Groot Constantia is one of the oldest Estates in South Africa, with a fascinating history dating back to 1685.
Winemaking in South Africa started after Jan van Riebeek arrived in Table Bay in 1652. He was told to set up gardens to provide fresh produce and livestock to the ships passing between the West and East. He aso planted the Cape’s first vines in The Company Gardens.
Years later Simon van der Stel introduced the Cape’s wine industry. Appointed as the Cape Colony’s first Governor, he had extensive knowledge in viticulture and sent numerous soil samples from all over the Cape back to Europe to be analysed in a bid to find the best place to set up a vineyard.
He chose the piece of land on which Groot Constantia is now situated and developed this beautiful setting into a wine estate and named the farm Constantia. They say the origins of the name remains unclear. Some say it was either named after the daughter of commissioner Rijckloff van Goens, who assisted Van der Stel in obtaining the farm, or after the VOC ship “Constantia” which was at one stage anchored in Table Bay.
The Heerenrood was first made as the flagship of Groot Constantia by a young Neil Ellis in 1975, and discontinued by the late Pieter du Toit after the 1989 vintage. The wine was a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Shiraz: Cabernet giving the backbone and structure while Shiraz added some ripeness to the blend, grown and made in the cool Constantia climate.
Decades later, Constantia wines are being enjoyed around the world, and today as the oldest wine-producing farm in the country, it remains a proud heritage.
It’s a world-class destination that offers guided cellar tours, wine tasting, restaurants, an art gallery and gift shop. The Visitors Route offers a self-guided route of the wine estate to enjoy at your own leisure. As you walk back in time, soak in the rich history and enjoy the moment with a glass or two of Groot Constantia’s delicious wines.
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Categories: Groot Constantia Vineyard