Table Mountain shelters one of Cape Town’s most beautiful suburbs from the noise and bustle of the city. Constantia is a tranquil Oasis and home to some of South Africa’s oldest wine estates. Only 20 minutes from the city centre Constantia offers wine tastings, cellar tours and in summer the picnics should not be missed. With scenic mountains in the backdrop and fine food and wine on the table this suburb is a must see for Cape Town’s gourmet visitors.
Constantia Wine Route
If you’re staying in Cape Town you don’t have to travel far to taste some of the country’s best wines. In fact Constantia has its own wine route making for a fabulous day tour within the city. The Constantia Wine Route consists of nine wine farms all situated in the picturesque Constantia Valley, the oldest of them being established as early as 1685. You can taste the palatable produce at all the wine farms for a minimal cost:
- Steenberg: The tasting options range from a free tasting of up to six wines to premium options from R50 to R200. Cellar tours are offered at no charge during the week. Opening times: Weekdays 9am to 6pm, weekends and public holidays 10am to 6pm
- Constantia Uitsig: The Wine Shop offers informal tastings at R30 per person and educational tastings for groups at R65 per person. Opening times: Weekdays 9am to 5pm, Weekends and public holidays 10am to 5pm
- Buitenverwachting: Wine tastings from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 3pm, closed on Sundays and public holidays.
- Klein Constantia: The cellars are open weekdays from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. The cellars are closed on Sundays.
- Groot Constantia: Wine tastings are R33 and can be extended to a cellar or vineyard tour. Opening times: Every day 9am to 5.30pm
- Beau Constantia: High up on Constantia Nek the tasting room is open from 10am to 4.30pm from Wednesday to Sunday
- Silvermist: The only organic wine farm in the valley offers wine tastings by appointment
- Eagles’ Nest: Wine tastings are offered every day from 10am to 4.30pm
- Constantia Glen: The tasting room in a scenic location is open from 10am to 5pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on weekends
Wine and Dine
Many wines find their complement in a delicious meal. Most of the wine farms on the Constantia wine route have at least one restaurant where you can pair artistically prepared food with locally produced wines. Some of these restaurants such as La Colombe are ranked among the best in the world.
In summer you can order picnic baskets from Buitenverwachting, Steenberg or Eagles’ Nest and enjoy the sun in the vineyards.
Constantia is only a short drive from the city centre, but if you don’t have a designated driver there are alternatives. The red sightseeing bus has a free extension that will take you to three of the estates in the Constantia Valley: Beau Constantia, Groot Constantia and Eagles’ Nest.
The Constantia Wine Route stretches from Beau Constantia at the top of Constantia Nek to the Steenberg Vineyards just before Ou Kaapse Weg.
Photography: Simon Cox