The Constantia Wine Route
Did you know?
Constantia was probably named after Constantia van Goens, granddaughter of the Dutch East India official who granted Simon van der Stel the farm Constantia.
The Constantia Wine Route, or Constantia Valley, is the Cape’s oldest wine producing region. Dating back to 1685, it is also the only wine district located within a city. Because of its close proximity to Cape Town, award-winning wines, scenic settings and superb restaurants, it is one of the Cape’s most visited wine routes.
The Constantia winelands span the south eastern slopes of the Table Mountain National park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A coastal Wine of Origin region, heat sensitive white cultivars grow well in Constantia, where high annual rainfall, and mild winters with very little or no frost, ensure maximum time on the vine, and cool sea breezes from False Bay temper the fierce heat of summer to safeguard flavour complexity.
Classic Constantia Sauvignon Blanc typically shows complex herbaceous notes mixed with tropical fruit flavours, and Chardonnay’s exhibit a flinty minerality. Red varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, flourish in the foothills, where prolonged sunshine brings out herbaceous, flinty notes and soft tannins.
Constantia Valley may be the smallest of the Cape’s wine routes, with 11 vineyards, 8 of which are open to the public, but wine producers such as Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig, and Steenberg are world renowned. A new generation of winemakers represented by Constantia Glen, Eagles Nest and High Constantia estates are turning out smaller quantities of exceptional wines.
A number of Constantia wine estate histories go back more than 300 years. At Klein Constantia, visitors can taste the old world charm when they purchase Vin de Constance, a dessert wine that gained the region international fame during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Made from Muscat de Frontignan grapes, Muscat Capp Constantia, as it was previous called, was hailed by Napoleon, Jane Austin, and Charles Dickens, amongst others, for its restorative powers, but after phylloxera devastated Cape vineyards in the late 19th century, the wine ceased to be produced. Klein Constantia wine estate.
The Constantia Wine Route in Cape Town is well worth a visit for its historical wine-making traditions, examples of Cape Dutch architecture, museums, traditional and modern Cape food, peaceful atmosphere, and of course, its fine wine.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Constantia Valley Association
Tel: +27 (0)21 794 0542