Constantia Uitsig

Constantia Uitsig

Constantia Uitsig is part of the original Constantia farm established by Cape Governor Simon van der Stel in the 17th century. It was subdivided and became part of first Bergvliet, Buitenverwachting, Constantia View, and then renamed to Constantia Uitsig in 1941.

This farm has transitioned a number of times in the last few years. It now features an impressive glass-walled wine cellar, a mountain bike park, the wonderful Block House restaurant, and a lane of restored labourer’s cottages that form their Heritage Market (this includes slow-churned ice cream, sushi, fish and chips, a deli and café). It’s clear that the space is focused on being a family and child friendly environment. 

The Vineyards: 

A Mediterranean climate with sea breezes from False Bay cooling the vineyards during the growing season. Soils are alluvial decomposed granite from the slopes of Table Mountain. The soils are deep, well drained, and have a high reflection rate.

The Wine Tasting:

Their wine tasting experience has moved about a few times. It is currently housed in a separate building opposite Blockhouse Kitchen. They are currently open Tuesday to Saturday from 10h00-18h00 and from 10h00-16h30 on Sundays with tastings of their Constantia Uitsig and Ex Oppido vintage ranges available at Blockhouse Kitchen. The tasting room offers 4 options:

• R120 per person for 4 wines

• R135 per person for 3 wines that inclues their flagship white wine and Constantia Uitsig Reserve Chardonnay)

• R130 per person - the MCC is added to the 4 wines in the standard Ex Oppido tasting

• R170 per person for 5 wines made from grapes grown on the farm.

Hot Take

The truth is that we skip out on Constantia Uitsig.
We have so many fond memories of the farm before it changed hands. But the transition period was difficult for us. Block House is always fantastic and led to much amusement when we noticed that their Hollandaise sauce is so similar to Groot Constantia’s Jonkerhuis sauce (we found out that it’s run by the same people!). Great staff, plenty of space, a variety of dining spaces to choose from. We love Blockhouse!

But the ever-changing offerings at the Heritage Market, change in staff with whom we’d become friends (twice…the original group and then the next group who were made to dress up in brightly coloured African garb), mixed messages and uncertainty of where or whether wine tastings are available has left us feeling wary. Being the only group (not coincidentally, the only people of colour) questioned on multiple occasions by their security has left a bitter taste in our mouths. 

The wines available for tasting have always been very limited whenever we’ve considered giving them another chance…and the knowledge of the tasting attendant has been even more limited.

They charge for parking (R10 - the first 30 minutes are free) but this is validated/credited by some of their tenants (Blockhouse definitely validates parking). It's the only wine farm that I can think of that charges for parking.

We miss strolling through the vineyards, greeting and chatting to the labourers, and frequenting the iconic restaurants that are no longer on the property. 

Hospitality and aesthetics aside, the overall vision of the farm is improvement: removing alien vegetation and diseased vines, and replanting with healthy plants that suit the terroir and long term goals of the new owners. They’ve spoken about their commitment to the greenest building and farming practices. This requires considerable investment and time. Only time will tell whether this farm will find its way back into our hearts.

Constantia Uitsig in Pictures

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