Constantia Royale, part of Nova Zonnestraal farm, are the newest-oldest of the Constantia wine farms. The farm dates back to the 1700s when it was part of Alphen Estate, but only in 2002 were grapes planted. They focus on only Sauvignon Blanc: a Sauvignon Blanc with 15% Sémillon, as well as Don’s Reserve which is a larger percentage of Sauvignon Blanc (there's a touch of Sémillon in both wines). The farm grows approximately 1000 olive trees. Nova Zonnestraal also has one of the top showjumping equestrian yards in the Western Cape.
The original farm was split in two by the City of Cape Town when the M3 highway was built in the early 1960’s - resulting in Zonnestraal and Nova Zonnestraal farms. Originally, the farm grew Hanepoot table grapes, with wine grapes only being planted in 2002. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc were initially planted, until they realised that Sauvignon blanc was the winning variety and focused their energies on this.
The first vintage of the Constantia Royale was in 2015, produced in the cellar facilities at Steenberg. The 16 hectare Nova Zonnestraal farm now concentrates on growing grapes and olives, alongside its top equestrian yard. The 7 hectares under vine are dedicated to white grape varieties. The west facing side of the highway has richer soils and produces fruitier wines, with the east facing side having more granite and clay that gives more austere, flinty Sauvignon Blanc. The vines are unirrigated.
The Wine Tasting:
Mondays and Thursdays by appointment only. The tastings are offered in a tunnel under the M3 freeway - a most unusual location with the vines right in front.