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Constantia Wine Route: 5 Spots We Love

While Franschhoek and Stellenbosch certainly have their place, South Africa’s first and
oldest wine region is right on our doorstep! Just 15 minutes out of the city, the Constantia Valley boasts a centuries-old wine-making history, magnificent views of the mountainous countryside and award-winning vino from the nine estates that make up the route, not to mention a host of eateries, accolated in their own right. Visit our favourite farms below and soak up our Cape heritage (and a fair amount of Sauvignon Blanc) in style.

1. Groot Constantia
With a 331-year- old history, Groot Constantia is South Africa’s very first wine farm and
oldest estate. Book a Cellar Tour and venture back in time to learn about the
establishment of the farm and its peppered past, before exploring the cellars themselves where you’ll see exactly how the wine is expertly made. The tour ends with a tasting, during which you must sample the famed Grande Constance. Favoured by Napoleon, who ordered over 30 bottles a month while in exile, and noted by Jane Austen as ‘the cure for a broken heart’, a glass of the golden muscat wine offers a sweet ending to this first leg of your day out. Should you feel peckish, there are two restaurants on the estate. Jonkerhuis is great for informal dining with a Cape Malay spin while Simon’s is more of a sit-down, structured affair.
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2. Constantia Glen
Perched high up on the Constantiaberg mountain, Constantia Glen is the perfect place
to enjoy sweeping, panoramic views of the valley below, while tucking into a board
laden with the most scrumptious of spreads, cheeses, charcuterie and baguettes. On
windless days, locals and visitors spill out of the bright and airy veranda where it’s best
to book your spot and enjoy an unhurried afternoon, sipping on their cool-climate
Sauvignon Blanc or Bordeaux Reds. While not available for tasting, their light Saddle
Rose is perfect for quaffing on hot days and sells out each summer without fail, so grab a bottle or case if it’s available.
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3. Eagles Nest
If Constantia Glen is the mountain peak, then Eagle’s Nest is its corresponding valley.
Hidden behind a forest of trees, it feels more like a magic garden than a traditional
tasting room, but that makes it all the more appealing. With a little stream, lush lawn, a resident doggie and plenty of trees for climbing and exploring, this is one wine farm
ideal for little ones. Spread out under the shade of a willow tree or umbrella and enjoy
their selection of Merlot, Shiraz, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc – all of which have won
numerous awards this year. While not extensive, their Antipasto platter is perfect for
two, while kiddies are catered for with juice, snacks, healthy soups and brownies.
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4. Steenberg
Bubbles, glorious bubbles! Steenberg produces some of the country’s best MCC
(sparkling wine made in the traditional champagne method) which is reason enough to
visit. However, the estate, while a little further out than its neighbours, also houses
some tremendous art sculptures and is home to Bistro 1682 – a restaurant that makes
some of the very best breakfasts and lunches in the region. Choose from 5 different
tasting options and sip the sparkles, Sauvignon Blanc and Magna Carta – their five-star
red blend, before ambling off into their indigenous fynbos garden for a post-meal stroll. See more:

5. Silvermist
With views of both Hout Bay and Constantia on a farm that produces the only
organically certified wine in the region, Silvermist certainly is special. Ducks and chickens provide the pest control and natural fynbos is encouraged to grow between the vines, creating a unique biodiversity and soil virility. The result? A gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc that’s full of flavour and highly awarded. Indulge in a vertical tasting or try their Rocket Dog Red – named for winemaker, Greg Louw’s, beloved pup and constant companion.

For casual eats, opt for Green Vine Eatery, or for a gastronomic experience unlike any
other, book at La Colombe – the famed fine dining restaurant on the estate. There are
plenty of other reasons why we love this last little farm on the route and you can read all about them here.

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Blog post by: Tarah Darge

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