It is said that Napoleon loved Vin de Constance so much that he didn’t want to drink any other. It is still hugely popular today but only because winemakers in 1980 decided to revive this ancient wine after a century of absence.
The Klein Constantia wine-making team, headed by Ross Gower, studied historic records and reports by early travellers who had tasted the old Cape wines. They had to choose exactly the right grape variety to recreate the wine authentically and were extremely fortunate to find a special clone of Muscat de Frontignan. This in all likelihood descends from the original stock used in Constantia 300 years ago. They also use traditional methods in the making of the modern Vin de Constance, where grapes are left on the vines until late March, by which time they are highly concentrated with sugars and look like small raisins.
The making of Vin de Constance is a labour of love; high-risk, low-yield but the results are worth it when the likes of John Platter South African Wine Guide rates it as, “Superlative”, and gives it a five star rating (out of five). Platter’s has described it as, “healthy ripeness taken to superb extreme. Long lived, silky textured with a fine lingering farewell.” While Klein Constantia Estate are more pragmatic and describe it as, ‘’intensely aromatic, golden-coloured wine with unctuous sweetness and lingering flavours.’’
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