This farm is an absolute must - it is the largest in the region and is steeped in history as the official oldest wine producing farm in the Cape. Groot Constantia is home to two restaurants: Simons and Jonkershuis (one of our favourites for casual coffees, al fresco breakfast and lunches under the oak trees, and cosy dinners). The Iziko Museum allows you to connect with objet d’art that trace back to the beginnings of the estate. The guided (or virtual auditory self-guided) cellar tour is surprisingly interactive with knowledgeable staff that are able to answer your questions. And they have not one, but three tasting venues that offer the option of pairing with chocolate handcrafted to complement the Groot Constantia wines.
I am biased…the head winemaker is one of my favourite faces and has always been more than willing to chat, advise and help with charitable projects. The farm is open and free to roam from early morning until sunset. Watching dogs being walked in the mornings and evenings (beware of the baboons if you take your dog), greeting runners and walkers, and watching the sunset over the False Bay coast from my new favourite spot among the vines are additional reasons for loving this historic space that embraces the public.
It is one of the few vineyards where you are mostly free to explore and wander. 90 hectares are planted to vines (35% white varieties and 65% red). Ancient, well-drained soils originate from sandstone and 200 million year old granite (that include Hutton, Avalon, Oakleaf, Tukulu and Glenrosa), 1000mm of rain per year, altitudes that range from 45 to 300 metres above sea level, and influence from sea breezes from the False Bay coast.
The Wine Tasting:
Groot Constantia offer 3 wine tasting experiences at their 3 tasting venues:
Wines are subject to availability. The bottom cellar is a seated area with your wine steward coming to you. The other two require walking up to a counter when you are ready for your next wine. Your ticket is valid at all three.
This is one of our favourite week day places to eat when the weather allows - you can't beat al fresco dining under the oak trees.
Such a legend in the area - it feels like everyone and their parents have been coming here for years...and getting married here too.