took place as early as 1791. This was the original source of the famous Grand Constance, much loved by Napoleon on faraway St Helena as well as novelist Jane Austen who liked to down a glass or two between novels.
The modern production cellar shows how production has moved into the space age with a bang. If all this makes you long to sit down and drink a glass or two of something while looking over the famous oaks and vineyards of the estate there are two restaurants worth visiting, Jonkershuis and Simon’s, both of whom need booking in advance.
If you still have some energy take a look at the Art Gallery which showcases some very good SA works.
Tickets for the Experience cost R95 and can be purchase from Web Tickets or at the door. They provide access to the Manor House and Museum, the Cloete Cellar, a souvenir Spieglau wine glass, a wine tasting, and two audio walking tours.
All in all, a delightful way to stroll down the wine memory lane.
For more information contact Groot Constantia at www.grootconstantia.co.za
NOTE: To avoid confusion –Vin de Constance is available at Klein Constantia.
Phone 021 794 5188