The moment you enter Groot Constantia wine estate you’ll realise you’re in for a unique experience. This is South Africa’s oldest wine producing estate, established by Simon van der Stel in 1685, and it is a certified national monument.
- Visit one of two tasting rooms to sample and purchase a selection of Groot Constantia’s award winning wines. Groot Constantia is noted particularly for its production of high-quality red wines, of which I would definitely recommend theMerlot. The whole wine tasting experience is quite informative and not only do you learn about the wines you also learn a lot about the wine farms history.
- Take one of the daily guided cellar tours and tastings, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the wine-making process. In 1885 Groot Constantia was purchased by the government of theCape of Good Hopeand was used as an experimental wine and agricultural estate. You get to hear how the vines are grown, the grapes picked all the way to how they make the different kinds of wines.
- Explore the vast estate on foot – there are numerous walking paths, and joggers and dog walkers are also welcome to enjoy the surrounds. I didnt have a lot of time to walk around during this visit but will definitely be back to explore these walking paths in the summer.
- Dine at one of two celebrated restaurants – Jonkershuis and Simon’s at Groot Constantia. While sitting on the terrace you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the Groot Constantia vineyards. Perfect place for a leisurely lunch.
- Take a journey back in time and explore the grand Manor House museum, which houses displays portraying early years on the estate. In the year 1925 the manor house completely burnt down. Fortunately funds could be raised to reconstruct it to its original Cape-Dutch splendour. In 1969 the manor house became part of the South African Cultural History Museum, and in 1993 the estate passed into the ownership of the Groot Constantia Trust. The exhibition in the house is managed by Iziko South African Museum, and is particularly focused on rural slavery and the life of slaves during the early Cape colonial period.
- Combine a visit to Groot Constantia with a tour on the hop-on, hop-off City Sightseeing busses. This way you dont have to drive after tasting a couple of different wines and get to look around and enjoy the views as the bus winds along the mountain roads.