Quick Facts: Constantia
- Constantia Valley Wine Route
- Groot Constantia Wine Estate
- Klein Constantia Wine Estate
- Buitenverwachting Wine Estate
- Constantia Uitsig
- Constantia Glen Wine Farm
- Beau Constantia on Constantia Nek
- Constantia Shopping Mall
- Magnificent mansions and villas along treelined roads
- Oaktrees are predominant in this lush and fertile area of Cape Town characterized by rolling hills along Table Mountain
- Steenberg Hotel, Golf, Spa & Wine Estate
- Relais & Chateaux Hotel: The Cellars Hohenort Hotel & Spa
Distance to Airport: 24 km
Distance to City: 15 km
Constantia Valley is a viticulture gem on the outskirts of Cape Town’s city centre. For visitors with limited time, it is a fantastic and accessible alternative to other wine routes further afield. Vines were first introduced here in 1685, when Governor Simon van der Stel acquired a tract of virgin land that he named Constantia. On his farm Groot Constantia, he built a striking Cape Dutch residence, planted oaks, orchards and the Cape’s first vineyards.
Today, six other estates have joined Groot Constantia in making a compact and exceptionally scenic wine route. These are Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig, Steenberg, Constantia Glen, Eagles Nest and High Constantia. The prestigious area of Constantia is one of the noblest and most expensive suburbs in Cape Town, South Africa. The landscape in and around Constantia is lush, idyllic and rural and can make one forget that one is still in a big city. The beautiful houses and mansions which are found here are surrounded by parklike gardens and most of them have horse paddocks and vineyards.
Along the well sign-posted Constantia Valley Wine Route one can visit famous wine estates in the green, wind-protected valley of Constantia. The best known, Groot Constantia, was founded already in 1685 and given to the first Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel as an experimental farm for agricultural produce. Van der Stel concentrated on viticulture and made Constantia wines world famous. The estate has had an eventful history, for example, in the year 1925 the manor house completely burnt down.
Fortunately funds could be raised to reconstruct it to its original Cape-Dutch splendour. Today, Groot Constantia is a museum, which exhibits a great insight into the social life of the first Cape settlers. Visitors can experience first-hand the outstanding quality of the wines in a taverne and in the Jonkershuis restaurant. Picnics on the lawn overlooking the vineyards and the ocean and delicious breakfasts, lunch and dinners can be enjoyed here.
From the road to Tokai, a driveway turns off to two other very famous wine estates, Klein Constantia, founded in 1716 and famous for its white wines, and Buitenverwachting, which houses one of the most exclusive restaurants in Cape Town. The access through an avenue bordered by mighty oaktrees, is already a beautiful experience. The next wine estate, Constantia Uitsig, also has a top class restaurant and exquisite wines to offer. A walk through the expansive estate is rewarding, especially because of a breathtaking view of the Constantia valley. The last estate along the wine route is Steenberg. In the early nineties, an 18-hole golf course, a hotel and a restaurant were opened here.
Wine Estates in Constantia, Cape Town (South Africa)
Buitenverwachting Wine Estate
Nestled against the slopes of Constantiaberg, Buitenverwachting (meaning Beyond Expectation) was once part of Governor Simon van der Stel’s Constantia Estate. Today it is the producer of highly acclaimed, complex wines that reflect the unique terroir of Constantia Valley. Picnic under the ancient oak trees and explore the beautiful gardens wrapping a restored Cape Dutch farmstead. Or savour the fine dining cuisine at Buitenverwachting Restaurant.
Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate
Further along the same road as The Constantia you’ll find Constantia Uitsig. This wine farm was established in 1894 when it was portioned off from the original Constantia Estate. Set on exquisite grounds in an amphitheatre of mountains, the estate comprises vineyards, Constantia Uitsig Hotel, spa and private cricket oval. Three restaurants cater to a variety of palates and needs – whether you enjoy fine dining or a café-style breakfast. Wine tastings and pairings can be enjoyed in their dedicated wine centre.
Groot Constantia Wine Estate
The oldest wine estate in the country, Groot Constantia is both National Monument and fully operational wine farm producing world-renowned wines. At centre stage is a gracious Cape Dutch Manor House, now a cultural history museum furnished in the style of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Cloete Cellar, built in 1791, has a beautifully preserved pediment gable sculpted by Anton Anreith. Wine tasting and cellar tours are offered, and the estate also boasts two excellent restaurants – Jonkershuis and Simon’s.
Klein Constantia Wine Estate
Once the upper portion of Groot Constantia farm, Klein Constantia is a picturesque wine farm known for its Vin de Constance – a modern revival of the famous sweet Constantia wine of the 18th and 19th centuries. From the original Cape Dutch manor house to the Kramat (shrine) at the gate of the estate, this family-run farm is drenched in fascinating history.
Steenberg Wine Estate
Steenberg Estate is a seamless blend of fine wine and leisure. It has two tasting areas and a restaurant, named after Catharina – the illustrious woman who acquired this land in 1682, christening it: Swaaneweide” (meaning the Feeding Place of Swans). Steenberg also boasts the luxurious Steenberg Hotel and Spa and a residential estate that opens onto manicured fairways of an 18-hole championship golf course.