Constantia is home to some of the oldest wine estates in South Africa and is described as the cradle of wine making in the Cape. Its vineyards climb up the East-facing slopes of the Constantiaberg, benefitting from cool sea breezes blowing in from False Bay. The vines are rooted in 200 million year old well composed well-drained granite with a high clay content, ensuring good water retention, and Table Mountain sandstone higher up against the slopes.
Wine estates in the Constantia valley fall into the Western Cape’s Coastal Region and Cape Town District, which encompass the wards of Constantia, Durbanville, Hout Bay and Philadelphia (with Cape Point not demarcated as a separate ward). The ward receives about 1,000mm of rain per year, making irrigation unnecessary.
Founded by Simon van der Stel in 1685 Groot Constantia is South Africa’s oldest wine farm. Over three centuries this estate has consistently produced a wide array of sought after, award winning wines. Groot Constantia’s Grand Constance, a naturally sweet Muscat from the Napoleonic era, continues to receive international accolades.
Today the estate is a Provincial Heritage Site and a living museum tasked with preserving the history and cultural legacy of the South African wine industry for the people of South Africa. Groot Constantia is home to a museum and two restaurants. It is visited by locals and people from all over the world who sample the estate’s award-winning wines and enjoy its innovative, family-friendly Visitors Route Experience that follows a specially designed circular route through the estate’s key attractions.
Our top wine picks: Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve White (blend), Gouverneurs Reserve Red (blend), Grand Constance (Natural Sweet dessert), Cape Ruby (port)
Buitenverwachting originally formed part of the Constantia estate founded by Simon van der Stel, until 1773 when 200 acres of land was sold as a sub-division to Cornelius Brink. Bought by the Mueller family in 1985, the farm was restored to its former glory with an extensive planting of select cultivars. The result was a maiden grape harvest in 1985 of 100 tonnes – the first harvest the farm had seen in 30 years.
Today Buitenverwachting is a beautifully maintained wine estate, adorned with restored Cape Dutch buildings that house a fine dining restaurant and coffee shop/deli. There is a wine library annexed to the restaurant, allowing guests to sample vintage wines as well as wines from a limited range only available from the estate. Picnics on the expansive lawn make for a relaxing afternoon for guests who’d like to relax al fresco under shady trees.
Our top wine picks: Buitenverwachting ‘Husseys Vlei’ Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Christine’ (flagship red blend), ‘1769 (Noble Late Harvest Dessert)
Constantia Uitsig also formed part of the original Constantia estate founded by Simon van der Stel, until it became one of the sub-divided farms that make up the Constantia Valley Wine Route. Purchased in 1988 by David and Marlene McCay, the Uitsig estate has been completely restored and wine farming has been reinitiated, with 40 ha now under vine.
Today, Constantia Uitsig offers a fine dining restaurant, deli & coffee Shop, a wine shop and bike park. Set in the row of quaint cottages, Constantia Uitsig features a heritage market where guests can browse and shop from a variety of artisanal craft producers, with four producers currently in residence.
Our top wine picks: Uitsig Semillon, Muscat, Natura Vista (white blend), Constantia Uitsig MCC
With the Constantia Valley Wine Route less than a 20-minute drive from Hout Bay Manor, our guests are perfectly positioned to experience a wonderful day out tasting world-class wines and experiencing something of the old Cape Dutch heritage for which Cape Town is renowned. At Hout Bay Manor we keep a well-stocked cellar offering a comprehensive and interesting wine list, with many wines coming from wineries located in close proximity to Hout Bay Manor. We are confident that our wine selection will satisfy the palates of our most discerning guests.