Summer has arrived and everyone is starting to feel the stirrings of the upcoming festive season, with its promise of long sunny days, warm evenings, family fun, friends gathering, days spent outdoors making memories, exploring and enjoying the best that this beautiful country has to offer.
So with this in mind, make sure that you put a visit to Groot Constantia Wine Estate high on your list of “must-do” activities this summer.
Groot Constantia, which is nestled on Cape Town’s doorstep, one of the World’s most beautiful cities, is South Africa’s oldest wine producing farm with an uninterrupted 334 year history of producing world renown wines. This is no “ordinary” wine Estate, with a visit offering an unparalleled Visitors Route experience which allows guests to immerse themselves in the beautiful scenery, the historic architecture, and the award winning wines.
The Visitors Route starts at the original Manor House at Groot Constantia, which is an Iziko Museum featuring exhibitions of furniture, paintings, textiles, ceramics, brass and copper ware. Exquisite detail is given to each room and visitors are given a true glimpse back in time. From here, guests make their way to the famedCloete Cellar, which isthe original wine production cellar from 1791, for a wine tasting. The Cloete Cellar was designed by renown architect Louis Thibault and the pediment of the cellar is adorned with a stucco relief which shows Ganymede, cup-bearer of the Gods, descending on Jove’s eagle, surrounded by frolicking cherubs.
The historic Cloete Cellar was the only place where the famous Grand Constance wine was ever produced, and now the cellar forms an integral part of Groot Constantia’s Visitors Route, with half of the cellar housing a museum, whilst the other half features a tasting room. After enjoying a wine tasting, with your own Spiegelau crystal glass to take home as a memento (there is also the option to add a Chocolate and Wine Pairing Experience) guests then head to the modern Production Cellar, which is the departure point for the unique, free self-guided audio Museum Tour, Cellar Tour and Vineyard Tour – available for download by anyone with a smart phone.
Worth noting is that in addition to being able to do wine tasting in the Cloete Cellar, the Groot Constantia wines can be purchased in both the Cloete Cellar and modern Production Cellar to be taken home to enjoy alongside your summer celebrations.
Festive, memorable occasions are often best accompanied by memorable wines and Groot Constantia’s wines do not disappoint! Groot Constantia is a small volume wine estate that produces limited quantities of hand crafted classic estate wines which continue to win accolades – achieving over 100 awards in the past 10 years alone.
To truly mark the arrival of Summer in a notable fashion be sure to pop a bottle of Groot Constantia’s Method Cap Classique Brut Rose, which has a delicate salmon pink colour and is the perfect way to enjoy some bubbly – whatever your reason. This wine is also a perfect accompaniment to your alfresco meal at one of the restaurants on the Groot Constantia Estate – to be sipped and enjoyed while admiring the beautiful Cape setting.
As November sees people celebrating International Merlot Day, Groot Constantia’s award winning Merlot is not to be missed, and because of its low acidity and high sugar content, Merlot is one of the best wines to be paired with food and is the perfect accompaniment to your summer braai. Merlot is in fact one of the most popular wines in South Africa and indeed the world.
Finally, to round out any celebratory meal or occasion you cannot go wrong with Groot Constantia’s iconic and multi-award winning Grand Constance – a wine that symbolises and celebrates the rich heritage and history of South Africa’s oldest wine producing estate. Grand Constance is a sweet wine which has aromas and flavours of caramel, honey and toffee with a hint of Turkish Delight. Savour it at the end of your main meal with chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, soft cheeses or puddings like pavlova and cheesecake.
A visit to Groot Constantia is not complete without enjoying a meal at one of the two top-notch restaurants found on the estate. Jonkershuis is surrounded by ancient oak trees and with its relaxed child-friendly atmosphere is a lovely restaurant to visit with the family. Simon’s offers al fresco dining on the terrace or you can also order a delicious picnic basket to enjoy on the lawns.
Pair your meal with one of Groot Constantia’s award winning wines and you have officially welcomed in your #GrootSummer!
Entry into Groot Constantia itself, if you don’t want to do the Visitors Route, is free of charge and the Estate is not surprisingly a favourite spot for families – young to old – to spend quality time with each other. There is a reason that Groot Constantia has been nominated as one of the best child-friendly wine estates in the Cape – wide open spaces, beautiful rolling green lawns to run, roll and play, walkways to explore, and even resident ducks to feed. All of this within 15 minutes of Cape Town’s CBD.
Although pre-booking is not necessary for the Visitors Route Experience, tickets can be pre-purchased from Webtickets (https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1465426753). Alternatively just arrive and purchase your ticket directly from Groot Constantia itself on the day. A ticket, which costs R115, provides access to the Manor House & Museum – with a self-guided audio tour, the Cloete Cellar & Museum, a wine tasting with a souvenir Spiegelau crystal wine glass, a self-guided audio tour of the modern production cellar, and a self-guided audio Vineyard Tour. You can pay R165 and get all of this, plus an added Chocolate and Wine pairing with five selected wines paired with five hand-crafted chocolates.
For more information on Groot Constantia visit www.grootconstantia.co.za. Connect via twitter and facebook and instagram @grootconstantia.