Fruit of the Vine

ID #5184

Groot Constantia Estate, Constantia, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

300 years of legendary wines. In 1679 the newly-appointed governor, Simon van der Stel, landed in the Cape of Good Hope. He would in time become both popular and successful. He wasted no time and soon started looking for land that would be suitable for cultivation. He requested land from the Dutch East India Company on which to farm. In 1685 he chose 891 morgen (2461 Ha) behind Table Mountain for its wine growing potential and magnificent scenery. He named the farm “Groot Constantia”, the origin of which is uncertain. One possibility is that the name, in Latin, means constancy or steadfastness, attributes that van der Stel held in high esteem. He built his house in a natural garden – the hillocks and overhangs of Constantiaberg behind him and endless views over the Cape Flats towards Paarl, Stellenbosch and False Bay.

Stately oak avenues lead up to elegant buildings surrounded by sprawling vineyards. The beauty and significance of the architecture as well as the priceless collections housed on the estate are some of our great treasures. The Manor House and surrounding buildings are fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture, both because of its majesty as well as its simplicity. The collection of artifacts, including furniture and pieces of art, reflect the rich cultural traditions of the Cape.

Constantia wines were coveted across the globe and those fortunate enough to taste it soon refused to settle for anything less. The little that was produced was of such u8ncompromising quality that it was exclusively bought and sold by the world’s aristocracy. Members of British Royalty, Napoleon Bonaparte, King Louis Philippe of France, Frederick the Great of Prussia, The Here Seventeen of the VBOC, governors, admirals and other dignitaries coveted the Constantia label. After all, how many wines were immortalized in the writings of Jane Austin. Since we have been producing wines for 300 years from the first vines planted in the Cape in what can only be described as ideal surroundings, the reason why our wines are legendary becomes clear.

Today the estate covers an area of 170 Ha, of which 90 Ha is devoted to vineyards. There are 9 soil types – e.g. Glenrosa, Clovelly, Hutton and Oakleigh. Exciting new vineyards are being established and world-challenging wines are on offer, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinotage. The estate’s flagship is "Governeurs Reserve", named after van der Stel and the newly released “Grand Constance”, the nectar of the vineyards.

Sales and Tours

Open 7 days per week, from 10h00 through 17h00 except Good Friday, Christmas and New Years Day. Wines can also be dispatched though mail order: Call +27 (21) 794 5128, email or website We offer daily guided tours of the wine cellars, which includes wine tasting. There are walks to various viewpoints. Picnic baskets can be ordered from our restaurants.

Jonkershuis Restaurant

Nestled between oak trees and the surrounding vineyards and with panoramic views, our restaurant .lies within the core of the estate. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, light me3als and drinks. Monday through Saturday from 09h00 through 22h00 and on Sundays from 09h00 through 17h00. Ideal for weddings, corporate or private parties and picnics. Conference facilities are available. Contact +27 (21) 794 6255 telephone, +27 (21) 794 4813 fax,

Simon’s at Groot Constantia

This restaurant is an idyllic setting for an alfresco lunch or dine within our stunning new restaurant. Functions for up to 400 guests under cover. Call +_27 (21) 794 1143 telephone, +27 (21) 794 2984 fax, and

The Museum

The Manor House, with its elegant gables, today houses a cultural history museum and portrays the early days at Groot Constantia. It houses a superb collection of Cape furniture, porcelain and maritime art. The Cloete Cellar, with its famous triangle gable, was built in 1791. It houses a collection of drinking utensils and artifacts. Call +27 (21) 795 5140 

Travel south on the M3 from Cape Town. Groot Constantia is on the right.

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Last update: 2014-03-19 04:20
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.3

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